November 9th, 2016 is going down as one of the worst days in American history as millions of Americans cried out in protest against an arriving Donald Trump presidency.
Thousands of protesters across the country took to the streets to protest outside of Trump properties as backlash against an election where the popular vote would have placed Hillary Clinton as the victor.
The morning after Election Day smacked Democrats with a combination of shock and sadness. Donald Trump would be the next US President. For thousands, disappointment turned to protest as Hillary Clinton supporters channeled their disbelief into a single defiant message.
“Not my President,” they chanted. “Not today.”
In response to Trump’s victory, a shocking win fueled by the rural roar of a dismayed white America, tens of thousands in at least 25 US cities — including New York and Nashville, Chicago and Cleveland, San Francisco and Seattle — shouted anti-Trump slogans, started fires, and held candlelight vigils to mourn the result.
Many of those demonstrations continued early Thursday morning and led to dozens of arrests.
“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’s Don Lemon.
In New York, authorities estimated that as many as 5,000 people protested the real estate mogul’s victory outside Trump Tower. They included pop star Lady Gaga, a staunch Clinton supporter.
Their concerns ranged from policies, such as his proposed plan to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, to the polarizing tenor of his campaign that stoked xenophobic fears.
“I came out here to let go of a lot of fear that was sparked as soon as I saw the results,” protester Nick Powers said. He said he feared Trump will support stronger stop-and-frisk policies that would put many people in prison. He also was worried that Trump’s victory would embolden sexist views.
Fifteen Trump Tower protesters were arrested Wednesday night for disorderly conduct, an NYPD spokesman said.
In Chicago, activists marched down Lake Shore Drive — an eight-lane expressway along Lake Michigan — toward the Windy City’s Trump Tower with signs such as one that said, “I still can’t believe I have to protest for civil rights.”
CNN’s Ryan Young, who saw a few thousand people there, said many chanted vulgarities toward the President-elect.
“As a nation we thought we had come so far, but it seems like we’re taking many steps back,” one woman said. “We want to come together to change that.”
Meanwhile, protesters in Washington chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” as they marched downtown to the Trump International Hotel. Elsewhere in the nation’s capital, an illuminated sign proclaimed that the US is “better than bigotry.”
Their cries turned profane after a solemn gathering of thousands who attended a candlelight vigil outside the White House to mourn the election loss.
“Everything that has been built up has been destroyed,” protester Brian Barto told CNN affiliate WJLA-TV. “America has failed (minorities).”
Headed into Thursday, more than a thousand protesters in Los Angeles, including young Latino protesters, rallied outside City Hall, according to CNN’s Paul Vercammen.
They chanted “I will not live in fear,” “Fight back, stand up” and “¡Si se puede!” (Spanish for “It can be done”).
Protesters also set on fire a piñata depicting the head of President-elect.
Several protesters said they feared that family or friends might be deported once Trump takes office. Brooklyn White, an 18-year-old protester who voted for Clinton, held a sign that said, “hate won’t win.”
“We can’t let it stop us,” she said. “If he’s the president then fine, but if Donald Trump is going to be it, then he has to listen.”
Early on Thursday morning, the protesters marched onto the 101 Freeway and blocked traffic. Authorities arrested at least 13 protesters, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said.
In Oakland, California, police said as many as 7,000 demonstrators took to the streets Wednesday night. By then, trash fires burned on a highway. Johnna Watson, public information officer with Oakland’s police department, said three officers were injured.
Thirty people were taken into custody and at least 11 citations were issued for vandalism, assaulting officers, unlawful assembly, failure to disperse and possession of a firearm. Police said some protesters threw Molotov cocktails, rocks, and fireworks at police officers.
A few miles away at Berkeley High School, about 1,500 students walked out of classes Wednesday morning. It was one of numerous high school walkouts that occurred nationwide following the election.