Thousands took to the streets of cities across the United States late Friday and early Saturday as anti-Donald Trump protests saw highways and interstates blocked, numerous arrests — and a shooting at a march in Portland, Oregon.
Angry crowds gathered once again outside the 58-story Trump Tower, the President-elect’s home in New York. Protester Shoshi “Rabin” Rabinowitz explained her motivation for being there: “Words can’t describe how disgusted I am that he was elected over Hillary (Clinton),” she said.
“I think he needs to really address all the divisive, hateful things he’s said in the past and recant them, denounce them,” said fellow New York protester Nick Truesdale.
There have been nightly protests since Trump’s election and more demonstrations are expected through the weekend.
Trump has tweeted about the protests. On Thursday night he said, “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”
He was more conciliatory Friday morning, saying: “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!”
Protests across US
On Friday protests were held in several cities including Los Angeles, New Haven, Connecticut; Orlando, Florida; Chicago; Boston; Asheville, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Columbus, Ohio; and at high schools in Denver and Omaha.
Arrests were made in Los Angeles — but the police department was not able to immediately provide the number of people arrested.
Groups in that city and elsewhere across the country are angry about policies Trump has promised to enforce concerning immigration, the environment, LGBT rights and other issues.
The Facebook page for a protest planned in Burlington, Vermont, said: “Come protest the xenophobia, racism, homophobia, misogyny,and climate science denial of the Trump/Pence regime!! Come show your support for our Muslim, queer, immigrant, and female family!!”
In Portland Oregon, a man was injured in a shooting on the Morrison Bridge during a protest march early Saturday morning.
The suspect was believed to be in a vehicle on the bridge when a confrontation unfolded with someone in the crowd, Portland Police said in a news release. The suspect got out of the vehicle and fired multiple shots before fleeing the scene. The victim’s injuries were not life threatening — and he was treated at a local hospital. Witnesses described the shooter as an African-American male in his late teens.
Protesters also blocked the street outside Portland’s City Hall on Friday. As the sun set on the crowd, police tried to disperse the protestors but tensions remained high.
“Burning projectiles being thrown at officers,” a tweet posted on the police department’s Twitter page Friday evening said.
Earlier in the day, city officials appealed for calm after a Thursday night protest by about 4,000 people turned violent. Windows on businesses were broken and a car dealership was vandalized. Twenty-six people were arrested.
“We had some anarchists who hijacked that event and did terrible damage to our neighbors and friends,” Mayor Charlie Hales said at a news conference. “They spread violence and fear and detracted from the legitimate exercise of those First Amendment rights.”
In Boston, hundreds of people gathered on Boston Common for a “Love Rally in the Common.” Organizers said on Facebook: “Let’s unite together to peacefully show all of those whom Donald Trump or his supporters have put down that we still care about them, and to give them an opportunity to have their voices be heard.”
In Miami, hundreds of people walked down Biscayne Boulevard chanting “Love Trumps Hate” and carrying signs with messages such as “How many judges will it take to ruin America?” video from WSVN showed.
Some protesters walked onto Interstate 95 and surrounded cars, forcing four lanes of traffic to a standstill, WSVN video showed.
Interstate 80 in Iowa City, Iowa, was shut down briefly by about 75 protesters, Sgt. Chris Akers with the Iowa City Police Department said. Nobody was arrested, he said.
In Dallas, protesters dragged and kicked a Trump piñata through the streets. A store window was reportedly smashed.
American flag burned
In Atlanta, about 500 people marched downtown, said Atlanta Police spokesman Lukasz Sajdak. They tried to walk onto a highway but were turned back by law enforcement officers who blocked their way. No arrests were made.
An American flag was burned near the Georgia State Capitol building, something that didn’t please protesters Sanjay Mendonca and Akshita Mendonca. Aged 40 and 39, respectively, they voted for Hillary Clinton.
“The current situation is not good for us and our children,” Sanjay said. “I’m here for my kids because I don’t want them to think we didn’t do something … A lot of people feel hopeless right now.”
When asked why he was protesting, 20-year-old Alex Hariri said, “Trump does not support anyone in the community I know. I’m a gay Middle Eastern man. He’s against everything I am.”
US vs Mexico Soccer Game
Despite Trump’s repeated threats targeting undocumented Mexican migrants, crowds gathered to build bonds not walls during the US-Mexico 2018 World Cup qualifier game on Friday.
US soccer fans put politics aside as they greeted Mexico fans with high fives.
“Good luck, sorry about Trump, sorry,” one group of US fans said to another group of Mexican fans.
“The atmosphere is absolutely amazing,” Christian Couch said. “It’s a sport that we all love and that’s why we are here. I don’t think politics should play a part in this game.”
Mexico beat the US 2-1.
Cell phone video captured a man involved in a traffic accident on Chicago’s West Side being attacked by people yelling that he voted for Trump. “You voted Trump!,” one attacker yells at the 49-year-old driver, David Wilcox. Wilcox said a car scraped the side of his vehicle as he was about to make a left turn at a busy intersection on Wednesday.
“I heard a lady yell something about ‘that guy is one of those Trump supporters’,” Wilcox told WGN. “I turned and said to her ‘that has nothing to do with this.'”
The situation escalated from there as bystanders yelled anti-Trump taunts at Wilcox — who told WGN that there is no way the crowd could have known who he had voted for.
In the video, Wilcox is seen being knocked to the pavement, repeatedly punched and kicked as a handful of people gather around him. A police investigation is ongoing.