Students gathered on USC's campus Thursday to protest the election of Donald Trump, chanting, "Not our president!" The demonstration began off campus and continued through the streets of Los Angeles toward downtown.
Area high schoolers began to march to campus mid-morning, eventually congregating on Trousdale Parkway, where USC students joined in. All together, more than 100 students gathered at the center of campus, chanting "Fuck Donald Trump," "FDT" and "Mexico."
One group of students in the crowd exclaimed: "If the people are united, we can never be divided!" Many protestors held signs, with sentiments including "Trump's G.O.P [equals] Fascist Party" and "Appreciate. Don't Discriminate," and waved the Mexican and Salvadoran flags.
Once all together, many of the students joined hands to "build a wall" along Trousdale.
Protesters said at least three different high schools were represented in the demonstration. Students at Augustus F. Hawkins High School organized the protest. One student posted a call to action on Instagram, and the news spread through social media.
According to the students, they walked out of their classes in the morning after first period, and the protest was supported by their teachers, some of whom joined them on the march.
USC junior Joy Ofodu took photos to document the moment and said she would like to join in the protest.
"I'm all for voicing my anger and frustrations in a protest manner in a peaceful way, and I feel like it's peaceful disruption that's kind of going on right now on this campus," Ofodu said. "While it may not affect change right now, tomorrow, or next week, it's a really great way to participate in healing in a community way, and just link arms and stand with people and know that you're not alone."
During this time, the doors of the Student Union and pharmacy buildings on USC's campus were locked.
After joining together on Trousdale, the crowd once again split up into separate groups of protesters. One group continued to hold hands and link arms on Trousdale, while another started marching.
The mobile group marched off campus and into the streets. LAPD closed down Figueroa Street in both directions, beginning at Exposition Boulevard.
One group marching on Hoover Street said they were just marching and didn't know where they were heading. They eventually turned toward the 110 Freeway and were intercepted by LAPD and LAUSD administrators, who loaded them onto buses to take them back to school.
"We ask our students to ask themselves about the more important march … The march to graduation and college," said LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer.
Some of the students were not stopped and put on the buses. This group continued marching and crossed under the 110 and then turned south on Los Angeles Street.
Later in the afternoon, a group of USC students protested near Tommy Trojan. Several of the students cried as they sat on the ground in a circle. At the end of the gathering, one student led the crowd in singing "Amazing Grace."
Just after this USC protest, more than 100 students from the Santee Educational Complex came to rally on campus. As this group began marching north, LAPD blocked off Vermont near Jefferson. The protesters turned on USC's Greek Row at 28th Street, and continued to march around the USC area.
Alonzo Hernandez, a senior at Santee and one of the organizers of the protest, said the students were originally planning a protest for Monday, but administrators found out about the plan Thursday and suggested that the school should have an assembly later in the day instead.
"I still feel like my voice and my peers' voices should be heard," Hernandez said. He said he didn't just want to hear from administrators, so the students decided to walk out today.
Noe Gutierrez, another senior at the school, said Santee students started leaving class at 1 p.m. He said he went running through the hallways encouraging students to walk out.
After at least 300 students gathered in the courtyard of the Santee Education Complex, the administration was overwhelmed by safety concerns and opened the gates, saying "either you stay or you leave," according to Gutierrez.
Hernandez said all of the students left and joined in the protest.
"I was surprised because I thought many students would want to walk out to just go home," Hernandez said.
Hernandez , who is 17-years-old, expressed his frustration that he was not old enough to vote in the election.
"Our voices still matter," he said.
Gutierrez said he is protesting because although his family members, who are immigrants, have documentation now, he is concerned for the families who do not.
"My parents believe that if something is wrong that I should fight for what you believe in," Gutierrez said. He said he hasn't told his parents about the walk out yet. Although he thinks they might be a little upset he didn't tell them, he believes they will forgive him.
Hernandez said he wasn't sure if the Santee students will protest again.
On Washington Boulevard, LAPD waited for students outside of West Adams Prep School. After the end of the school day, students left the building peacefully.
One student said buses took students to City Hall earlier in the day because it was their right to assemble. He said some teachers and counselors went with the students.
A different group of protesters made their way to the 10, and LAPD closed off the freeway.
The protesters eventually left the freeway, and it opened again.