By Alexander Besant and Olga Grigoryants
NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, Nov 13 – Chanting “Not my president” and “love trumps hate,” thousands of demonstrators took the streets in cities across the United States on Saturday to protest against President-elect Donald Trump, who they say threatens their civil and human rights.
The biggest rallies were in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where organizers said they wanted to build on the momentum after several nights of protests triggered by the real-estate mogul’s surprise win in Tuesday’s presidential election.
Police in Portland, Oregon, where a protester suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was shot early on Saturday, arrested at least 19 people late Saturday night.
In New York, several thousand protesters marched peacefully up Fifth Avenue past its glitzy store fronts, some already bearing Christmas decorations, before filling the streets at the foot of Trump Tower, the president-elect’s skyscraper home.
“We’re horrified the country has elected an incredibly unqualified, misogynist, racist on a platform that was just totally hateful,” said Mary Florin-McBride, 62, a retired banker from New York who held a sign reading, “No Fascism in America.”
There were also demonstrations in Chicago and Los Angeles, where several thousand protesters gathered beneath MacArthur Park’s palm trees holding placards including “Dump Trump” and “Minorities Matter,” before marching toward downtown.
Some of the demonstrators waved American, Mexican or rainbow flags. Holding a “Keep Love Legal” sign, 25-year-old gay Los Angeles resident Alex Seedman called Trump a fascist and feared he would repeal marriage equality.
Evelyne Werzola, 46, an immigrant from South Africa, said she had seen what a police state could do.
“I’ve seen people oppressed. And this is like a heartbreak of the American dream for me,” Werzola said. “So I’m fighting to keep what America has stood for alive.”
Raising fears of violence around the rallies, one protester in Portland suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was shot early on Saturday as he took part in a march across the Morrison Bridge by a young gunman who fled the scene.
Portland police said four people had been detained in connection with the shooting of the protester, and were believed to be criminal gang associates.
On Saturday night police said some protesters threw bottles and attacked a film crew. They began making arrests when the crowd refused to disperse.
PROTESTS LARGELY PEACEFUL
Since Trump’s victory, demonstrators in several cities have decried the Republican’s campaign promises to restrict immigration and register Muslims, as well as allegations that the former reality-TV star sexually abused women.
Dozens of protesters have been arrested and a handful of police injured.
The demonstrations since the election have been impromptu affairs, quickly organized, with weekend protests expected to swell in size.
Trump initially denounced the protests, saying they were “incited” by media, but later praised the demonstrators’ “passion for our great country.”
“We will all come together and be proud!” he said on Twitter.
Many voters were shocked by the outcome, after polls predicted a Clinton victory.
Some 60.3 million people voted for Trump, fewer than the 60.8 million who chose Clinton. But Trump’s strong showing in swing states including Michigan meant he triumphed in the Electoral College which ultimately picks the president.