Thousands March In U.S. Cities Against Trump Presidency

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NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES | Demonstrators marched again on Saturday in cities across the United States to protest against President-elect Donald Trump, who they say will threaten their civil and human rights, a day after a protester was shot in Portland, Oregon.

Rallies were scheduled throughout the day in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where organizers said they hoped to continue the momentum after several nights of demonstrations triggered by the real-estate mogul’s surprise win in Tuesday’s presidential election.

Chanting slogans including “Not my president!”, several thousand protesters marched peacefully up New York City’s Fifth Avenue past its glitzy store fronts before filling the streets around Trump Tower, the president-elect’s skyscraper home.

“We’re horrified the country has elected an incredibly unqualified, misogynist, racist on a platform that was just totally hateful,” said Mary Florin-McBride, 62, a retired banker from New York who held a sign reading, “No Fascism in America.”

There were also demonstrations in Chicago and Los Angeles, where several thousand protesters gathered beneath MacArthur Park’s palm trees holding placards including “Dump Trump” and “Minorities Matter,” before marching toward downtown.

Some of the demonstrators waved American, Mexican and rainbow flags. Holding a “Keep Love Legal” sign, 25-year-old Los Angeles resident Alex Seedman called Trump a fascist.

“I’m afraid he will repeal marriage equality,” said Seedman. “I’m gay and I have a lot of friends who are black and Latino and who are afraid for their lives.”

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About 100,000 people had indicated on Facebook that they were planning to attend or were interested in the events in the three cities. Organizers stressed that violence and vandalism would not be tolerated.

Hours before Saturday’s rallies began, a protester in Portland was shot as he took part in a march across the Morrison Bridge. He is expected to live, but the suspect remains at large, police said.

Since Trump’s victory, demonstrators in several cities have decried the Republican’s campaign promises to restrict immigration and register Muslims, as well as allegations that the former reality-TV star sexually abused women.

The demonstrations so far have been largely peaceful, although in Portland protesters smashed store windows, sprayed graffiti and damaged cars as they clashed with police who used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

Dozens of protesters have been arrested and a handful of police injured.

The demonstrations since the election have been impromptu affairs, quickly organized by young Americans with a diverse array of backgrounds and agendas.

Protesters were at their most numerous and intense in the rallies immediately following the election before getting smaller in scale. Saturday’s protests, however, were expected to be bigger due to the weekend.

As activists look to the next four years with Trump in the White House while his party controls both houses of Congress, some are preparing for what they hope will be the nation’s most enduring demonstrations since the Occupy Wall Street movement. [nL1N1DC1NZ]

Trump initially denounced the protests and said they were “incited” by the media, but reversed course on Friday and praised the demonstrators’ “passion for our great country.”

“We will all come together and be proud!” Trump said on Twitter.

Many voters were shocked by the result, after opinion polls failed to predict a win for Trump.

Some 60.3 million people voted for Trump, fewer than the 60.8 million who cast ballots for Clinton. But Trump’s strong showing in swing states, including Michigan, meant he triumphed in the Electoral College that ultimately picks the president.

The president-elect’s biggest support base was the broad middle of the country, from the Heartland through the Rust Belt, with voters in states that had long supported Democrats choosing Trump after he promised to end corruption in Washington D.C., and bring back jobs by renegotiating international trade deals.

By Alexander Besant and Olga Grigoryants | Sat Nov 12, 2016 | 5:19pm EST

(Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Chizu Nomiyama and Bernard Orr)

 
 

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