Since Donald Trump became the President-elect of the United States, people have been taking to the streets to voice their revulsion. The wave of anti-Trump sentiment hit the centre of Auckland yesterday with about 100 people gathering at Aotea Square to protest.
Mackenzie Valgre, one of the protest's organisers, was working her nanny job when news of the election results broke earlier in the week. "I was messaging my friend saying what the fuck is happening? Is anything going on [to protest]?" So they decided to organise their own. "We wanted to stand in solidarity with the people protesting in the States," Mackenzie told VICE. "Now is the time we need to stop and listen."
The message on Aotearoa Against Trump's Facebook page promoting the event called for support for "women, Hispanics, Muslims, all other people of colour, the LGBTQIA+ community and all other minorities facing a Trump presidency." The vibe on the day was not one of unity.
One guy shouted down protesters, blasting pro-Trump messages through a megaphone. Another turned up wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Trump riding a tank and accused Hillary Clinton of drinking the blood of children.
Mackenzie wasn't surprised. She'd already spent hours filtering trolls from the online group. We all know the US is deeply divided. What I didn't count on was that the climate of fear, tension and anger had made it this far, already.