Anti-Trump activists launched impromptu protests criticizing the racism, sexism and xenophobia that they say the president-elect has made mainstream
Donald Trump’s unexpected win ignited massive protests that continued on the day after a long election night, with thousands of demonstrators shutting down major streets and surrounding the real estate mogul’s buildings in cities across America.
As US voters and international leaders began to come to terms with the reality of a Republican presidency led by the former reality television star, anti-Trump activists launched impromptu protests criticizing the racism, sexism and xenophobia that they say the president-elect has made mainstream.
The demonstrations – including in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco – swelled and drew large police responses as election tallies on Wednesday signaled that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton appeared to have won the popular vote, despite losing the electoral college and presidential race.
As night fell in midtown Manhattan, activists took over Sixth Avenue and marched by Trump Tower, carrying signs that read “Not my president”, “She got more votes” and “Hands off my pussy”, a reference to leaked audio that showed Trump bragging that he could sexually assault women because of his fame.
Samantha Conors, 24, marches with demonstrators against Donald Trump in Philadelphia.
As “Fuck Donald Trump!” cries escalated around him, Joe Gordon, a 19-year-old from Brooklyn, said that he, along with thousands of other protestors, “despise” Trump, who “represents hatred, corruption and intolerance”.
Gordon, who carried a sign that said “Supporting Trump is supporting hate”, added that he saw the election of Trump as a watershed moment for leftwing activism.
“It’s an awareness shift,” Gordon said, adding that if Clinton had won, “it likely would have been more of the same”. Trump’s victory, he said, “will make people wake up”.
Thousands also took to the streets Wednesday evening in Chicago, a Democratic city that overwhelmingly supported Clinton, according to initial polls.
Gathering for what activists called an “emergency Trump protest”, demonstrators virtually shut down the city during rush hour traffic as they shouted, “Trump is not my president.”
“I’m incredibly upset. I’m angry,” said Parker Smith as she held a sign stating “My Body, My Choice” outside the president-elect’s Chicago hotel tower. “This has been just a lot to deal with and I’m very worried for the next four years.”
While Chicago has gained international attention for these kinds of demonstrations in recent years – tied to the Black Lives Matter movement against police violence – Wednesday’s protests demonstration drew a diverse group of voters united in their anger at Trump.
As protesters stood their ground for hours outside of the luxury building, the chants touched on a broad array of subjects from black lives to LGBT rights to women’s health, reflecting a broad spectrum of liberal voters Trump has offended during his campaign.
“This is the America I identify with,” said protester Nicole Endenova, a young woman of color, as she stared at the crowds.
People in New York participate in a protest against the election of Donald Trump as president
Some protesters brought a Mexican flag, waving outside of the tower while screaming “Fuck your wall”, referring to Trump’s controversial promise to build a wall on the border.
Protests also launched in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Oregon and other states in regions throughout the US.
As helicopters followed the march from above, while police shielded Trump Tower, some protesters shouted, “We want a president, not a fucking racist!”
Several larger demonstrations throughout the day were led by high school and college students, including a massive walkout at a high school in Berkeley, California.
Protests first launched early Wednesday morning on the west coast immediately after Trump told his supporters in New York City that Clinton had called him to concede.
“People are fucking bummed. People are disgusted,” said Eddie Gutierrez, 33, who joined the late-night protests in Oakland, California after Trump declared victory. “They’ve lost faith in the fucking system.”
Protesters have brought the Mexican flag to wave outside of the tower while screaming: fuck your wall
By evening time on the west coast, large rallies began to emerge in Seattle and Oakland, organized under the hashtag #NotMyPresident.
In Seattle, city councilwoman Kshama Sawant, a socialist politician and avid Bernie Sanders supporter during the presidential primaries, told a crowd of activists Wednesday night that people should plan to disrupt Trump’s inauguration in January.
“We are going to shut it down,” she said.