Given his past statements about minorities and women, it shouldn’t come as a shock that a large majority of post-election reaction has been negative toward President-elect Donald Trump.
But a rally set to take place Friday strives to spread positivity in Trump’s America — specifically for those whom the future president often targeted during his combative campaign.
“I know that so many people feel betrayed and lost and feel that this country forgot them,” organizer and New York University student Sydney Miller said. “This is for people to say that they did not forget about them.”
Love Rally in the Park is set to take place from 2 to 7 p.m. in Washington Square Park on Friday. More than 6,500 people have RSVPed to attend on Facebook with another 16,000 interested.
“I have not planned an event this scale before and had not anticipated it to grow to this scale,” the 19-year-old Boston native said.
With such interest, there is a good possibility the event could grow to the size of the mass protest that took place in the city on Wednesday, but Miller hopes it remains peaceful, positive and in Washington Square Park.
She’s worked with NYU public security to keep the event safe, and while moving the rally to Trump Tower as happened on Wednesday is not “something I would condone, I wouldn’t have the power to stop that from happening,” Miller said. “The point is to spend time in the park. There will be a megaphone for people to express affirmations of love for (others) as well as banners for them to sign.”
Love Rally in the Park is not an anti-Trump event. In fact, Trump supporters are encouraged to attend to show their support for those who were the target of his campaign’s often hateful rhetoric.
“I have a friend I’ve known since I was 7 who voted for Trump, and I know that he wasn’t voting in favor of sexism or racism, he was voting in favor of 2nd Amendment rights and fiscal policy,” Miller shared. “I understand people who feel rights are going to be taken away, but to me, the purpose is to provide space for everyone, regardless of political affiliation to affirm they are not going to abandon these communities.”
As a sign of solidarity — and to keep with the rally’s love theme — attendees are encouraged to wear red, the color of the Republican party.
“It’s a good way to reclaim a color associated with the things that have been said — and reclaim it for love,” Miller explained.