One Person Shot at Anti-Trump Rally in Oregon
Protests against Donald Trump’s presidential election turned violent in the Pacific Coast city of Portland, Oregon early Saturday amid fears a Trump presidency will erode Americans’ civil rights. Demonstration organizers say more rallies are planned in the coming days in several cities across the United States.
Hundreds of protesters marched Friday through the streets of Portand, disrupting traffic and spray painting graffiti.
Portland police used tear gas and flash-bang grenades on protesters in response to demonstrators throwing burning projectiles at officers. Authorities said vandalism and assault had taken place during the rally, which organizers had billed as peaceful earlier in the day.
One demonstrator was shot in the leg early Saturday, according to witnesses. It was not immediately clear who shot the protester. No immediate details about the injured person have been released.
Police down the coast in Los Angeles said they detained 185 people, many of them for trying to blockade the city’s crowded auto freeways.
In New York, hundreds of people gathered in Washington Square Park for a “love rally” late Friday, then set out for Manhattan’s Union Square, a traditional destination for political marches, about one kilometer away. They held signs saying “Love will always trump hate” and chanted “Not my president” as they walked.
In midtown Manhattan, more demonstrators gathered near President-elect Trump’s current residence, a luxury triplex apartment in one of the city’s most exclusive shopping districts. The Trump Tower apartment building is now protected by a cordon of heavy trucks loaded with sand, and demonstrators are being kept a block away.
In Philadelphia, about 100 students from Temple University marched from their campus to City Hall to voice their concern that Trump will not unite, but rather divide the country.
Protesters blocked highways
Hundreds of people also gathered for an anti-Trump rally in Miami, where they chanted “No racists USA.” A portion of that group went off to blockade a busy highway that cuts through the south Florida city, causing traffic jams that took hours to clear.
Trump supporter Nicolas Quirico was traveling from South Beach to Miami. His car was among hundreds stopped when protesters blocked Interstate 395.
“Trump will be our president. There is no way around that, and the sooner people grasp that, the better off we will be,” he said. “There is a difference between a peaceful protest and standing in a major highway backing up traffic for 5 miles. This is wrong.”
Other demonstrations were held Friday in Atlanta, where traffic was disrupted, and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
More than 1,000 protesters took to the streets across California after night fell, including downtown Los Angeles, where more than 200 were arrested a night earlier. In Bakersfield, where Trump is far more popular than in most of the state, some held signs reading “Anti-Trump, Pro-USA.”
Small protests also were held in Detroit; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Olympia, Washington and Iowa City.
Trump has responded to the protests with two notes on Twitter that sent a mixed message about his reaction. Late Thursday, he complained that “professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”
Perhaps responding to those who thought his initial message was un-presidential or inappropriate, he tweeted Friday: “Love the fact that small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud.”
More demonstrations to come
Further anti-Trump rallies are planned for Saturday in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
The wave of protests began just hours after Trump’s stunning upset victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was confirmed early Wednesday, and demonstrations have sprung up daily since then in more than a dozen U.S. cities.
Some activists burned effigies of Trump or American flags, but most of the rallies were relatively peaceful. However, demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, in Los Angeles and several northern California cities near San Francisco turned violent, with protesters setting fires and clashing with police.
In Portland on Friday, where some demonstrators threw rocks at police and broke store windows, police said they were faced with a riot, and they arrested more than 25 people. Police in Los Angeles said they detained 185 people, many of them for trying to blockade the city’s crowded auto freeways.
‘Immigrants welcome here!’
Demonstrators in all of these locations angrily recalled some of Trump’s inflammatory and controversial comments during his campaign, about immigrants, Muslims and women. One of the slogans they have chanted is: “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here.”
Many of the protesters have said they intend to continue their rallies and demonstrations during the weeks ahead, even until the new president’s inauguration at the U.S. Capitol January 20.
Meanwhile, reports also are emerging of racist incidents at a number of U.S. schools and universities, including chants of “white power,” anti-black graffiti and in some cases physical clashes.
The Associated Press reported it has identified more than 20 such incidents since Election Day, many involving people too young to have voted in the presidential race.
At the University of New Mexico, a young engineering student, a Muslim, said a man came up behind her while she was studying and tried to snatch her hijab headscarf.
AP quoted Oren Segal of the Anti-Defamation League, director of an office that tracks extremism around the country, as saying the turbulent and often extreme rhetoric during the presidential campaign may have triggered such incidents. Now that the campaign is over, he said, “the impact of what [those with white-supremacist leanings] is not just going to go away.”
Minority students at a secondary school in Gurnee, Illinois, found “whites only” scrawled on a bathroom door, AP reported, and students at a middle school in Royal Oak, Michigan, were filmed chanting “build a wall!” — a reference to Trump’s emotive proposals to limit immigration from Mexico — as they sat in the school cafeteria.
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