Anti-Trump protests sweep the nation

Protesters across the country chant “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.”

Protestors against the election of President-elect Donald Trump gather in downtown Seattle. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Protestors against the election of President-elect Donald Trump gather in downtown Seattle. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

On Wednesday, both Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama urged supporters to accept the results of the election and support President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition to power.

On Wednesday night, however, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities across the country. They gathered outside city halls and Trump business properties to voice fear, outrage, and anger at the results of the election. Chanting “not my president” and slogans against racism, sexism, and xenophobia — common in the rhetoric and policies of Trump’s campaign — protesters vowed to organize and fight back.

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The eruption of shock, outrage, and action post-election is yet another parallel to Brexit. In that referendum earlier this year, a narrow majority of UK citizens voted to leave the European Union. That campaign, like Trump’s, relied heavily on anti-immigrant rhetoric and rising ethno-nationalism. Like Trump’s victory, the vote to “Leave” was unexpected, and after the votes were in, hate crimes and violence spiked across the UK.

After Brexit, protests and rallies, largely in urban areas and consisting of large numbers of young people, erupted after the results were in. Similarly, in the United States, exit polls show that young Americans — who will be most affected by some of Trump’s policies, such as his skepticism of climate change — overwhelmingly voted for his rival Hillary Clinton.

The right to peacefully gather in protest is one of the first civil rights enshrined in the constitution. And in America, political protest has a long and rich history.

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Perhaps most famously, protests over British taxes sparked the American Revolution. Abolitionist protests moved the needle on the public perception of slavery. Suffragists’ activism — including protests outside the White House — helped secure women the right to vote. In the 1960s, protests against Vietnam turned the ongoing war, which had been simmering for years, into a primary political issue. The Stonewall Riots launched the LGBT movement. And from Detroit to LA to Ferguson, protests against segregation and racially-biased policing have brought America’s badly-veiled racism into the harsh light.

So while the official election is over, these protests too play an important role in America’s democracy.

Washington, DC

In the city that will soon be President-Elect Trump’s home, a crowd of mostly young protesters gathered outside the White House for a candlelight vigil starting around 5pm. They then marched over to protest in front of the new Trump Tower hotel, which is a few blocks from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Later that night, a louder but still peaceful crowd gathered near the downtown U-Street metro and marched downtown along popular streets. As they made their way, chanting “not my president” and “no Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” people on the sidelines honked horns and cheered. The two protests converged in front of the Trump hotel.

New York City

Trump’s properties were also a target in New York, where according to estimates, the crowd of protesters around Trump Tower swelled to around 8,000. The protesters gathered in Union Square starting around 6pm and marched uptown more than 40 blocks to picket outside Trump’s midtown home.

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Outside the tower, protesters blocked off the streets and the busy intersection, according to reports, chanting “Not My President.” Some also chanted “pussy grabs back,” a reference to a 2005 tape of the President-Elect bragging about how his fame and power allows him to sexually assault women.

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The protest was peaceful, though police reportedly arrested around 65 people, mostly on disorderly conduct or obstruction charges.

Protesters gather on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York, in opposition of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory. The sign on the left is a quote from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s concession speech. CREDIT: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
Protesters gather on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York, in opposition of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory. The sign on the left is a quote from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s concession speech. CREDIT: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Boston

In Boston, over 4,000 gathered on Boston Common and marched to the State House.

Boston police told local media that there were no arrests, and that the protests were peaceful. Protesters carried signs such as “Women against Trump,” “Women’s rights are human rights,” and “Nightmare in America.”

Chicago

In Chicago, as many as 2,000 demonstrators gathered near Trump Tower and marched downtown. At one point the protest spilled across six lanes of traffic.

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Outside Trump Tower, a small group of Trump supporters shouted across the street at the anti-Trump crowd, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The protests were peaceful. Five people were arrested for charges such as obstructing traffic and trespassing.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, 29 people were arrested for impeding traffic when hundreds poured out over a freeway, blocking access.

More than 1,000 also gathered outside of City Hall, where protesters burned a giant Trump head in effigy. Many of the protesters carried signs protesting Trump’s racist and misogynistic rhetoric. Outside LA City Hall took up “support women of color” as a rallying cry.

California’s Bay

In the California’s Bay Area — where over 1,000 students got up and walked out of class in protest earlier in the day — protests swelled in both San Francisco and Oakland.

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In San Francisco, several thousand gathered downtown and marched towards the city’s Mission District. They chanted “not my president” and slogans such as “people united will never be divided.” Protesters carried signs reading “Stop Trump” and “Impeach.”

Protesters march in opposition of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in San Francisco. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Protesters march in opposition of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in San Francisco. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

In Oakland, over 7,000 protesters gathered, chanting “not our president” and “Pussy grabs back.” Over the course of the night, smaller groups splintered off of the larger, mostly peaceful protest and allegedly began vandalizing downtown businesses.

While the vast majority of the protesters were peaceful, some began throwing rocks and bottles at the Police, and two patrol cars were set on fire. About 30 protesters were arrested, and police used tear gas to break up the protest.

Seattle and Portland

In Seattle, several thousand marched through the downtown area, chanting “not my president” and carrying sings reading “fight racism” and “impeach Drumpy,” according to local media. It was the second night of protests; protesters also flooded the streets on Tuesday night after the race was called for Trump.

Protesters hold signs during a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Protesters hold signs during a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Protests also erupted elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. In Portland, Oregon, police estimated that over 2,000 protesters marched along freeways and roads to City Hall, briefly closing traffic. Police told local media that the protests were peaceful.

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Texas

The protests across the country weren’t just confined to northern states. In Austin, a liberal bastion in Texas, whose electoral votes went to Trump, hundreds marched from the University of Texas campus through downtown.

In Dallas, Texas, hundreds gathered in the streets.

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Kansas, Georgia, and Virginia

In Georgia, hundreds took to the streets in protest in Atlanta. A similar scene played out in Richmond, Virginia, where hundreds of anti-Trump protesters marched from the downtown Virginia Commonwealth University along the interstate. Ten protesters were arrested.

And in Kansas city, hundreds gathered outside city hall, where a diverse group expressed their discontent with the result of the election.

One of the protesters in Kansas, Jamie Jo Campbell, told the Kansas City Star that though she knew the protests wouldn’t change the election’s results, it was still important to make sure their voices were heard.

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“We just want people to know that we are not happy,” Campbell said. “We can’t change this and we are not happy about it, but at least hear us.”