UPDATE, THURSDAY AM with statement from Los Angeles mayor: Thousands of protestors took to the streets in multiple American cities into the night Wednesday to protest the election of Donald Trump as president. Demonstrations broke out in Los Angeles, New York City — where crowds blocked the entrance to Trump Tower for a while — Chicago, Boston, Denver, Austin, Philadelphia, Portland, OR, and Seattle, according to multiple news outlets.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a large protest beginning at Pershing Square continued to City Hall, and several protesters were arrested after streaming onto the 101 Freeway near downtown, closing it to traffic late into the night. There were reports of rocks and bottles being thrown. The Los Angeles Times reported protesters burned a Trump head in effigy and spray-painted news vans and the LAT building.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti released a statement this morning on the protests:
“One of our greatest privileges as Americans is the right to free expression. Last night, thousands of Angelenos came together publicly to make their feelings known.
I understand that the results of Tuesday’s election are painful for many of us, and this kind of engagement can be a meaningful part of the healing we need after such a long and divisive campaign. But walking and throwing objects onto freeways is dangerous for pedestrians and drivers — and it puts a heavy burden on people just trying make it home to their families or get to work safely.
I am proud that the demonstrations in Los Angeles have been mostly lawful and peaceful, and that our officers are working with demonstrators to keep people out of harm’s way. Protests can, should, and must proceed in that spirit — and I urge everyone to look out for their fellow Angelenos and put safety first.”
Protests occurred throughout the day yesterday in several locales in California, particularly the San Francisco Bay area, where demonstrations in Oakland and San Francisco are ongoing. Earlier in the day, half the student body and several faculty walked out at Berkeley High School and into the city’s downtown. Similar student walkouts were documented in neighboring Contra Costa County.
In New York City, CNN reported that Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th had been completely shut down by “thousands” of protesters, who began in front of Trump Tower but relocated after being forced to move. Here’s a look at the scene in New York as documented by one Twitter user in attendance:
Mark Ruffalo was also on the scene:
Thousands of protesters also were on the streets of Chicago last night, marching through the city’s downtown:
The protests come even as leading Democratic politicians have begun hinting at cooperation and reconciliation with newly-elected President Donald Trump and the GOP Congress, news that has not gone over well with demoralized supporters.