Nov. 11 — Even as the results of the presidential election were still being tallied, which put Donald Trump ahead in votes for the Electoral College but not the popular vote, young people were taking to the streets in protest.
Over the next two days, from Los Angeles to New York, from Portland, Ore., to Charlotte, N.C., thousands of people in cities across the country tied up highways, marched through the streets and chanted their abhorrence of racism, sexism, homophobia and immigrant bashing.
Despite many arrests, the demonstrations continued over the next two days, Nov. 9 and 10, even as leaders of both ruling-class parties, Democrats and Republicans, urged everyone to accept a Trump administration and “heal the wounds” of a bitter election.
This did not quell the spirit of resistance among the youth, many of whom are personally threatened by the rise of racist atrocities and slurs, brutality toward women and LGBTQ people, and attacks on those perceived to be Muslims and/or immigrants — which the Trump victory has encouraged.
Notably absent in these demonstrations were signs of support for the Democratic Party. These were not pro-Clinton demonstrations, though many may have hoped to see a woman president for a change. They were protests against the politics of reaction on all social issues that Trump represents.
Many are now talking up a major protest in Washington, D.C., at the Inauguration on Jan. 20 as the next big step in the Stop Trump groundswell.
Below are eyewitness reports from just a few of the actions that followed the election.
Up to 1,000 students and community members outraged by the election of Donald Trump rallied on Nov. 9 across from City Hall and then marched up North Broad Street past Temple University and into North Philly neighborhoods. Elsewhere, some 200 progressive students and members of North Philadelphia’s Temple University community gathered on campus for a speakout against Trump despite wet, cold weather. Speech after fiery speech highlighted their outrage that the sexist, racist pig Donald Trump would be the next president.
Especially well represented were survivors of sexual assault, who expressed both their shock at the election of a sexual predator to the highest office in the land, as well as their determination to fight misogyny and support one another.
On the next night, thousands of anti-Trump protesters shut down streets in Center City for the second night in a row. Starting at Thomas Paine Plaza, over 3,000 demonstrators, mainly women dressed in black, held a candlelight vigil and rally before taking the streets to march on the 30th Street Amtrak Station.
Called by Our 100: Philly Women in Formation, the event started from a posting on Facebook under the hashtag #GOPHandsOffMe. The rally opened by recognizing that many women who attended needed space to express their grief and concern that Trump, an admitted misogynist who openly talked of assaulting women, had been elected. However, the mood quickly shifted to one of resistance. One speaker led the crowd with a popular quote from Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
A majority of the participants were young women of color, many marching for the first time. The response from people gathered along the route of the march showed they were not alone in their insistence that Trump is “not my president.”
The Facebook call stated: “We are showing the entire country that the leadership of women of color does not end with this election. We will remind people that this election was and is about our lives — black lives, women’s lives, immigrant lives, and the lives of LGBTQ folks.”
In response to the Trump takeover of the government, at least 3,000 people marched here on Nov. 11 against his racist movement. They poured out into the streets with chants, “Black Lives Matter!” and “Trump’s a rapist, he’s racist, he doesn’t represent us!”
The lead banner read “Stand with Standing Rock! Water is life!” The demonstration, which was initiated by Socialist Alternative, went through downtown during rush hour. The announcement of a counter-inaugural protest against Trump on Jan. 20 was cheered. The crown then marched over five miles to the University of Washington campus, where it joined a student rally against Trump that had been going on all day. At least two Seattle high schools also had student walkouts.
In the election, Washington State voters chose Dennis Habib, a progressive Iranian who is also blind, to be lieutenant governor. Habib will be the highest Iranian-born elected official in the country. Pramila Jayapal, an immigrant rights advocate, was elected to the House of Representatives from the Seventh District in Seattle, becoming the first Indian-born person elected to Congress. (Jim McMahan)
In addition to the huge, militant crowds protesting Trump and Trumpism in all the major cities, great demonstrations took place in smaller places everywhere, including in front of the Federal Building here. It was so necessary to kick off Day One of the Resistance by getting out into the streets, raising our fists and sharing our determination. The response — cars honked in support continuously throughout the demonstration — was loud and clear: “Don’t just mourn, organize!” (Ellie Dorrittie)
Tens of thousands of demonstrators surrounded Chicago’s Trump Tower, poured into the surrounding streets and marched for hours through the Loop on Nov. 9 to protest the election of a president promising nothing but racism, bigotry and war. The multinational and mostly young crowd was received enthusiastically by pedestrians and drivers, even those trapped by the sea of demonstrators.
More than a hundred people gathered Nov. 9 in downtown Syracuse at the William Henry/Jerry Rescue Abolitionist monument for a speakout on the sorrow and rage people felt about the election of racist, woman-hater Trump. Both a documented Pakistani refugee and a U.S. citizen of Honduran parents spoke of being afraid after the election in a country that has been the only home they have known.
Rebecca Fuentes and Nikeeta Slade, of the Workers’ Center of Central New York, gave a rousing appeal for support for expanded rights for farmworkers, as well as a campaign to make New York drivers’ licenses available to all, no matter people’s citizenship status. The WCCNY works with many migrant workers. The crowd cheered support for Standing Rock, LGBTQ rights and Muslim lives. At intervals they chanted “Fight, fight, fight,” “Si se puede!/ Yes, we can!” and “Act up, fight back!” in clear resolve to defeat the Trump agenda. The rally was called by the Syracuse Peace Council.
Minnie Bruce Pratt