In Tense Claremont Protests, Protesters Bark At Trump Supporters, Who Yell Back Insults

A group of protesters began barking at Trump supporters at a Trump rally in Claremont on October 3. The protesters continued barking when one of the Trump supporters asked if they “kn[e]w how f**king stupid [they] are,” and waved signs bearing slogans such as “Grab Him By The Ballot,” a reference to the president’s 2005 comments about women during an appearance on the soap opera Days of Our Lives.

https://twitter.com/TomasMorales_iv/status/1312452128166699009?s=20

Earlier that day, Claremont students tweeted their support for the protest. One Pitzer student asked her followers to “go invade the trump rally on foothill blvd and indian hill in claremont !!! f**k these fools.” While all the Claremont Colleges have gone online for the fall semester, many students chose to live in Claremont.

According to the Delaware Health and Services Division of Public Health, yelling or otherwise increasing the volume of speech increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The report by the Public Health Division stated that “[t]he rate of particle emission during normal human speech increases with the volume/loudness (amplitude) of speaking/yelling/singing, ranging from approximately 1 to 50 particles per second (0.06 to 3 particles per cm3 ), regardless of the language spoken.” The report also urged those engaged in yelling to minimize the risk of transmission “by staying at least 13 feet away from others, facing away from the audience, or stand behind a physical barrier or partition such as a sneeze guard if you are not wearing a face covering.” However, the protesters did wear face coverings, which reduces but does not eliminate the chances of transmission.

With the upcoming election, protests are likely to become more common. Student protests occurred much more frequently before and after the 2016 election, with protesters holding rallies shortly after the election and boycotting a Q and A session by Heather Mac Donald in April of 2017. Protests have also gotten tenser of late, as seen in the recent altercation between a professor at Scripps College and a protester. Despite the restrictions imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many students remain in the Claremont area, and will likely begin protesting more frequently as the election draws nearer. 

Discontent on both sides has not been confined to Claremont. Three weeks ago, during President Trump’s visit to Bemidji, Minnesota, protesters brainstormed how to express their discontent both virtually and in person. Some called for fellow protesters to reserve seating at the rally and then not attend, reducing the number of Trump supporters able to take part in the event. Others organized an in-person protest in conjunction with the St. Paul Black Lives Matter chapter and several other organizations. Despite the dangers inherent to protesting during a pandemic, it’s likely events like these will become more frequent in the coming months. 

 

Photo credit: Twitter

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