Protesters march through downtown as President Trump takes office

Pedestrian march on Riverside Dr heading north on Congress. (City of Austin photo)
Pedestrian march on Riverside Dr heading north on Congress. (City of Austin photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hundreds of protesters are marching throughout downtown Austin following the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

Austin police say there have been no arrests in any of the protests Friday.

Earlier in the day, University of Texas at Austin students rallied in front of the UT Tower. Many walked out from classes to be part of the protest. “This is not our president. This is not who we want. This is not who represents us, who represents me,” said Bri Du, a UT Sophomore. “I’m not OK with Donald Trump being my president.”

The groups voices echoed across campus as they chanted, “No hate! No Fear! Immigrants are welcomed here.”

Among the crowd were some President Trump supporters who also wanted to be heard. “He’s certainly my president and he’s certainly their president whether they like it or not,” said UT Sophomore Nick Armstrong, “I don’t agree with anything that is being said out here, but they are using their rights in a legal way.”

The protesters made their way towards the Capitol. UT and Austin police officers along with DPS troopers cleared traffic along the way as they marched on.

“I hope my voice just shows people that what we do matters — our words matter,” said Carly Bassett, who came with her 3-month-old son. “I want to raise him with feminist values, equality — the leadership that we have doesn’t exactly exemplify those things.”

UT police say one person carrying a knife was detained, but he was released because the knife was legal. UT also says some professors on campus made attendance exceptions for students who walked out.

Officers say to expect heavy delays in the area and use South First Street or Lamar bridges as alternate routes. Police are warning drivers to avoid the area, after previously encouraging people who are employed downtown to work from home on Inauguration Day.

AISD students walk out of school, joining protests

High school students across Austin also protested on Friday, with many walking out of class early at 3 p.m.

The McCallum Justice Coalition organized the walk-out at McCallum High School. After the 4th period bell rang, they announced why they were leaving and then peacefully walked out to the parking lot, marching off campus.

“Our education is at stake, our rights are at stake, we’re a campus, we’re a people of color, we’re queer, we’re LGBTQ and it’s incredibly important to stand up for ourselves and each other,” said senior Uma Riddle.

About 100 students walked out of class and then took the bus to Auditorium Shores to march with the rest of protesters.

Henry Epperson was one of the students who helped plan the walk-out, “A lot of us felt really down and the election was kind of hurtful to a lot of people. And we felt like we had to organize and make a statement, because a lot of us weren’t able to vote,” said Epperson.

Students at Ann Richards also protested. The school has a strict dress policy, and many wore all black in protest. One 8th grader told KXAN that she and several friends got demerits for breaking the school code. After that students started pinning their demerits on their shirts.

Traffic Routes and Rallies Planned

Friday, Jan. 20

  1. J20 UT Walkout: University of Texas students are marching from 12-4 p.m. Their plan is to march from campus to either the State Capitol grounds and/or to Auditorium Shores to join the One Resistance rally.
  2. Austin Inauguration Pride Marcy-LGBTQ & Allies Protest Trump: Group plans to be on Capitol grounds from 7-9 p.m.
  3. One Resistance: More than 40 organizations in Austin will converge as “One Resistance” and protest and march to the Capitol grounds from Auditorium Shores. They will begin with a rally at Auditorium Shores from 5-8 p.m.
    • The group intends to march in the road at 5:30 p.m. and has obtained permits. The two possible routes are:
      • Auditorium Shores to eastbound Riverside Drive, to northbound Congress Avenue, to westbound Eighth Street, to southbound Guadalupe Street to the First Street Bridge and  back to Auditorium Shores.
      • Auditorium Shores to northbound First Street Bridge, to eastbound Cesar Chavez, to northbound Congress Avenue, to westbound Eight Street to southbound Guadalupe Street, to the First Street Bridge and back to Auditorium Shores.

Saturday, Jan. 21

  1. Austin Women’s March: The group will begin marching at 12 p.m. and organizers are asking participants to arrive at least an hour before the march begins. The march will leave from the south side of the capitol, down Congress Avenue, across West Sixth Street, north on Lavaca and back to the south lawn.
    • The march route is approximately 1.5 miles, and should take about 1.5 hours to bring all participants back to the south lawn of the capitol. After the march, there will be speakers, performances and programming on the south lawn.

Expected protest routes 

Map of Inauguration Day protests (KXAN)
Map of Inauguration Day protests (KXAN)

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