SAN JOSE, Calif.—Around 150 Latinos and allies gathered Thursday in San Jose’s Mexican Heritage Plaza in the predominantly Latino, working-class East Side of the city, to share their feelings and pledge their solidarity in the wake of Donald Trump’s electoral victory.=
The event was organized by the Si Se Puede collective; Camille, from the group, stated that “we are worried about the moral fiber of our nation,” particularly pointing to the dangers to people of color, LBGTQ people, and religious minorities.
Congressperson Zoe Lofgren, recently re-elected, did not sugarcoat the situation, pointing out the Republicans still held both House and Senate and “can do what they want.” She reported a conversation with California Governor Jerry Brown’s office on steps the state might take to protect people harmed by a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and other measures Republicans are expected to take. Ultimately, however, her message was positive: “We lost this election but we did not lose our future, if we stay together.” She reminded the audience that a majority of voters in fact rejected Trump and pointed to the importance of unity: “Together we have to stand up for American values.” She pledged her full support and that of other Congresspeople for those Trump may target.
The crowd was ready to follow her lead; a speaker from Amigos de Guadalupe Center for Justice and Empowerment declared to applause, “Estamos listos a luchar—we are ready to fight!”
Fr. Jon Pedigo, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on San Jose’s East Side, stated “The very act of our being here is an act of resistance.” Reminding the participants that the only effective response to hatred is love, he continued, “We will not give the President-elect power over us. We stand in defiant love, uniting all nations, all religions, all orientations.”
This was not the only resistance action in San Jose responding to Trump’s victory. As the event was going on, several hundred high school students walked out in protest in the same neighborhood, following the example of high schoolers who had walked out by the thousands in Oakland the day before. A crowd of several hundred also gathered Thursday at San Jose’s City Hall to pledge resistance to Trump’s agenda.