As President-elect Donald Trump’s administration begins taking shape, thousands poured onto the streets of a divided nation again Saturday to express their frustration at the stunning election result.
From New York to Los Angeles, demonstrators have marched in various American cities for four nights since Trump’s unexpected victory Tuesday capped an acrimonious campaign.
While largely peaceful, the protests have resulted in blocked highways and bridges, arrests during clashes with police and the early Saturday shooting of a man at a march in Portland, Oregon.
In Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park, the site of immigrant rights protests over the years, demonstrators took turns Saturday swatting a stick at a piñata resembling Trump.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, praised the protesters.
“I’ve been proud of my city, proud of students out there and people who are exercising their patriotic right,” he told CNN Saturday.
“I know the headlines are always the few people who jump onto a freeway or two or three people who spray paint something. We’ll always deal with lawless behavior. The main story is that Americans, not just in my city but around the country, are saying we want to continue to embrace people regardless of how they worship God, who they love, where they live or even immigration status.”
In New York, angry crowds — some carrying signs with messages such as “Not my president” — marched to the President-elect’s doorstep, Trump Tower, where he lives and works.
For part of the march up Fifth Avenue, they chanted, “Donald Trump go away. Racist — sexist — anti-gay.”
Outside the gleaming tower, demonstrators at one point booed at people standing on balconies.
“Words can’t describe how disgusted I am that he was elected over Hillary (Clinton),” Shoshi “Rabin” Rabinowitz said Friday night, explaining her motivation for being near Trump Tower.
Fellow protester Nick Truesdale said, “I think he needs to really address all the divisive, hateful things he’s said in the past and recant them, denounce them.”
Reacting to this week’s demonstrations, Trump tweeted Thursday night, “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”
The President-elect appeared 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
Among the cities that were scenes of Friday protests were Los Angeles; New Haven, Connecticut; Orlando; Chicago; Boston; Asheville, North Carolina; Nashville; and Columbus, Ohio. There were also marches at schools in Denver and Omaha, Nebraska.
Groups 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!!”
The protests were mostly peaceful, but some were marred by violence.
In Portland, a man was injured in a shooting early Saturday on the Morrison Bridge during a protest march.
The suspect was believed to be in a vehicle on the bridge when a confrontation unfolded with a member of the crowd, Portland police said in a statement. The suspect got out of the vehicle and fired multiple shots before fleeing.
The victim’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he was treated at a hospital.
Protesters also blocked the street outside Portland City Hall on Friday. Police tried to disperse the demonstrators, but tensions remained high.
“Burning projectiles being thrown at officers,” police posted on their Twitter page Friday night.
City officials earlier 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, police said.
“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 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.”
Some arrests were made in Los Angeles, but the police department did not immediately provide details on the number arrested.
In Chicago, police told CNN they are investigating an incident this week in which a group of people reportedly beat a man while yelling that he voted for Trump.
Cell phone video captured the man in a minor traffic accident Wednesday on Chicago’s West Side.
The 49-year-old driver, David Wilcox, told WGN-TV that a car scraped the side of his vehicle as he was about to make a left turn at a busy intersection.
“I heard a lady yell something about ‘that guy is one of those Trump supporters,’ ” Wilcox told the station. “I turned and said to her, ‘That has nothing to do with this.'”
The situation then apparently escalated as bystanders yelled anti-Trump taunts at Wilcox. The video shows Wilcox being knocked to the pavement, repeatedly being punched and kicked as a handful of people gather around him.
In Miami, hundreds 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 CNN affiliate WSVN-TV showed.
Some protesters walked onto Interstate 95 and surrounded cars, bringing four lanes of traffic to a standstill, according to the WSVN footage.
In Iowa City, Iowa, about 75 protesters shut down I-80 briefly, police Sgt. Chris Akers 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 law enforcement officers turned them back. No arrests were made.
An American flag was burned near Georgia’s state Capitol, something that didn’t please protesters Sanjay and Akshita Mendonca, who say they voted for Clinton.
“The current situation is not good for us and our children,” said Sanjay Mendonca, 40. “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
After a presidential campaign noted for Trump’s heated rhetoric on undocumented Mexican immigrants, crowds gathered to build bonds during the US-Mexico 2018 World Cup qualifier game Friday in Columbus, Ohio.
US soccer fans put politics aside as they greeted Mexican fans with high-fives.
“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.