Thousands of protesters swarmed the streets of several major cities Wednesday to voice their opposition to Donald Trump, who less than 24 hours earlier stunned the world to become the 45th person elected president of the United States.
Protesters in Chicago chanted “Not my president” and “F— Trump” outside Trump International Hotel & Tower in what seemed like a grand uprising — one in which minority groups that have felt targeted by Trump over the past 18 months hoped to send a direct message to the president-elect.
“I’m here today because I’m speechless at what happened,” Rebecca Gomez, 22, told NBC News. “I’m Mexican, but I was born in the United States. I’m afraid people won’t care about that, though. I’m afraid they will be violent.”
In New York, thousands of protesters could be heard chanting and banging drums as they marched past Rockefeller Center up Sixth Avenue, barely even acknowledging the rain.
“It’s horrible that we have to do this,” said Trevor Wheeler, 18, of North Dakota, who now lives in New York City. “I identify as a queer person. I will most likely lose my right to get married. … I will not be able to present myself the way I want to.”
Some chanted “Racist, sexist, anti-gay! Donald Trump must go away!” and “F— your wall!”
At least 30 people were arrested, NBC New York reported, quoting police. Most of the arrests appeared to be for disorderly conduct.
Besides New York and Chicago, protests took place in many other cities Wednesday:
- More than one hundred people shut down a major highway through downtown Los Angeles Wednesday night NBC Los Angeles reported.
- A crowd that police estimated at several thousand marched Wednesday night through downtown Seattle chanting “not my president” and carrying signs reading “Fight Racism” and “Impeach Drumpy,” NBC station KING reported.
- Dozens of young people chanting “Hey hey! Ho ho! White supremacy’s got to go!” burned a U.S. flag on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C., NBC Washington reported.
- At Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California, which has significant populations of Hispanics and African-Americans, students staged a walkoutwhile chanting “Love trumps hate” and “Not our president.”
- In the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, hundreds of protesters chanting “No Trump” and “Not My President” marched down Bond Boulevard on Wednesday night bearing a banner reading, “We must stand together against fascism,” NBC station WPXI reported.
- Protesters shut down Interstate 5 in both directions in Portland, Ore., the Oregon Transportation Department said. One protester spray-painted “Impeach” on the side of Moda Center, home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, NBC station KGW reported.
- More than 400 people chanting anti-Trump slogans clogged the streets of downtown Austin, Texas, and marched to the state Capitol, NBC station KXANreported.
- Scores of students walked out of classes at historically black Fisk University to march through the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, NBC station WSMVreported. The group sat down at the intersection of Charlotte Pike and 6th Avenue and shouted, “This is what community looks like.”
Hundreds of sticky notes plastered the walls of New York subway stations Wednesday with messages of support and dissent.
At various points during his campaign, Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslims’ entering the country, vowed to forcibly remove millions of undocumented immigrants from the United States and spoke of African-Americans‘ communities as crime-ridden and bleak, among other comments.
He also said he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would reverse Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark decision that legalized marriage equality across the country.
Although Trump performed betterthan Mitt Romney did in 2012 among black and Hispanic voters, the business mogul’s win metastasized longstanding apprehensions among many Latinos, Muslims, African-Americans and members of the LGBTQ community, among others who say they don’t know what the future holds for them.
For example, 68 percent of black voters told NBC News during exit polls that they would feel “scared” if Trump won, compared to 30 percent of white voters. And despite Trump’s attempt to peel away LGBTQ voters with targeted appeals in speeches and even campaign merchandise, many in the demographic viewed those efforts with suspicion, some activists say.
Some groups are banding to use Trump’s election as an opportunity to work harder.
“The next four years are going to be hard for all of us, but this is an unprecedented chance for all of us to fight as one,” said Jonathan Lovitz, a senior vice president of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. “Think of the possibilities when all minorities stand together.”
“The resistance begins today,” Ben Jealous, past president of the NAACP, wrote in a column for NBC News.
“We must build the most robust movements we have ever known to defend our rights and those of our neighbors, protect our planet, end poverty, and shift the world away from war and towards peace,” he wrote.