Over 400 people came out for a protest in here Nov. 12 against President-elect Donald Trump. The protest was put together by Freedom Road Socialist Organization organizers Charla Schlueter and Sarah Graham and was the third day in a row for protests here.
Demonstrators gathered at the Vance Monument, a towering stone structure in the style of an obelisk and Asheville's central gathering point. This structure is a monument to Civil War governor and slave owner Zebulon Vance. Trump's election to the presidency surprised and horrified many who had been put off by his anti-woman and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Pro-Trump demonstrators arrived at the monument early, and aside from some ignorant remarks, made no trouble. They were quickly overwhelmed by the anti-Trump crowd which took over the monument area in short order with large numbers.
Reacting to Trump’s videoed statement where he indicated that he liked to used his celebrity status to assault women, to “grab them by the pussy” one protester carried a sign that read “This pussy grabs back.” Other signs in a similar theme were evident throughout the crowd.
Speakers included a slam poet named Michael, a woman named Laura Krueger who discussed marking safe people with safety pins so that if persons were intimidated a safety-pin-marked individual could be found for help. A statement from Freedom Road Socialist Organization was read to the crowd, and Sarah Graham spoke on the necessity of worker organization and the threat posed to worker organizations by the rabidly anti-worker Mike Pence.
Sarah Graham stated, “Working and oppressed people need power and control of the economy to remake the economy so that it works in our interest. The interest of the people who actually produce the wealth that drives the economy.”
The protesters then marched to the federal building. While marching the demonstrators chanted slogans such as “We reject the president elect,” and “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here.” After several minutes on the federal building steps the demonstration moved back to the Vance monument.