Washington/New York: Demonstrators took to the streets across the country for a second day on Thursday to protest Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, voicing fears that the real estate mogul’s political triumph would deal a blow to civil rights.
On the East Coast, protests took place in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, while on the West Coast demonstrators rallied in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon.
The protests were for the most part peaceful and orderly, though there were scattered acts of civil disobedience.
Dozens in Minneapolis marched onto Interstate 94, blocking traffic in both directions for at least an hour, as police stood by. A smaller band of demonstrators briefly halted traffic on a busy Los Angeles freeway before police there cleared them off.
Baltimore police reported some 600 people marched through the downtown Inner Harbour area, with some blocking roadways by sitting in the street. Two people were arrested, police said.
In Denver, a crowd estimated by local media to number about 3,000 gathered on the grounds of the Colorado state capitol and marched through downtown in one of the largest of Thursday’s events. Hundreds paraded through Dallas.
Thursday’s gatherings were generally smaller in scale and less intense than Wednesday’s, while teenagers and young adults again dominated the racially mixed crowds.
Police erected special security barricades around two Trump marquee properties that have become focal points of the protests—the president-elect’s newly opened Pennsylvania Avenue hotel in Washington and the high-rise Trump Tower where he lives in Manhattan.
In the nation’s capital, about 100 protesters marched from the White House, where Trump had his first transition meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday, to the Trump International Hotel blocks away.
At least 200 people rallied there after dark, many of them chanting “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!” and carrying signs with such slogans as “Impeach Trump” and “Not my president.”
“I can’t support someone who supports so much bigotry and hatred. It’s heart-breaking,” said Joe Daniels, 25, of suburban Alexandria, Virginia.
‘Give Trump a chance’
Off to the side stood two Trump supporters carrying signs that read: “All We are Saying is Give Trump a Chance”—an apparent play on lyrics from the John Lennon song Give Peace a Chance.
Trump’s critics have expressed concern that his often-inflammatory campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims, women and others—combined with support he has drawn from the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists—could spark a wave of intolerance against various minorities.
Anti-Trump rallies were held in more than a dozen major US cities on Wednesday, with thousands turning out at the biggest gatherings—in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland, California. In Oakland, unruly protesters smashed windows, set fires and clashed with riot police.
A Trump campaign representative did not respond to requests for comment on the protests. Taking a far more conciliatory tone in his acceptance speech early Wednesday than he had at many of his campaign events, Trump vowed to be a president for all Americans.
Earlier this month, his campaign rejected a Klan newspaper endorsement, saying Trump “denounces hate in any form.”
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and a high-profile Trump supporter, called the demonstrators “a bunch of spoiled cry-babies,” in an interview with Fox News.
Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer urged the protesters to give Trump a chance once he is sworn into office in January.
“I hope that people get it out of their systems ... but then they give this man that was just elected very historically and his new vice president an opportunity to govern,” Spicer said in an interview on MSNBC.
In San Francisco, more than 1,000 high school students walked out of classes Thursday morning and marched through the city’s financial district carrying rainbow flags representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, Mexican flags and signs decrying Trump.
Civil rights groups and police reported an uptick in attacks on members of minority groups, in some cases carried out by people claiming to support Trump. There were also reports of Trump opponents lashing out violently against people carrying signs indicating support for Trump.
More anti-Trump demonstrations were planned for the weekend. Reuters