This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
"Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by Donald Trump."
That request, from a young woman, rang out over the microphone at a rally in downtown Salt Lake City attended by about 1,000 people gathered to protest President Donald Trump hours after he was sworn in Friday.
Hands shot skyward. Victimized or not, this was a crowd comprised of mostly young, liberal Utahns afraid of what Trump might do as president and angry that the political establishment isn't listening to them. Protesters gathered in front of the Wallace Bennett Federal Building, many carrying signs and raising their voices in opposition to Trump's stances on immigration, military, LGBTQ issues, education and the environment. As the group moved through the city chanting phrases like "Education not deportation" and "Black Lives Matter," it stopped traffic and drew onlookers from City Creek Center. Every once in a while, passersby would yell at the crowd out the windows of their cars. "You need something better to do with your time," one said. But protesters pushed onward as Salt Lake City police dotted the sidewalks on either side of their route toward the state Capitol, a scene reminiscent to the protests against Trump shortly after his surprise victory in November.
"For me personally, I'm transgender, and Trump tries to pretend that he's an ally of the LGBTQ community. I think it's a farce," said event organizer Sean Taylor, a member of the University of Utah's Students for a Democratic Society. "I think he is on the side of Republicans who have shown they don't care about healthcare for trans people. They don't care about trans people at all. They want to vilify us. They want to forbid us from using restrooms. On a personal level, I just find everything about him abhorrent."
But Taylor and others at the event did not seem satisfied with behavior in America's other major political party either, rallying against the political establishment in its totality.
At the inauguration, "we saw the Democrats line up in support Donald Trump," Taylor said, which shows the party is not "a vehicle of progress in society." "We need to build groups independent of them in order to make real progress," Taylor added. Ryan Parker, who represented Utah Against Police Brutality, said the activists gathered were "not fighting one man we are fighting the system." He urged those in attendance to be active in the community and contact state legislators about issues they care about. Rather than trying to repeal policies later, he said, activists should make sure they're never passed in the first place.
Another protester, Larry Eldracher, said he believes a lot of "honorable, well-intentioned people" helped put Trump in office, but they will find out they put their faith in the wrong person. As a Marine Corps veteran and retired public educator, Edracher is concerned with the direction Trump will take the country.
"I think the nation's resiliency is about to be challenged in a way that we haven't seen maybe since the Civil War," he said.
Linxi Li, a U. student, attended the rally because of Trump's "America first" ideology and anti-immigrant attitude. Li came to the United States from China in 2015 to get a college degree. "I used to consider myself a little bit conservative, though that's in Chinese standards," he said. "But I just feel Trump is unpredictable. ... I don't know what he's actually thinking. Maybe he doesn't know."