Anti-Trump demos es­ca­late

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/worldwide -

NEW YORK — Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple marched in streets across the United States on Satur­day, stag­ing the fourth day of protests of Don­ald Trump’s sur­prise vic­tory as pres­i­dent.

The protests — held in big cities like New York and Chicago as well as smaller ones, such as Worces­ter, Mas­sachusetts, and Iowa City, Iowa — were largely peace­ful on Satur­day, although two po­lice of­fi­cers were slightly in­jured dur­ing protests in In­di­anapo­lis.

Protesters ral­lied at New York’s Union Square be­fore tak­ing their cause up Fifth Av­enue to­ward Trump Tower, where they were held back by po­lice bar­ri­cades.

The Repub­li­can pres­i­dent-elect was holed up in­side his tower apart­ment, work­ing with aides on the tran­si­tion to the White House.

Among those rail­ing against him was film­maker Michael Moore, who tweeted a de­mand that Trump “step aside.” Fash­ion de­signer Noemi Abad, 30, agreed. “I just can’t have Don­ald Trump run­ning this coun­try and teach­ing our chil­dren racism, sex­ism and big­otry,” she said. “Out of his own mouth he made this di­vi­sion. He needs to go — there’s no place for racism in so­ci­ety in Amer­ica.”

Trump’s com­ments — par­tic­u­larly a 2005 record­ing of him mak­ing lewd com­ments about women — sparked out­rage dur­ing his cam­paign. That spilled over into demon­stra­tions fol­low­ing an elec­tion that ended with half of US vot­ers choos­ing the other can­di­date, Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Demon­stra­tors in In­di­anapo­lis on Satur­day threw rocks at po­lice, slightly in­jur­ing two of­fi­cers, said Po­lice Chief Troy Riggs. Some protesters be­gan chant­ing threats in­clud­ing “Kill the Po­lice,” and of­fi­cers moved in to ar­rest seven demon­stra­tors.

Po­lice briefly fired pep­per balls into the crowd dur­ing the con­fronta­tion. “We be­lieve that we have some in­sti­ga­tors that ar­rived in our city,” try­ing to start a riot, Riggs said.

Rowdy demon­stra­tors marched through down­town Port­land, Ore­gon, again on Satur­day night de­spite calls from the mayor and po­lice chief for calm.

Sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple took to the streets and au­thor­i­ties re­ported at least one ar­rest after peo­ple in the crowd threw items at po­lice in riot gear. The gath­er­ing came after a news con­fer­ence Satur­day in which Mayor Char­lie Hayes and Po­lice Chief Mike Marsh­man urged re­straint after sev­eral days of vi­o­lent marches that dam­aged prop­erty and left one per­son shot.

In Los An­ge­les, sev­eral thou­sand peo­ple marched through down­town streets on Satur­day to con­demn what they saw as Trump’s hate speech about Mus­lims, pledge to deport peo­ple in the coun­try il­le­gally and crude com­ments about women.

Jen­nifer Cruz (18) of Ven­tura, Cal­i­for­nia, car­ried a sign that asked: “Le­galiee weed but not my Mom?” — a ref­er­ence to Cal­i­for­ni­ans’ Tues­day pas­sage of a mea­sure le­gal­is­ing recre­ational mar­i­juana use.

Cruz said her par­ents have been in the United States il­le­gally for 30 years, although her mother has spent years seek­ing ci­ti­zen­ship. She called the pos­si­bil­ity of their de­por­ta­tion ter­ri­fy­ing.

“We talk about it al­most ev­ery day,” she said. “My Mom wants to leave it in the hands of God, but I’m not just go­ing to sit back and not do any­thing. I’m go­ing to fight for my par­ents, even if it kills me.”

In other parts of the coun­try, spir­ited demon­stra­tions on col­lege cam­puses and peace­ful marches along down­town streets have taken place since Wed­nes­day. Evening marches dis­rupted traf­fic in Mi­ami and At­lanta. Protests also were held in Detroit; Min­neapo­lis; Kansas City, Mis­souri; Olympia, Wash­ing­ton, Iowa City and more.

More than 200 peo­ple, car­ry­ing signs, gath­ered on the steps of the Wash­ing­ton state Capi­tol. The group chanted “not my pres­i­dent” and “no Trump, no KKK, no fas­cist USA.”

In Ten­nessee, Van­der­bilt Univer­sity stu­dents sang civil rights songs and marched through cam­pus across a Nashville street, tem­po­rar­ily block­ing traf­fic. Sev­eral hun­dred anti-Trump protesters joined the trial protesters and marched through down­town Cincin­nati.

In Chicago, hun­dreds of peo­ple in­clud­ing fam­i­lies with small chil­dren chanted “No hate. No fear. Im­mi­grants are wel­come here” Satur­day as they marched through Mil­len­nium Park, a pop­u­lar down­town tourist at­trac­tion.

Sonja Spray (29) who heard about the protest on Face­book, said she has signed an on­line pe­ti­tion urg­ing the elec­toral col­lege to honor the pop­u­lar vote and elect Clin­ton.

Demon­stra­tions also took place in­ter­na­tion­ally. A group of Mex­i­cans at statue rep­re­sent­ing in­de­pen­dence in Mex­ico City ex­pressed their con­cerns about a pos­si­ble wave of de­por­ta­tions. One school teacher said it would add to the “un­rest” that’s al­ready in Mex­ico. About 300 peo­ple protested Trump’s elec­tion as the next Amer­i­can pres­i­dent out­side the US Em­bassy near the land­mark Bran­den­burg Gate in Ber­lin.

Mean­while, it was sup­posed to be his grand vale­dic­tory tour. Now Pres­i­dent Barack Obama must use his last ma­jor trip abroad to try to calm shocked world lead­ers about the out­come of the US elec­tion and what comes next when Trump is pres­i­dent. He leaves for the five-day trip to­day. Trump’s un­fore­seen vic­tory has trig­gered pangs of un­cer­tainty at home and grave con­cerns around the world. Though Obama has urged unity and said the US must root for Trump’s suc­cess, his trip to Greece, Ger­many and Peru forces him to con­front global con­cerns about the fu­ture of Amer­ica’s lead­er­ship.

“In some ways, there’s noth­ing to say,” said Heather Con­ley, a Europe scholar at the Wash­ing­ton-based Cen­tre for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies.

Con­ley said Obama’s trip, planned when it seemed cer­tain Clin­ton would win, had been de­signed to re­as­sure the world that the US had re­gained its foot­ing after a toxic cam­paign that un­nerved for­eign cap­i­tals. “Now the pres­i­dent has the un­en­vi­able task of telling his coun­ter­parts and ex­plain­ing what Euro­peans are now coin­ing ‘the Trump ef­fect,’” Con­ley said. For months, Obama lent cre­dence to those con­cerns as he urged Amer­i­cans to re­ject Trump. Stand­ing along­side Sin­ga­pore’s prime min­is­ter in Au­gust, Obama said

Trump was “woe­fully un­pre­pared” be­cause he lacked “ba­sic knowl­edge” about crit­i­cal is­sues in Europe, Asia and the Mideast. And dur­ing a visit to Ja­pan, Obama said he wasn’t the only world leader wor­ried about Trump.

“They’re rat­tled by him, and for good rea­son,” Obama said in May. “Be­cause a lot of the pro­pos­als that he’s made dis­play ei­ther ig­no­rance of world af­fairs, or a cav­a­lier at­ti­tude, or an in­ter­est in get­ting tweets and head­lines in­stead of ac­tu­ally think­ing through what it is that is re­quired to keep Amer­ica safe and se­cure and pros­per­ous and what’s re­quired to keep the world on an even keel.” Now, Obama must pivot and re­as­sure the US and other coun­tries that some­how, it will all be OK.

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy na­tional se­cu­rity ad­vi­sor, said the pres­i­dent fully ex­pects Trump’s elec­tion to be a dom­i­nant theme of the trip, but would em­pha­sise his plans to keep car­ry­ing out his ap­proach un­til Trump takes over. — Al Jazeera

US protesters gather in New York to protest against Don­ald Trump in this file photo. — AFP

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