One of the most vicious elections in history, the biggest story of 2016, the gaudy circus, the bitter fight for the White House or the mud-slinging Clinton vs Trump – whatever one may choose to call it – resulted in reactions all over the world. In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States, New York seemed to be in turmoil. Hundreds of people marched to protest against Trump’s election. The streets were filled with people chanting slogans, traffic jams, honking cars and police officers. Three students from University of Augsburg sum up their different impressions and experiences on their study trip to New York with Prof. Dr. Middeke right after the election…
You couldn’t pass a television or newspaper kiosk without seeing Trump’s face. The election was omnipresent – you heard people discussing the recent event everywhere. Once a young woman and two cab-drivers wanted to know what we Germans thought about this topic. We all admitted that we’d never expected Trump to win, and that we thought his victory was a bitter pill. I only talked to one older man who voted for Trump and claimed ‘Trump has no experience and no experience means good experience. He’s neutral and powerless.’ The conversations I had really made me think about people and their attitude towards democracy.
I thought we’d see more riots and more upset people, but the New Yorkers seemed relatively calm, even though almost none of them really support Trump. But I saw a protest on Time Square, with people marching on the streets, shouting ‘Not my president!’, and holding up signs of protest. My personal favourite was one that said ‘This P*ssy grabs back!’ right in front of the Trump Tower on 5th Avenue. And while I was eating a burger on Broadway, a girl handed me this note…
Visiting New York was an amazing, surreal experience. One thing was always present on the trip – the US elections. When I heard the news, I was shocked and also tense about what visiting New York after such an election would be like. When we were eating breakfast, the election and its consequences were all over the TV screens. As we walked out of a shopping mall, the only thing we heard was countless people yelling ‘NOT MY PRESIDENT’. Walking past the Trump Tower meant walking past a huge amount of security. One homeless man wore a Trump mask and held a shield that said ‘Trump is our president. Need money to leave the country’.
Author & Pictures: Stefanie Frank