An Insider's View from a 'Peaceful' Protest

Photo of protestors in Hawai'i with signs that read, "Hate won't make America great!" and "Hate has no home here"

Photo: Courtesy of Dayva Escobar
Writer: Dayva Escobar, Contributing Writer

Editor’s Note: UH Hilo Senior Dayva Escobar has organized what she describes as a “Peaceful Protest” to counter the pro-Trump protestors in Hilo. The Peaceful Protestors are meeting every Friday at 4 p.m. along Kanoelehua Avenue near the intersection of Mohouli Street, until Election Day. Following is Escobar’s account of a recent Peaceful Protest event that drew about 45 people to stand on the line with her.

The outrage posed by the Trump crowd is difficult to dismiss, and even more difficult to stomach. While we held signs that stood for intersectional representation and equality, they yelled through mega phone:

“Go to hell!” “God loves you!” “You’re hypocrites!” “Baby killers!” “Drain the swamp!” “Four more years!” — a synthesis of every tweet Trump has ever written.

Hate toward LGBTQ+, racism, taunts, bigotry. They danced around maniacally. They “shot” at us with finger guns. We were flipped off, exhaust blown at us by cars that seemed to feel that revving their engines at protestors silently standing was the way to shut up a voice that doesn’t need to speak to be felt, heard, and seen.

Our signs were mocked, by a maskless woman who felt it was her place to weave between us, as though our party’s hems were so delicately woven, we could be dismantled — through the sea of voices, the men in red hats, the women standing in hypocrisy, that felt that yelling at us for two hours, was the way to persuade their opinion. These are the bully tactics Trump not only stands for, he encourages.

150 people standing for Trump, all without masks. The level of hypocrisy and irony: that tries to fight the pursuit of an America that grants everyone the privilege they bear (an act that would not alter their lives at all, but instead benefit that of many including themselves). Saying “god loves you” except you, and you, and you.

We didn’t lose our peace, we embodied it. We didn’t fight fire with fire, we fought it with kindness and rose above. We were a melting pot of artists, and older ones, and younger ones, and different ethnicities, and hope, upon a pool of one color in red hats. I am so proud of how this turned out and I so hope you will join us next week for another round. This is why we stand.”

Check out the event link here: https://fb.me/e/34fNe3DJq

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