Lamorinda Residents Make Their Opinions Clear at Protests Leading Up to Election

Alexa Gutu, Staff Writer

Facing the 2020 election, Lamorinda residents made their opinions and political views clear at protests around the area. Oct. 30, teenagers and students around the area assembled in downtown Lafayette in addition to voicing their political opinions on the overpasses of Highway 24.

“We got a lot of honking support and people walking by congratulating us and telling us we were doing great,” freshman Miranda Batt said. According to Batt, who attended the protest held in downtown Lafayette at the Diablo Blvd. and Moraga Rd. intersection, it was completely student-run, and there were no adults or police. Both high school and middle school students from the area attended. “We were promoting voting blue, Presidential candidate Joe Biden, LGBTQ+, and BLM,” Batt said. 

The El Curtola and St. Stephen’s bridges were also locations for protests. Both bridges pass over Highway 24, and protesters, mainly Trump supporters, faced traffic with signs, urging cars to honk and show support. “They hung up a huge banner saying ‘honk 4 Trump’ and ‘Trump 2020’,” Katelyn Huynh, a seventh-grader at Orinda Intermediate School, said. Huynh saw the protest Oct. 31, 3 days before the Presidential Election. Huynh was also concerned about the lack of masks between the Trump supporters she saw at a bridge protest.  “I could hear them screaming things like ‘Biden will never win’ and ‘Trump 2020’,” Huynh said. 

On Election Day, Trump supporters continued to voice their political opinions on the El Curtola bridge. “There were only Trump supporters on the bridge, and they had their typical signs like ‘Honk for Trump’ or ‘Trump 2020.’From what I have seen over the past couple of weeks, there are mostly Trump supporters up on the bridge, and Biden supporters usually go there in a counter-protest,” senior Phoebe Schmidt said. According to sophomore Mia Balonick, there were around 5 Biden supporters and 20 Trump supporters at the bridge protest she witnessed.  “[People with] Biden signs stood away from the Trump signs and they had the trans flag, pride flag, and a Biden sign,” Balonick said. 

Personally, I do not support Trump. However, it is their First Amendment right to protest and show support for whoever they want,” Schmidt said. 

“It’s extremely important for teens to express and voice our opinions because next election it’s up to us, and we need to be educated in general. We need to know what’s right for our country and for everyone,” Batt said.