A Fuck Trump Anthem: Following The Band On Election Night
Written by Sarah Kinney
On election night, the Columbia University Marching Band (CUMB) took to the streets of midtown to cause one hell of a ruckus. They paraded for over two hours from Trump Tower down 5th Avenue and on over to Broadway, tuba in tow. First years Sarah Kinney and Youngweon Lee decided to tag along, and Sarah describes her experience.
Before everything got shot to shit on Tuesday night, the Columbia University Marching Band was in high spirits. They had secured a gig at an extremely fancy club in Midtown, playing at the birthday party of a rich Columbia alum, and had decided to take advantage of the club’s vicinity to Trump Tower (it was only three blocks away!) to engage in some anti-Trump busking.
Before I go on, I want to preface the story with this: I am not in the Marching Band. I came upon the group headed downtown by chance and hopped in their cab on a whim. But shit, I’m glad I did.
We started at 57th and 5th: Trump Tower. The ungodly amount of security was no deterrent – we made it down to 53th without a hitch. Turning down 53rd to walk past the MoMa, the sound of the sax and drums echoed above NYC. We were the stars of Midtown.
Playing on the corner of 53rd and 6th was one of the most riveting parts of our parade. Why, you may ask? Oh, simply because we were right across the street from the Hilton Hotel – where Trump would hold his party later that night. As the Band ramped up their rendition of Cee Lo Green’s Fuck You, what was at first a few passersby filming us for their Snapchat stories turned into dozens of news cameras and professional photographers. NBC, local news, Manhattan bloggers, you name it— a few of us even got interviewed. We played outside of the Hilton for what felt like forever. Standing in the front sans instrument, Go Lions! foam finger at the ready, dancing and laughing my ass off, I can honestly say I had the most fun I’ve ever had since coming to Columbia. And I’m not even in the Marching Band.
However, paradise can’t last forever. After about half an hour, the police told us we had to get a move on. Where to next? Hmmm… Fox News it is!
We walked a few blocks. Played a few tunes. Photos snapped, middle fingers flashed. And finally, we made it to the Fox News plaza. MAGA-ers galore! Although the setting did slightly resemble Hell itself, CUMB is never a group to be discouraged by less-than-ideal situations. In fact, they thrive on them. So, we kicked it into high gear. And after one loop around the block playing “What Does the Fox Say?”, the police kicked us off the property. Bye, Fox News! To Broadway we go.
*Disclaimer: this may not be the ~exact route we took that night. The details are hazy. But as long as I get the highlights in mostly chronological order, then we should be good.*
As we headed up Broadway to Columbus Circle, we approached an enormous crowd waiting outside of Stephen Colbert’s studio. What else to do than parade directly through them singing Roar Lion Roar at the absolute top of your lungs? And in that succinct moment, the world seemed less divided. For just a minute or two, it was not Republicans versus Democrats, Trump versus Hillary. It was just us, a bunch of wildly obnoxious kids from Columbia, banging drumsticks on metal buckets and calling it art.
But even Colbert was not the last hoorah. We finally made it to Columbus Circle and were about to get on the subway when we realized: there was literally another Trump Tower right in front of us. So, we closed down the night the same way we began it. Middle fingers high, we danced and sang along to Fuck You right in front of Trump Tower. After a few minutes, the police told us to leave. So, we stumbled on over to the subway station, officially calling it a night. We all crammed into one subway car and sang the whole way back up to 116th, satisfied that we’d done our part to make the world a louder place.
It’s never too late to join the band via DNAinfo New York
Tags: cumb, G(TB)^2, how many trump towers even are there, is the white house going to become another trump tower?, it's never too late to join the band, middle fingers raised high, this is almost a positive election night experience, who remembers when fuck you was the biggest song on the radio