‘Not my president': Thousands protest Trump in rallies across the US – Washington Post

Demonstrations and vigils protesting the election of Donald Trump spread across the country late Wednesday and early Thursday, as thousands of people rallied against the president-elect in cities from coast to coast.

Condemning Trump’s litany of crude comments about women and his attacks on immigrants, demonstrators marched along city streets, blocked intersections, burned effigies and, in some places, gathered outside buildings bearing Trump’s name.

“Not my president,” chanted some of the protesters, while others waved signs with the same message.

At least 100 people were arrested at some of the protests, according to police officials, most of them at one in New York. While most of the demonstrations remained peaceful, police in Oakland, Calif., said a rally there turned violent when some in the massive crowd injured three police officers by throwing rocks and fireworks at them.

The unrest underscored the fractures in a country that awoke Wednesday to learn that Trump had pulled off an unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.

Protests erupted in the biggest U.S. cities — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — and flared in places from Portland and Seattle to Philadelphia and Richmond, along with cities in red states such as Atlanta, Dallas, Omaha and Kansas City, Mo.

Most of the major demonstrations took place in urban centers in blue states Clinton won Tuesday, highlighting the demographic divide that shaped the election results.

Clinton’s apparent narrow victory in the popular vote, coupled with her loss in the electoral tally, spurred demonstrators in New York to chant, “She got more votes!” as thousands massed in front of Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. The crowd stretched several blocks down Fifth Avenue.

Before that, protesters there had marched from Union Square to Trump’s building, chanting, “Donald Trump, go away! Sexist, racist, anti-gay!”

At one point, demonstrators lit an American flag on fire. Later, amid a cacophony of loud chants, a glowing “Love Trumps Hate” banner was held aloft under the Trump Tower sign. The singer Cher mingled in the crowd, doling out hugs.

Police in New York said about 65 people were arrested during the protests, mostly for disorderly conduct or resisting arrest.

People in Trump’s circle said they were monitoring the unrest and had expected such activity after the election:

At one point Wednesday night, a protester in Los Angeles was interviewed on CNN and spoke about how “there will be casualties on both sides,” language that was condemned by Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

In Oakland, police said the crowd of demonstrators eventually grew to about 7,000 people and began to splinter into smaller groups, some of which vandalized buildings.

As things became more heated, police said, they used devices releasing tear gas several times. In addition to the three police officers who were injured, three police cars from nearby Pleasanton, Calif. — one of many cities that sent officers to help respond — were damaged, officials said.

Authorities reported 16 cases of vandalism, including graffiti and looting, and said there were “numerous trash fires in the streets.” (About 40 fires were extinguished by police and fire officials.) Police said they arrested 30 people and issued an additional 11 citations for vandalism, unlawful assembly and assault on an officer.

Five people were injured in a shooting in Seattle not far from a demonstration and march there, but “while the shooting occurred near the demonstration, it was not connected,” said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a Seattle police spokesman.

In Los Angeles, thousands of protesters filled the streets, including some who burned a giant paper-mache Trump head in front of City Hall and others who spray-painted profanity on the Los Angeles Times building and on vehicles used by news organizations.

Hundreds of other protesters blocked two highways in the area, backing up traffic for miles.

“I’m disappointed, shocked, a little panicked for my friends and family — for everything that will be unleashed, the hate that will be unleashed,” said Marion Hill, 22, who joined the throngs massed outside Trump Tower in downtown Chicago.

Rainbow flags and signs bearing messages such as “Time to Revolt” waved above the crowd, as protesters filled Michigan Avenue, cheered on by drivers who honked their horns in support. They then shut down Lake Shore Drive, the expressway along Lake Michigan.

A spokesman for the Chicago police, who estimated that at least 1,800 people were in the crowd at one point, said five people were arrested, mostly for obstructing traffic or trespassing.

In Washington, a crowd of hundreds of mostly young protesters gathered outside the White House for a candlelight vigil before marching to the Trump International Hotel a few blocks away on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“I’m trying to not be angry and trying to find more positive way to express my reactions. I don’t think anger will help,” said Kate Lasso, 57, who joined the crowd. But for the wife of a Guatemalan immigrant, who has relatives in the country without proper documentation, restraining emotion was difficult.

“They have kids,” she said. “They have been living here. What is going to happen to them?”

Tensions ran particularly high on college campuses. At American University in Washington, students burned American flags, and some shouted, “F— white America!”

In Austin, students at the University of Texas led a march for hours through the city Wednesday afternoon. As hundreds of protesters wove into traffic, bus drivers high-fived the students. Some in their vehicles got out and hugged them, tears streaming down their faces.

“Seeing this is everything,” said Jennifer Rowsey, 47, as the march passed by a coffee shop next to Austin City Hall, where she is the human resource manager. “I felt so isolated,” she said. “I don’t feel so alone now.”

Austin City Council member Greg Casar, the son of Mexican immigrants and a community organizer, joined the protesters when they passed him while he was giving an interview to local media.

“A lot of people are calling for healing,” he said. “I think we should reject that.”

He said that now is the time to support protesters, strikers and those engaged in other forms of civil disobedience. Casar said that if Trump comes to Austin, he will refuse to shake his hand. “If I have to go to jail” for protesting, he said, “I’ll go to jail.”

Rallies and marches ballooned in size as the night wore on. Portland police said about 2,000 people there marched through the city’s streets. In Philadelphia, about 700 people marched north through Center City and blocked intersections as they made their way up Broad Street, police said.

Police in Boston said as many as 4,000 people participated in a march there and remained orderly and peaceful, a spokesman said Thursday morning.

Many protesters who turned out said they were fearful that Trump would follow through with his pledge to deport undocumented immigrants.

“I just felt waking up today that I was waking up to a whole new world, to a nightmare for my parents and people I care about and love,” said Tony, a 23-year-old line cook who declined to give his last name as he marched in Chicago, carrying his 6-year-old daughter on his shoulders.

“There’s so much heartache,” he said. “It’s a bad time to be a Muslim or an illegal citizen in this country.”

In Santa Ana., Calif., Lucy Dominguez, 37, and her husband, Oliver Lopez, 33, had their arms around one another and held a sign reading, “Peace.”

“I came to stand up with the people. To stand up with my people, the Latino community,” she said. “I chose the peace sign because we need peace in this moment.”

During his victory speech early Wednesday — his only public remarks since winning — Trump spoke about reconciliation following the bitter campaign, saying that it was “time for America to bind the wounds of division.”

Later Wednesday, this tone was echoed by Clinton and President Obama, who said they were also disappointed after an Election Day that ended with Republicans in control of both the legislative and executive branches of government.

Clinton said the campaign showed that “our nation is more deeply divided that we thought,” but she told her supporters: “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

But the anger and grief that continued into the early hours of Thursday suggested that many fear what Trump’s election means going forward.

“He’s going to lead us to a very dark place for women,” said Samantha Sylverne, a 19-year-old student. She marched in Chicago carrying a sign scrawled on a cardboard box that read, “Amerikkka elected a rapist.”

In New York, Brandon Ramos, 21, said the election result “feels like a nightmare.”

Kari Lydersen reported from Chicago. Eva Ruth Moravec in Austin; Katie Zezima in Santa Ana, Calif.; Philip Bump, Ryan Carey-Mahoney, Kayla Epstein and Anne Gearan in New York; and Fenit Nirappil and Juliet Eilperin in Washington contributed to this report, which has been updated since it was published. 

Further reading:

“Something is happening,” Trump said. He was right.

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