US Election: Thousands Protest against Trump’s Emergence

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Zacheaus Somorin in Washington DC with agency report

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:

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.