NEW YORK: Thousands of people protested across the United States on Wednesday over Republican Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election, blasting his campaign rhetoric around immigrants, Muslims and other groups.
On Wednesday evening, thousands of protesters thronged streets in midtown Manhattan while at a park further downtown hundreds who had gathered screamed “Not my president.”
In Chicago, roughly 1,000 people attempted to gather outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower downtown while chanting phrases like “No Trump! No KKK! No racist USA.” Chicago police closed roads in the area, blocking the demonstrators’ path.
“I’m just really terrified about what is happening in this country,” said 22-year-old Adriana Rizzo, who was holding a sign that read: “Enjoy your rights while you can.”
Protesters railed against Trump’s marquee campaign pledge to build a wall along the border with Mexico to keep out undocumented immigrants and other policies perceived as affecting people of colour.
“I’m particularly concerned about the rise of white nationalism and this is to show my support against that type of thing,” Rizzo said.
A representative of the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the protests. In his victory speech, however, Trump said he would be president for all Americans, saying, “It is time for us to come together as one united people.”
Earlier this month, after a Ku Klux Klan newspaper declared its support for Trump, his campaign rejected the support and said that “Mr. Trump and his campaign denounces hate in any form.”
Organisers also planned rallies in New York, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and elsewhere for Wednesday. In Austin, the Texas capital, about 400 people staged a march through the city’s streets, police said.
Earlier in the day, some 1,500 California students and teachers rallied in the courtyard of Berkeley High School, a San Francisco Bay Area city known for its progressive politics, before marching toward the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.
Hundreds of high school and college students walked out in protest in Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles and three other cities in the Bay Area, Richmond, El Cerrito and Oakland.
A predominantly Latino group of about 300 high school students walked out of classes on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles and marched to the steps of City Hall, where they held a brief but boisterous rally.
Chanting in Spanish, “The people united will never be defeated,” the group held signs with slogans such as “Not Supporting Racism, Not My President” and “Immigrants Make America Great.”
Many of those students were members of the “Dreamers” generation, children whose parents entered the United States with them illegally, school officials said, and who fear deportation under a Trump administration.
“A child should not live in fear that they will be deported,” said Stephanie Hipolito, one of the student organisers of the walkout. She said her parents are U.S. citizens.
There were no immediate reports of arrests or violence.
Wednesday’s demonstrations followed a night of protests around the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in the country in response to Trump’s political upset.
Demonstrators smashed storefront windows and set garbage and tires ablaze late Tuesday in downtown Oakland, California. A few miles away, students at the University of California, Berkeley protested on campus. – Reuters