Protesting Bigotry, More than 100 Walk Streets of Covington with Florence Next
A march that billed itself as "anti-bigotry" made its way around the streets of downtown Covington on Saturday afternoon with between 100 and 200 people waving signs and shouting chants in the wake of the election of President-elect Donald Trump.
"Y'all means all!"
"No hate in my state!"
A flier was handed out to assist participants with chants that would be used during the more than one mile walk around town.
"Show me what democracy looks like!"
"This is what democracy looks like!"
Earlier in the week, organizers - a loose-knit group of people called NKY Unites! - met at the Covington brand of the Kenton County Public Library to create signs for the event and were joined by a pair of Trump supporters who hung out in the room while showing off their firearms.
On Saturday, there were no antagonists for the group which was mostly met with supportive honks from passing drivers, curious looks from passersby, and not much of a reaction at all from another large group of people gathering in downtown Covington on the cold autumn afternoon - the hundreds of people waiting to buy the new beer at Braxton Brewing Company, which was also kicking off a big block party.
The aftermath of the 2016 presidential election disrupted traffic twice this week in downtown Covington and Cincinnati, though Saturday's event - while spirited - did not have the impact on commuters that President-elect Trump's visit to Cincinnati did on Thursday. He visited the Queen City Club on Fourth Street for a Republican fundraiser, and then kicked off his victory, or thank-you, tour at U.S. Bank Arena.
For the participants in NKY Unites!'s protest march on Saturday, Trump's election represents a national embrace of bigoted rhetoric against minorities and immigrants. Protesting hatred is what inspired 16-year old Sean Williams to attend the march in Covington. He said he is troubled by the amount of hatred he is seeing, "especially at a Catholic school," the Newport Central Catholic student said. His mother, Beth Williams, said that she joined the march "because there is too much hate in the world."
Catherine Kremer, a 15-year old student at Dixie Heights High School, joined in because she wanted to represent her friends and family and all minorities, "because of our President-elect and how terrible some people feel about minorities in my country," she said. Her mother, Kelly Kremer, joined her.
"There's not enough peace and love and life in the world, and we wanted to show we support inclusion for everyone," Kelly Kremer said.
Organizer Rachael Winters, after the march snaked around RiverCenter Boulevard and south on Madison before moving across Seventh Street and north on Scott Boulevard and back, said that there would be another march soon, but this time in Boone County.
That one would be on Mall Road, she said.
"There's a lot of people out there who don't have a voice," Winters said.
She asked who would participate and received applause from everyone.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher