Thousands Take to the Streets as Anti-Trump Protests Erupt Across the Country
Anti-Trump protesters swarmed the streets of several major U.S. cities on Wednesday night following the election of Donald Trump on Tuesday.
New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and several other cities saw major turnout from protesters who opposed the outcome of the election.
In New York, protestors began in Union Square, then marched toward Fifth Avenue and headed to Trump Tower, law enforcement officials tell PEOPLE.
By late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning the number of protesters in the city rose to about 100,000 and are likely to last through the night.
Between 5,000 and 8,000 people began marching toward Trump Tower, a demonstration that began at 8 p.m., according to officials. That number steadily increased.
Fifteen protesters were arrested, according to The New York Times.
Scattered chants of “Not my president,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “Bernie!” echoed through the crowds as people marched together and carried Clinton Kaine signs. Others chanted “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Donald Trump has got to go!”
Julia Dunn, a teacher, told NBC 4 New York, “There’s a man who’s the human embodiment of hate who’s going to become our next president,” adding “The best thing we can do is try to connect with people who are representing love and connection.”
RELATED VIDEO: President Obama Says He’s ‘Rooting’ for Trump — as He Prepares to Welcome Him to the White House
The New York Police Department told protesters they faced arrest if they continued “blocking vehicular traffic,” according to NBC 4 New York.
“You are ordered to leave the roadway and utilize the available sidewalk. If you do so voluntarily, no charge will be placed against you. If you remain in the roadway and refuse to utilize the sidewalk, you will be placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct,” officials said.
Students walked out of class in several Bay Area high schools in California on Wednesday, taking to the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall, according to the Los Angeles Times.
At one school, Berkeley High School, about 1,500 students walked out of classes, school district officials told the Times.
In Downtown Los Angeles, 1,500 people walked into car lanes and blocked traffic. In Oakland, California, protesters were gassed by the police department. At least two people were injured during the protests there, including one police officer, according to the Times.
In Chicago, thousands of angry protesters gathered outside of Trump Tower on Wednesday evening before heading to downtown streets.
Chants of “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascists USA” and “Not my president!” were shouted by the crowd earlier, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In Washington, D.C., the future home of the Trump family, students burned flags on the American University campus, while others walked out of high school classrooms and colleges, according to WJLA, a news station in the city. Protestors gathered outside of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
While outside of the hotel, flyers protesting Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017 littered the ground.
The actor Mark Ruffalo also participated in the New York City protests, posting a video of the demonstration on his Instagram page and writing “Love Trumps Hate love fest NYC Thousands in the Street.”
Madonna stepped out with protesters in New York City as well, writing on Instagram, “Need to Turn these Words into Action……….So Now What? ??????”
Other stars have protested Trump’s victory as well, including Lady Gaga who was a staunch Clinton supporter, singing at her last rally and stating that the former Democratic presidential nominee was “made of steel.”
“I want to live in a #CountryOfKindness #LoveTrumpsHate He divided us so carelessly. Let’s take care now of each other,” she captioned the photo.
Cher took to Twitter to share that she had “hugged many” protesters in New York City.
“I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago and work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the president-elect,” Obama told reporters at the White House Rose Garden. “We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.”
Obama also said he called the president-elect early Wednesday to invite him to the White House on Thursday.
“The day after, we have to remember that we are actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage,” the president said. “We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night. That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly. And I was heartened by that.”
For thousands across the nation, the election results were a shocking disappointment. And the protests continued into early Thursday morning.
“People are furious, not just at the results of the election, but the rhetoric of Donald Trump,” Ahmed Kanna, an organizer for Social Alternative Berkeley, told CNN.
Another protester told CNN: “As a nation we thought we had come so far, but it seems like we;re taking many steps back. We want to come together to change that.”