Protests planned for Donald Trump’s Buffalo visit
GOP frontrunner sure to bring in both supporters and protestors to downtown rally
Alex Sityar said a person’s voice is a lot louder when it’s not behind a computer screen.
That’s why Sityar, a senior clinical psychology major, and other community members are planning to protest Donald Trump’s visit to Buffalo.
“I think someone’s voice is a lot louder when they stand up from behind their computer screen and go to an event like this,” Sityar said.
Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination for president, is holding a rally at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo Monday. Trump has caused controversy with his comments on topics like immigrants, Islam and abortion throughout his campaign, which has lead some Buffalo residents, including some UB students, to plan protests.
Sityar attended a peaceful march started at Bidwell Park in Buffalo Sunday that was organized by a small group of people not tied to any anti-Trump organization.
One of the group’s organizers, Ben Caldwell, said the protest is a proactive one and isn’t a response to anything other than Trump’s arrival in Buffalo.
Due to the aggressive nature of previous Trump rallies and protests, the Buffalo Police and the Secret Service will be allotting a safe protest area away from the lines at the First Niagara Center to try to keep any disorderly protesters or supporters away from each other, according to Caldwell.
“I don’t believe that today we are going to encounter any counter protests, I’m confident today it will be friendly,” Caldwell said Sunday. “We also have peacekeepers that have been trained in de-escalation tactics.”
Caldwell also said that while the group is not attached to any larger organizations, the Western New York Peace Center helped oversee the events.
Protests against Trump are expected to draw hundreds of protestors from a region that typically supports Democratic candidates, according to Victoria Ross, executive director of the Western New York Peace Center.
“Protestors will be wearing sky blue so they can connect with each other and peace keepers will be wearing yellow,” Ross said. “We are also trying to locate a sound system.”
Ross also emphasized that the Western New York Peace Center is a non-partisan organization and that they will help support any candidate that is willing to stand out for unity and solidarity rather than “racism, Islamophobia and hate.”
“We’re standing up for principle,” Ross said.
Sityar said he believes this is a great opportunity for students to not only voice their opinions but also listen to what others say, including Trump supporters.
“Being at a rally or protest like this makes the effort more visible,” Sityar said.
According to Trump’s local spokesperson, Michael R. Caputo, Trump is expected to speak between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. but attendees are encouraged to arrive at least three hours prior as entry will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Evan Schneider is a news desk editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.