Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election sparked angry protests across America, with crowds marching through city streets, burning US flags, rallying at college campuses and staging walkouts at schools in an open rejection of the president-elect.
Students at several Bay Area high schools walked out in the middle of class and more than 1,000 young protesters gathered on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall, burning a giant Trump head in effigy and blocking traffic along Spring and 1st streets.
Thousands of protesters blocked traffic in downtown Portland, Ore., Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia, with some torching flags. Demonstrators in Oakland smashed windows at five businesses and ignited trash containers and tires, reports Los Angeles Times.
“I expected better of my electorate,” Vishal Singh, 23,” told LA Times. He said he was reeling in shock over the support for a man he saw as opposed to immigrants and LGBT rights. “I thought this country was different.”
In New York City, thousands clustered in front of Trump’s flagship building, the Trump Tower, and repeated a common refrain: “Not My President.”
The demonstrators were mostly young, and some said they came out spontaneously, hoping to vent their shock and disappointment at Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton.
“I’ve been sad and angry all day,” said Claire Mordowanec, 22, of Brooklyn. “If I didn’t come out, how would I explain to my kids one day that I didn’t stand up for what’s right?”
The unrest began early Wednesday, soon after Trump delivered his victory speech. Shortly after midnight on UCLA’s Westwood campus, an estimated 2,000 people rallied.
Rainbow flags and signs bearing messages such as “Time to Revolt” waved above the crowd, as protesters filled Michigan Avenue, cheered on by drivers who honked their support. They then shut down Lake Shore Drive, the expressway along Lake Michigan, reports Washington Post.
At Berkeley High School, about 1,500 students — half the entire student body — walked out of class after first period began at 8 a.m., Berkeley Unified School District officials said. School officials accompanied students as they marched, and there were no plans to discipline the students.
In downtown L.A. early Wednesday, a crowd gathered near City Hall and property was defaced, including a fence scrawled with graffiti insulting the incoming commander in chief.
According to Washington Post, most of the major demonstrations took place in urban centers in blue states Clinton won Tuesday — highlighting the demographic divide that shaped the election results. Earlier, the protesters had marched from Union Square to Trump’s building, chanting “Donald Trump, go away! Sexist, racist, anti-gay!”
At one point, demonstrators lit an American flag on fire. Later, amid a cacophony of loud chants, a glowing “Love Trumps Hate” banner was held aloft under the iconic Trump Tower sign. The singer Cher mingled in the crowd, doling out hugs.
In Washington, a crowd of hundreds of mostly young protesters gathered outside the White House for a candlelight vigil before marching to the new Trump International Hotel a few blocks away on Pennsylvania Avenue.