Six hours before Donald Trump’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, protesters held a demonstration in front of NBC's Studio 8H, where the show is taped live.
A small group (larger than the demonstrators at last week’s anti-Trump gathering), converged in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City and marched eight blocks to 30 Rockefeller Center to have their voices heard loud and clear: “Basta Trump” and “Racism Isn’t Funny.”
Various New York City Latino organizations — and some from Los Angeles and Washington D.C. — put together the protest, which included League United of Latin American Citizens and America’s Voices, among others.
Juan Escalante, representing America’s Voices, led last week’s protest where he turned in 522, 080 signatures from petitioners asking NBC to revoke Trump’s SNL hosting invitation. Escalante collected even more signatures for the second protest, totaling 577,494.
Before the march commenced Escalante said that by allowing Trump to host, NBC wants to normalize hate speech.
“There’s nothing funny about the anti-immigrant rhetoric that Donald Trump continues to spew on a daily basis.” Escalante said “(SNL producers) need to recognize where exactly the line is in their programming, and they also need to stand by their previous statement which effectively fired Donald Trump. They can’t say one thing on their website and provide another platform for him to continue to attack communities. It’s not only disappointing but it’s outrages.”
The short march from Trump Tower to 30 Rock attracted a larger following, and once the protesters arrived in front of Studio 8H, where SNL is filmed, an even larger group awaited them. All in all about 200 protesters of various age groups and backgrounds gathered across the street from the building. Across from them was about a handful of pro-Trump supporters.
When media approached the pro-Trump supporters, anti-Trump protesters chanted “Stop interviewing racists!” Other chants included “We say no to racist fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
One of the female leaders who led a lot of the protest chants was 21-year-old Leslie Vazquez, who came all the way from Detroit. Another young protester was 19-year-old New York University student Gisela Zuñiga, who heard about the protest through Facebook. She came with seven NYU students, most of them are involved in Latino organizations on campus.
Zuniga said that she came out to protest because she felt what NBC was doing was wrong.
“The fact that NBC is giving Trump a platform to spew his hatred for an audience is atrocious and should be protested,” Zuñiga said.
Check out a short clip of the protest and images below.