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Crowd Gathers In Kansas City To Protest New Trump Administration

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

It only took a couple of hours after President Donald J. Trump took the oath of office on Friday for about 300 people to gather on the Liberty Memorial lawn to protest his administration.

Who spoke was not a surprise: Black Lives Matter, people representing Latinos, immigrants and the LGBT community. Many wore bandanas across their faces.

The crowd was peaceful, and there were a number of parents who brought their kids.

Among them Aisha O'Malley, a single mother from Kansas City, who was holding her two-year-old son Gannon. “The reason that I brought him is to make sure when he looks back on this in history that he knows that we were standing on the right side of history," she said.

O'Malley took turns with her son holding a small sign that said "Love Trumps Hate," a frequent retort during the campaign. She called the president a xenophobe and sexist. “It takes all types of Americans to make our country great,and he’s exclusive to so many. And we can’t stand for that.”

There were many signs linking Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Putin is not my president" read one. Justin Minnette, who drove up from Wichita, Kansas, with his wife and young daughter, held a sign reading "She [Hillary] got more votes without Russia's help."

Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3
KCUR 89.3
Aisha O'Malley and her two-year-old son Gannon protesting Friday at the Liberty Memorial.

Minnette says he also has grave concerns about Trump's cabinet. “I think his cabinet is very dangerous, none of them have any real government experience. I think the risk of having Donald Trump as president is too great a risk to take.”

The crowd cut a wide swath across issues. David Young from Shawnee was handing out brochures at a small card table calling for Palestinian rights. Young, who says he represents a group called Citizens for Justice in the Middle East, is worried about Trump's promise to move the American embassy.  “Mr. Trump has promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem which is absolutely an outrageous thing.”

After about an hour the crowd, with a large police escort, marched to city hall.

A much larger protest, the Women's March on Washington in Kansas City, is planned for 1 pm on Saturday at Washington Square Park near Crown Center.

Sam Zeff is co-host of the political podcast Statehouse Blend and covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @SamZeff.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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