A group of Lubbock residents are in the planning stages of putting together a protest of president-elect Donald J. Trump.
Monday, an event organizer spoke with EverythingLubbock.com about the planning process, but asked to remain anonymous. He identified himself as an Army veteran and a former Republican. He explained that he had already received violent threats since announcing the protest Saturday. Some people have threatened to try and stop the event, others made suggestions that the protestors would be sprayed with hoses, the organizer said.
While the event website lists the protest starting on January 20, the day of the presidential inauguration, the organizer explained that the date will likely be changed to protect those involved.
“A lot has happened over these two days, I’ve gotten a lot of violent threats, so for the sake of the people who wanted to partake, for the sake of the people who might come out to try and cause problems, for the sake of Lubbock Police who will be providing security, I feel like there will be a switching of the date and a limited window of time when this will be made public,” he said.
The organizer explained, their efforts aren’t about stopping a Trump presidency, but rather about ensuring that the voices of the people with concerns about Trump are still heard.
“With the protest against Trump, it isn’t to call into question his legitimacy as president, I believe the electoral process has worked itself out, he’s the president elect, it’s more just to call into question his divisive rhetoric, there are a lot of people who have been marginalized and they need a voice,” the organizer said.
The organizer pointed specifically to statements Trump made about women, Muslims, minorities, and people with disabilities along the campaign trail as reasons why people in Lubbock and around the country would question a Trump presidency. The organizer hopes this protest sends the message to leaders in Lubbock and around the country that Trump needs to address the concerns of those who felt targeted because of his comments and proposed policies.
For many of the people he’s spoken with in Lubbock, the organizer said that fear of a Trump presidency continues because a lot is unclear about what policies the president-elect will enact.
“There’s a large portion of the population that has questions that are unanswered, so we’re rallying, we’re protesting against that,” he said.
Over one hundred people have expressed interest in the protest online, though not everyone in Lubbock is on board.
“I don’t really understand it, I don’t understand why they’re protesting,” said Lubbock County Republican Party Chairman Steve Evans. “I fully support their right to protest peacefully, to rally peacefully. I’m not sure this is the time for that.”
Evans worried that a protest against Trump in Lubbock would create division, he also said he couldn’t envision any of the Lubbock County Republican Party members attending such an event.
Evans believes that Trump, as a political outsider, may not have some of his policies or positions crystallized until January draws closer.
“I believe that [Trump is] making good choices for staff and I believe in giving the man a chance, and let’s get him into office, lets get him inaugurated take a look at his first 100 days before we’re critical of him,” Evans said.
The organizer hopes that the event inspires unity, by giving everyone in the community an outlet to discuss their concerns together. While the organizer recognized that some in town may have concerns about this protest turning violent, he is working hard to prevent that.
“My number one concern is that everyone knows this is going to be a show of unity, on the webpage I’ve created, I have five rules I set out, number one is no weapons, number two is to be classy,” he said. For a complete list of the protest rules, look here.
He explained that the event’s planners are aiming to work with the city and Lubbock Police to secure the event.
“We’re going to be a peaceful protest, no one is allowed to bring any weapons, all the flags will be right-side up, no one is going to be going to be burning flags, people are going to be classy, there shouldn’t be any loud curse words or any things of that nature, we’re here to convey a loud message and a positive message,” he said.
This organizer said that he would personally help to make sure that people that people at the rally were unarmed and peaceful. He hopes the protest brings together people of all political leanings to discuss their concerns going forward.
“The protest is more of a rally of mutual identity, I think people are gonna be surprised with how all inclusive it’s going to be,” he said.