Thousands take to streets of US cities to protest Trump victory

Five shot in downtown Seattle near scene of anti-Trump protests

Afp November 10, 2016
Protesters burn an American flag on Fifth Avenue outside of Trump Tower, November 9, 2016 in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

A gunman opened fire in downtown Seattle on Wednesday night following an argument and wounded five people, one man critically, not far from protests over the surprise victory of Republican Donald Trump in the US presidential election.

The shooting did not appear to be related to the anti-Trump
demonstrations but instead stemmed from "some type of personal
argument", Robert Merner, assistant chief of the Seattle Police
Department, told reporters. "It appears that some type of argument took place.

An anti-Trump rally is held on November 9, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. Protesters were reacting to Donald Trump winning last night's US presidential election. PHOTO: AFP

This individual began to walk away from the crowd, then turned and
fired into the crowd," Merner said. He said the suspect then fled from the area on foot and remained at large.

Police and fire crews were on the scene in less than a minute because they had been in the area to monitor the demonstrations, he said, but did not arrive in time to engage the suspect.

Police closed down the intersection of Third Avenue and Pine streets, where the shooting took place in front of a 7-11 convenience store. The Seattle Times newspaper reported that witnesses heard
several gunshots.

Protesters rallied across the United States Wednesday to express shock over Donald Trump's election victory, vowing to oppose divisive views they say helped the Republican billionaire win the presidency.

In Washington, several hundred protesters gathered in front of the White House for a candlelight vigil on a damp, chilly evening, criticizing what they called Trump's racism, sexism and xenophobia, and carrying signs reading "We have a voice!" and "Education for all!"

Thousands of anti-Donald Trump protesters shut down 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower. PHOTO: AFP

One of the organizers, Ben Wikler -- Washington director of the liberal advocacy group -- told the crowd that others were coming together in hundreds of communities around the country.

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"People are justly frightened," he said.

"We are here because in these darkest moments we are not alone," he added before leading chants of "We are not alone!"

Ethan Miller of the workers' rights group Jobs with Justice said organizers held the vigil to show that civil society was resilient.

"It's a hard time for a lot of Americans," he told AFP. "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 added.

"We're going to continue to organize and fight for the rights of all people and to protect the safety of our brothers and sisters."

Supporters attending the rally appeared less optimistic.

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Joanne Paradis, 31, who was born in Mexico and works in international communications for a non-profit group in Washington, said she attended the rally to "share some solidarity."

"I feel pretty down," she said. Asked if the country could weather a Trump presidency, she said, "I don't know."

"But we have to acknowledge what happened to deal with it, to face it and talk about it and be honest about it."

"I just came here to mourn," said Chris Hassan, 28, who works for a civil society group.

Protests also were held in other cities across the country, gathering thousands of people in Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon, Seattle and other cities.

Protesters hold banners saying 'not my president' as they protest against Trump's election. PHOTO: AFP

In New York City, protesters gathered in Union Square holding signs saying "Love Trumps Hate" and "Trump Grabbed America by the Pussy!" before marching uptown in the thousands to chant in front to Trump Tower.

"The electoral college is broken," protester Nicholas Forker said of the US indirect voting system. "I think it definitely needs to be reformed... I think it's ridiculous."

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Some of the protests started out with hundreds of demonstrators but soon swelled to thousands.

In California, high school and college students staged campus demonstrations and walkouts from classes.

In Los Angeles, hundreds of teens and young adults rallied outside City Hall chanting "Not my president!"

In Oregon, demonstrators blocked traffic in downtown Portland, forcing a delay on two light-rail lines.

Anti-Trump protesters gather in a park as New Yorkers react to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. PHOTO: AFP

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 American flags.

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In Pennsylvania, hundreds of University of Pittsburgh students marched through the streets, with some in the crowd calling for unity.

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.

California students walk out of classes in Trump protest

Hundreds of students across California and other states walked out of classes on Wednesday, many of them chanting "not our president," to protest Republican Donald Trump's victory in Tuesday's US presidential election.

In one of the largest demonstrations, some 1,500 students and teachers rallied in the courtyard of Berkeley High School in California, and then marched toward the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, a city known for its progressive politics.

"We're sitting here, setting our clocks back to 1950 electing this fool. You know? Trump honestly just makes us realize how much hate and ignorance is left," a female student told the rally, monitored via the social media app Periscope.

In downtown Los Angeles, a mostly Latino group of about 300 high school students, mostly from the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, walked out of classes and marched to the steps of City Hall, where they held a brief but boisterous rally. Several school officials accompanied the youths as chaperones.

Chanting in Spanish, "The people united will never be defeated," the group held signs with slogans such as "Not Supporting Racism, Not My President," and "Immigrants Make America Great."

A representative of the Trump campaign could not be reached immediately for comment. About a fourth of the students from Miguel Contreras are members of the so-called "Dreamers" generation, children whose undocumented parents entered the United States with them illegally, school officials said, and fear of deportation under a Trump administration is a major concern.

Demonstrators march beside a line of police officers on Market Street in San Francisco, California, US following the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States November 9, 2016. PHOTO: Reuters

One of Trump's marquee campaign pledges was to build a wall along the border with Mexico to keep out undocumented immigrants and deport en masse those who immigrated illegally.

"A child should not live in fear that they will be deported. They should not live in fear that they themselves will be deported," said Stephanie Hipolito, one of the student organizers of the walkout. She said her parents are US citizens.

"We're not criminals. We're not drug dealers. We're hard-working people looking for the American dream like anybody else," she said.

A few hundred students also walked out of classes in Seattle, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area cities of Oakland, El Cerrito and Richmond. Several hundred more pupils at the University of Texas protested on campus as well, according to local reports and footage on social media.

Anti-Trump rallies were planned later Wednesday in New York, Boston, Chicago and other cities as well, according to social media postings. A Facebook page for a protest scheduled for Manhattan's Union Square Park showed more than 8,000 people planned to attend.

In Austin, Texas, about 400 people staged a peaceful protest march through the streets of the Texas capital, police said.

The demonstrations followed a night of protests around the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in the country in response to Trump's political upset.

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