Outrage and fear fuel ongoing anti-Trump protests
Thousands across America attend ‘love rallies’ to publicly object to the election of billionaire businessman
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Spurred by fear and outrage, protesters around the country rallied and marched Friday as they have done daily since Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.
The spirited demonstrations on college campuses and along downtown streets were mostly peaceful following previous outbreaks of window-smashing and fire-setting.
Organizers said several thousand people gathered on Boston Common to publicly object to the election of Trump. The evening event was billed as a rally for love and peace rather than a protest.
Hundreds of people attended another “love rally” in Washington Square Park in Manhattan.
Leslie Holmes, 65, a website developer from Wilton, Connecticut, took an hour-long train ride to the demonstration — her first protest since the 1970s, when she hit the streets of San Francisco to oppose the Vietnam War.
She described herself as an armchair liberal but declared, “I’m not going to be armchair anymore.”
“I don’t want to live in a country where my friends aren’t included, and my friends are fearful, and my children are going to grow up in a world that’s frightening, and my granddaughters can look forward to being excluded from jobs and politics and fulfilling their potential, so I’m here for them,” she said.
In Tennessee, Vanderbilt University students sang civil rights songs and marched through campus across a Nashville street, temporarily blocking traffic.
In Chicago, multiple groups planned protests through Saturday.
Nadia Gavino, 25, learned about the rallies on Twitter and protested Thursday evening. Gavino, whose father is from Peru and whose mother is of Mexican and Lithuanian heritage, said she took Trump’s harshest statements about immigrants and Latinos personally.
“I obviously agree that he’s racist, he’s sexist, he’s phobic, he’s misogynistic. He’s all these things you don’t want in a leader,” she said.
Ashley Lynne Nagel, 27, said she joined a Thursday night demonstration in Denver.
“I have a leader I fear for the first time in my life,” said Nagel, a Bernie Sanders supporter who voted for Hillary Clinton.
“It’s not that we’re sore losers,” she said. “It’s that we are genuinely upset, angry, terrified that a platform based off of racism, xenophobia and homophobia has become so powerful and now has complete control of our representation.”
Demonstrations also were planned Saturday in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and other areas.
Previous demonstrations drew thousands of people in New York, Los Angeles and other large urban centers. The largely peaceful protests were overshadowed by sporadic episodes of vandalism, violence and street-blocking.
On Thursday night, some marchers in Portland, Oregon lit firecrackers, set small fires and used rocks and baseball bats to break the glass of businesses and cars parked at dealerships. Police used pepper spray and flash-bang devices to force people to disperse and made more than two dozen arrests.
A protest organizer decried the vandalism and said the group planned to help clean up.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.