Thousands of angry Americans took to the streets of New York City, Chicago and other major cities in demonstrations against the election of Republican candidate Donald J. Trump to the United States presidency.
Protesters clustered at the Trump Tower building, in Columbus Circle and other high-profile Manhattan sites chanting “not my president.” They waved signs in support of immigrants, LGBTQ communities and the human rights of other populations they say Trump’s election will compromise. The crowds shouted slogans in support of women and people of color, and called Trump racist and sexist.
Police in New York City threatened protesters with arrest as the size of the crowds continued to swell Wednesday evening, although no significant violence was reported early in the ongoing demonstrations. Some protests, such as those in Oakland, California, late Tuesday were marked by vandalism and fires.
Organizers said they were outraged that although Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton received the most popular votes – she held a narrow 0.2 percent edge over Trump – the U.S. electoral system gives Trump the win.
Simply put, the U.S. system tallies citizen votes and then awards a block of designated electoral votes on the basis of individual states, which means that it is technically possible for one candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election based on how votes are distributed.
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought,” Clinton said in her concession speech earlier in the day. Those divisions became obvious in the coast-to-coast protests.
In Chicago, the city’s sizable Latino population – threatened by Trump’s hard stance on immigration and his campaign claims that they are rapists and criminals – joined massive crowds marching to a hotel owned by the candidate. Trump has real estate holdings across the U.S. and around the globe, including properties in Egypt and South Africa.
The widespread protests included an anti-Trump presence in Boston, where police estimated a crowd of 10,000 people, to Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Philadelphia. From the University of Texas at Austin to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, students also walked out of classes to protest the candidate whose right-wing policies they reject.
Neither Trump nor Clinton had issued a public statement calling for calm at the time of this writing.
Image: New York City