Protests and student walkouts mark the week after President-elect Trump’s win
Every day in the week since President-elect Donald Trump pulled off a stunning victory, protests have broken out across the country with demonstrators chanting, “Not my president” and “Love trumps hate.”
On Monday, November 14th, thousands of high schoolers in multiple cities walked out of class in protest. Many were too young to cast a ballot. Similar demonstrations were expected to continue Tuesday on college campuses.
Many protesters said they harbor no illusions about reversing the outcome of the election. They do hope that President-elect Trump and his supporters will ease their hardline rhetoric on several flashpoint issues — including immigration and possible mass deportations, Muslim bans and LGBTQ rights.
Protests have popped up in cities across the country, including New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles. Some demonstrations have broken out in front of President-elect Trump’s properties.
When President-elect Trump was asked about the protesters in an interview that aired on “60 Minutes” Sunday, he said: “I just think they don’t know me.”
He added: “I think in some cases, you have professional protesters.”
Critics accuse the anti-Trump protesters of being sore losers and slam students for skipping classes.
Protests and arrests
Since Election Day, many have expressed fears of bigotry and racial violence against minorities, amid incidents of harassment, slurs and hate crimes.
‘All this hate is out there, and it might be more blatant than it’s usually been. This is a reminder that we have to keep fighting,” said Trinity Goss, a protest organizer at the University of Arizona.
Most of the protests have been peaceful. But Portland, Oregon, has been the site of the most violent anti-Trump demonstrations, with a shooting and the arrest of 71 people on Saturday.
Since protests broke out, Portland police have arrested more than 100 people. The police and the district attorney’s office announced Monday that nearly all would receive traffic citations rather than getting charged — for now. “The sheer number of arrests during protests over the last several days has been an exceptional event,” according to their statement.
Investigators have to go through all the evidence and, once reports have been made to the district attorney’s office, the protesters who had been arrested could face prosecution, according to the statement.
Vincenzo Milione, who was arrested Thursday night, told CNN affiliate KPTV that the cause was worth getting arrested.
“I will continue to protest and use my First Amendment rights,” he said.
‘Immigrants are welcome here’
On Monday, thousands of high school students ditched class to stage anti-Trump walkouts in several states across the country — including Maryland, California and Oregon.
Hundreds of high school students from at least six schools in East Los Angeles, home to a large Latino population, took to the streets chanting “No papers, no fear” and “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here.”
Mendez High School student Arlene Contreras was one of the students holding a rainbow-colored sign in support of LGBTQ rights and civil rights of minority groups.
“I want to make a statement that we will not let President-elect Trump tell us what to do. We will not accept his sexism. His racism. We will not let him overpower women, LGBT, us minorities, people of color.”
Protesters are raising a range of concerns as they take to the streets. But they seem to be standing together on several key points.
Here are five things they’re pushing for:
1. ‘Dump Trump’
Many demonstrators have used “Dump Trump” as a rallying cry.
What does that mean exactly? It’s a slogan that first gained traction as some Republicans pushed for the party to cut ties with President-elect Trump. But now that the election results are in, it’s taking on a different meaning.
For some, it’s a catchy way to sum up their rage about the President-elect. But others are taking things a step further, signing an online petition and writing letters to members of the Electoral College, asking them not to vote the way their states did at the polls.
Could that happen? The Internet rumor debunking website Snopes.com describes the prospect as “extremely, extremely unlikely,” noting that it would be “wholly unprecedented in American history and would require a sudden and drastic change in the United States’ political traditions.”
The Electoral College itself has also become a focus for some protesters, since Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election.
2. Build bridges, not walls
President-elect Trump made immigration a focal point of his campaign, and it’s a key issue for many protesters who are against President-elect Trump’s vows to deport undocumented immigrants.
“I’m out here for my undocumented friends,” protester Spencer Smith, 19, told CNN in Atlanta.
At protests in Miami, demonstrators held signs that said, “build bridges, not walls,” taking aim at President-elect Trump’s oft-touted plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Is there any chance the wall plan could come off the table? Don’t hold your breath, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of President-elect Trump’s advisers on immigration, told CNN affiliate KWCH this week.
“There’s no question the wall is going to get built,” Kobach said. “The only question is how quickly will it get done and who pays for it?”
Whether or not President-elect Trump heeds protesters’ calls, building a wall along the border may be harder than it sounds.
3. Making a statement
Some protesters say they know President-elect Trump will take the reins January 20, but they want to make it clear that they’re not happy about the election results — and they’re not going to be quiet about it.
Protesters in Iowa this week had two main goals, said Rachel Walerstein, who attended protest in Iowa. First, they wanted to let people know that rhetoric-fueled violence against people of color, immigrants and LGBT people won’t stand, she said.
“The second is to make a statement of political instability to render it difficult to govern, and in particular, to make it impossible for Trump to implement his policies in the first 100 days,” she said. “For me, it’s important to make these statements known and visible.”
“It’s mostly to raise awareness,” said Dalina Aimée Perdomo, who also joined protests in Iowa City this week and said she felt angry and disappointed that her state had gone with conservative choices at the polls. “We gathered to share how we felt and how our families felt.”
President-elect Trump has slammed protesters as “paid professionals,” but later praised their passion on Twitter.
4. President-elect Trump should denounce the divisive things he’s said
“He needs to really address all the divisive, hateful things he’s said in the past and recant them, denounce them,” protester Nick Truesdale told CNN in New York on Friday.
President-elect Trump told The Wall Street Journal this week that he doesn’t think his rhetoric on the campaign trail went too far. But he also said he wanted people to come together, according to the newspaper.
“I want a country that loves each other,” he told the Journal this week. “I want to stress that.”
Others have called for President-elect Trump to denounce an upcoming KKK parade scheduled to celebrate his victory in North Carolina.
President-elect Trump himself hasn’t spoken out publicly about the event, but the North Carolina Republican Party condemned it.
5. ‘Not my president’
Across the country, protesters have been waving signs that say “not my president.”
Organizers of a protest in Atlanta said their message is simple. “We do not respect the fact that President-elect Trump is president of the United States,” they wrote on Facebook.
“No to President-elect Trump and no to any future leaders who prey on our fear and lie to us plainly, be they dressed as friends or foes. No to a president that wants to ban all Muslims. No to a president who calls Mexicans rapists,” the Facebook invite for an Atlanta protest says. “No to rape culture. No to a president that not so subtly romanticizes white supremacy and mourns its loss though we all know it has been alive and well. No to leaders who propagate the destruction of our environment.”