NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Police put up security fences around US President-elect Donald Trump’s new hotel in Washington on Thursday (Nov 10) and a line of concrete blocks shielded New York’s Trump Tower as students around the country staged a second day of protests over his election.
A day after thousands of people took to the streets in at least 10 US cities from Boston to Berkeley, California, chanting “not my president” and “no Trump,” fresh protests were held in cities from New Orleans to San Francisco.
About 100 protesters marched from the White House, where Trump had his first transition meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday, to the nearby Trump International Hotel, chanting “love Trumps hate.”
“This generation deserves better than Donald Trump,” said Lily Morton, 17, marching with about 100 classmates from the Georgetown Day School. “The queer people, coloured people, women, girls, everyone that is going to be affected by this, we need to protest to help them. There is still love in this country.”
A Trump campaign representative did not respond to requests for comment on the protests.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and a high-profile Trump supporter, called the demonstrators “a bunch of spoiled cry-babies,” in an interview with Fox News.
Protesters cited a list of objections to Trump, including his campaign rhetoric critical of immigrants and Muslims, as well as allegations that he had sexually abused women and bragged about it. Trump has denied those allegations.
More than 20 people were arrested for blocking or attempting to block highways in Los Angeles and Richmond, Virginia, early Thursday morning.
White House spokesman Joshua Earnest said Obama supported the demonstrators’ right to express themselves peacefully.
Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer urged the protesters to give Trump a chance once he is sworn into office in January.
“I hope that people get it out of their... They go out, they exercise... their right to free speech, but then they give this man that was just elected very historically and his new vice-president an opportunity to govern,” Spicer said in an interview on MSNBC.
In San Francisco, more than 1,000 students walked out of classes on Thursday morning and marched through the city’s financial district carrying rainbow flags representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, Mexican flags and signs decrying Trump.
Several hundred students at Texas State University in San Marcos took to the campus to protest Trump’s election, with many saying they fear he will infringe the civil rights of minorities and the LGBT community.
Civil rights groups and police reported an uptick in attacks on members of minority groups, in some cases carried out by people claiming to support Trump. There were also reports of Trump opponents lashing out violently against people carrying signs indicating support for Trump.
Organisers used social media to plan and schedule many of the protests. A Facebook group using the name #NotMyPresident, formed by college and high school students, called for an anti-Trump rally on Inauguration Day, Jan 20.
In New York’s Washington Square park, several hundred people gathered to protest Trump’s election. Five kilometres to the north at the gilt Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, where Trump lives, 29-year-old Alex Conway stood holding a sign with the “not my president” slogan.
“This sign is not to say he isn’t the president of the United States, but for two days I can use my emotion to be against this outcome and to express that he’s not mine,” said Conway, who works in the film industry.
More anti-Trump demonstrations are planned heading into the weekend.
The United States has seen waves of large-scale, sometimes violent protests in the past few years. Cities from Ferguson, Missouri, to Chicago have been rocked by demonstrations following high-profile police killings of unarmed black men and teens. Those followed a wave of large-scale protest encampments, starting with the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York in 2011.
Trump said in his victory speech, which was delivered in a far calmer manner than he displayed in many campaign appearances, that he would be president for all Americans.