KNOXVILLE - Several hundred people are gathered on the UT campus to protest the election of Donald Trump as president.
The group gathered Thursday afternoon on the Humanities Plaza, carrying signs and chanting things like "USA, No Trump, no KKK, no facists" and "I am angry."
It appeared much of the crowd was made up of students, but other members of the campus community were also there.
“A lot of people think it’s a protest against the actual results but it’s not," said freshman Jackson Pacheco. "When everyone is holding up signs saying Trump is not my president, it’s a moral objection to the character of Donald Trump, not to the actual results."
“I really don’t see a point of this. The election occurred, he’s elected. I think we all need to take a moment and pray and let God’s will be done," said Ramon Youssef , freshman from Nashville.
Students said the protest was pretty peaceful, though there may have been a few altercations. The important thing, many of them felt, was that their voice be heard.
“We are very happy that students are able to speak their mind and make their voices heard in whatever way possible," said senior Lindy Yang.
Some students openly questioned the protest.
"I've been talking to them and they said that because they felt neither candidate was a good option, they chose not vote, but yet they're out here complaining about trump winning," said UT student Louis Moran.
The night before, an American flag was defaced at the Howard Baker Center on campus. A staff member found it lying on the ground with an expletive written on it.
The Student Government Association issued a statement on their Twitter account with the hashtag #VolsDon'tHate, addressing the unrest and asking the students not to be divided.
"Vandalism of any kind is unacceptable at this university. Violence and harassment of any kind is unacceptable at this university," the statement address the flag incident.
It went on to encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to show love to the people around us.
"Let us stop and acknowledge the people around us, the experiences that have brought each of us to the way in which we meet this day. Let us show love to those who meet might it differently than we do."
The group ended their message with, "We must realize that there are more far that are alike than that are different."
Another protest took place in Krutch Park near Market Square Thursday night where more than 100 people voiced their frustrations.
"It's not really good for our country to have all three branches controlled by one major party. Even if it was all Democrats, that's not necessarily good because there's not enough checks and balances in that," said Linda Haney, vice chair of the Knox County Democratic Party.
(© 2017 WBIR)