WASHINGTON, Nov 10 – Protesters burned a giant orange-haired head of Donald Trump in effigy, lit fires ins the streets and blocked traffic lanes late Wednesday as rage over the billionaire’s election victory spilled onto the streets of US cities. From New York to Los Angeles, thousands of people in around 10 cities rallied against the president-elect a day after his stunning win, some carrying signs declaiming “Not our President” and “Love trumps hate.”
Most of the rallies were peaceful. Outside Trump’s residence in Trump Tower on New York’s upscale Fifth Avenue, protesters gathered with signs reading “Dump Trump”. Police said they had arrested 15 people there, the New York Times reported. Protesters playing a game of cat and mouse with police blocked a major highway near downtown Los Angeles in a demonstration that continued into the wee hours of Thursday, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Demonstrators outside City Hall there also hoisted a giant, box-shaped likeness of Trump’s head, topped with bright orange hair, into the street, and set it ablaze. In Washington, several hundred gathered in front of the White House for a candlelight vigil to decry what they called Trump’s racism, sexism and xenophobia, carrying signs reading “We have a voice!” and “Education for all!”
“People are justly frightened. We are here because in these darkest moments, we are not alone,” one of its organizers, Ben Wikler, director of the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org told the crowd, before leading chants of “We are not alone!” Protests were also held in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland and other cities.
In Oakland, California, some 7,000 people by police estimates lit fires in the street and stood around them chanting. Some threw bottles and firecrackers at police, and several officers were injured, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson told CNN. She said two police cars also were burned. Ethan Miller of the workers’ rights group Jobs with Justice said the Washington vigil was meant to show that civil society was resilient.
“It’s a hard time for a lot of Americans. We saw a campaign that was filled with racism and misogyny and whole host of other terrible tactics that ultimately were successful for winning the electoral college. But we’re not going to let a Donald Trump presidency stop the progress in this country,” he told AFP.
Electoral system ‘broken’
In New York, demonstrators holding signs saying “Love Trumps Hate” and “Trump Grabbed America by the P****!” marched uptown from Union Square to chant in front of Trump Tower. “The electoral college is broken. I think it definitely needs to be reformed…,” protester Nicholas Forker said of the US indirect voting system.
In Chicago, several thousand people gathered around another Trump Tower, blocking downtown traffic. A counter-protest gathered on the other side of the building. Across the country, high school and college students also staged campus demonstrations and walkouts from classes. In Oregon, demonstrators blocked traffic in downtown Portland, forcing a delay on two light-rail lines.
The crowd there grew to about 300 people, local reports said, including some who sat in the middle of a road to block traffic. Others burned US flags. In Pennsylvania, hundreds of University of Pittsburgh students marched through the streets. The rallies followed protests overnight on Tuesday as voting results were being tallied, when at least one person was seriously injured in Oakland, California, where demonstrators broke store windows and set garbage alight. — AFP