SAN MARCOS, TEXAS - What began as a silent protest with about 15 students evolved into a much larger discourse between Trump supporters and protesters in the middle of Texas State University campus on Thursday.
Hundreds of students crowded the school's iconic Fighting Stallions statue to preach love, not hate, while showing contempt for several policies trumpeted by the President-elect, including his views towards the LGBTQ community, illegal immigration and climate control.
"My friends as well as my family and people I probably don't even know, they deserve to live in these United States and not worry who they are or who they are with," explained Ray Flynn, one of the original 15 students to start the protest.
Other protesters, like Mariah Brown, criticized Trump for what they say was a divisive message.
"This is not our president. We're not going to sit up here and come together after all this division," Brown explained. "We're not going to accept this."
"We have just witnessed the rise of a demagogue," Brown said.
As the protest grew, a small number of Trump supporters showed up.
"Not all Trump supporters are racists and bigots. It's the simple fact that you have your opinion, I have mine, but we need to be, as a country, coming together and expressing our viewpoints and actually talking about the issue," said Elizabeth Berecin, Texas Social Media Director of Students for Trump.
Berecin adds that fellow Trump supporters have expressed hesitance to publicly acknowledge support due to backlash.
"The election’s over. The results are in. I think it’s time that as Americans we come together instead of being left and right. Nobody should be afraid they voted for someone on a college campus that supports freedom of expression," Berecin explained. "[Trump supporters] are getting angry at being labeled as a misogynist, a racist, a homophobe."
The protest remained fairly peaceful with university officials and police overseeing them from the side.
While all this was going on, university police continue their investigation after several flyers that were discovered in bathrooms on campus.
The flyers called for vigilante squads to “arrest and torture those deviant university leaders spouting off all this diversity garbage.”
A university spokesman told KVUE that they consider this to be a criminal offense – defacement of public property and hate speech – as they look into who is responsible.
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