WASHINGTON — Young people came out in force Wednesday night to protest the election of Donald Trump.
More than 200 people, the vast majority of whom were young, pounded the pavement in front of Trump International Hotel, less than a mile from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. They chanted, waved signs and lit cigarettes from the flames of a burning American flag before rambunctiously calling out the chorus: “Ain’t no power like the power of the people, because the power of the people don’t stop!”
A gray-haired man in a sports coat called “lock her up,” as he entered the luxury hotel, and the young people retorted from the sidewalk.
Sarah Lorentzen, 19, said she was there to protest Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant comments. “The youth stand for Clinton, because I feel like the youth is a much more progressive demographic, and mindful of minority issues,” she said. “It shows where our future stands to know so many youth stand with Clinton.”
Nick Garcia, 25, came to speak out against what he called the white nationalist alt-right movement, especially its immigration policies. “Our country has come too far with social progressivism to go back at this point, and I’m really worried what a Republican [dominated] government is going to do,” he said. “Hopefully as this generation gets older, we will start to really influence policy.”
Eighteen-year-old Caterra Thompson said the only way for the country to move forward from this election is to bring more awareness of social issues to conservative communities in the United States. “Especially with the younger generation, we are a more liberal generation, so I think it’s moving in the right direction.”
Just as the group began to dwindle, a mass of several hundred more protestors carrying signs like “Not MY President” came marching down historic Pennsylvania Avenue, where Trump will walk in his inaugural parade. The group had walked about two miles from the U Street Metro station with a full police escort, and called out to the group at the hotel to join them in proceeding toward the White House. A few young men flung metal newspaper stands into the street, but other marchers called for a peaceful and damage-free protest.
Relative calm took over when the group gathered behind the White House north lawn, crowding between statues of American revolutionary generals. There, Lance Fisher sang a Lakota prayer song that seemed to soothe the crowd into a moment of reflection. They listened as Gustavo Diaz began playing his clarinet beneath the prayer, with the White House before them on the other side of a chain-link fence.
The youth-led protest in Washington was among many throughout the country in the wake of the surprise election results. Protesters spoke out in cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as college campuses across the nation.
NEW YORK — Chants of “not my president” and “love trumps hate” filled the air as thousands of young people stood shoulder to shoulder Wednesday night, filling the blocks around Trump Tower with signs reading: “Trump = Racist Rapist,” “Black Lives Matter,” “She Got More Votes” and “Trump, I’m LGBTQ and I’m not afraid of you.”
While Donald Trump’s election victory pointed a spotlight on vast racial, economic and cultural differences across the country, New Yorkers united to show their sadness, shock and anger over Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. The rally, which started in Union Square Park, unified those people Trump has so vocally excluded.
Earlier in the day, dark clouds and rain added to the gloomy pall many New Yorkers felt after hearing the election results. Strangers hugged on the subway and bodega owners exchanged knowing glances with teary-eyed customers. Public school teachers struggled to explain to the sons and daughters of New York City’s large immigrant population why the only country they’ve ever called home had just voted for a man who has said they are no longer welcome.
After a somber day, people filled Union Square Park, spilling over into the surrounding streets before beginning the long march toward Trump Tower, located on New York’s ritzy 5th Avenue. More joined as the procession made its way up Broadway. Others waved from office windows and even New York's notoriously impatient cab drivers honked in support, high-fiving marchers as they passed.
In front of Trump Tower, the day's pent-up energy was released with dancing, chants and song.
-By Karen Savage