The Day After
by Kai EL’ Zabar
Thousands all over the country from New York, to Chicago, Washington to Berkley young people protested with signage to express their fear and disappointment in the new President elect of the United States of America. The peaceful protests Wednesday night, though calm were fuel by the passion against the Trump victory and the rhetoric vocalized by the newly elected president during the campaign. Most protesters dispersed in the early hours of Thursday.
I was at an ATM when I looked up and saw the crowd so I quickly grabbed my cash and ran out to catch up with the youth to join in the excitement and walk with the youth. The sun was down and the air was cooling. Thousands marched down Wabash in the South on their way to Trump Tower in downtown Chicago on Wacker. The majority were Millennials carrying signage that read “Not my President” as they chanted the same words. Police were in cars moving slowing alongside the protesters more like accompanying them than presenting a threat. That felt right. It was great because there was a sense of union that had not been felt before between the police and the youth protesters.
Perhaps it was because Illinois, Chicagoan delivered the vote to Hillary, Illinois was one of the Blue wall states that delivered on its democratic electoral votes. As I walked with the crowd I felt swept up in the inertia of something great. I was moved by their enthusiasm and their desire to live into a future that they envision.
I began talking to them realizing that I didn’t have my phone. I had left it in the ATM vestibule so I couldn’t take pictures but I did interview a few. The first young woman was a Hispanic college student who is concerned with Trump’s racist statements about Mexicans, the promise to build a wall, and more importantly right now, his intention to deport the undocumented aliens living in America.
She said, “I am marching because Trump is unacceptable as a president. America is made up of all people. People come here in different ways for different reasons. Most come to pursue a life that offers promise. Some don’t get to flee correctly but that doesn’t make them bad people. Deporting people who have been here and have families here, some children who were born here is wrong and all his other racist remarks and intentions are why I’m here. I voted for Hillary. And I still think she’s the best between them for president.”
Next, I spoke to a tall young brother who said, “I’m about the freedoms that are at stake. Trump talks segregation separatism, classism in short he’s a dictator. Just listen to him talk, ‘I will, I will, I will do this, I will do that. Only I can do whatever,’ and well that’s wrong, all wrong. He’s not about diversity. Look at us. We all look different out here. We know we might not agree on everything but we agree that we all matter.”
The third young brother (also tall) I interviewed said, “I’m out here because, basically Trump is racist and all the racist things he’s said. What kind of man seeking to be president thinks that’s alright? Right? and Look I got sisters, I got a mother and what he says about women is wrong just wrong. So I’m here. We want him to know that not everybody is going for his Bulllll_hit!”
Oooh, they were fired up. They were beautiful, young, passionate, diverse: Black, Hispanic, Indian, Asia, short, tall, thin, heavy, lean, Brunettes, redheads, blondes, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims,and Jews.
Didn’t have on the right walking gear so I left them at 6th and Wabash as they continued their way peacefully.
- In New York city, several thousand people marched from Union Square to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, blocking streets and prompting police to assemble hasty barricades. At least four arrests were made when marchers were moved on to Trump International Hotel and Tower on Central Park West.
- In downtown Chicago, several thousand people marched to that city’s Trump Tower, chanting “Not my president!” and “Our bodies, our choice!”.
- Thousands of demonstrators were also reported in Boston, heading from Boston Common to the Massachusetts statehouse.
- Other demonstrations have been taking place in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Portland and Washington DC, where a crowd massed outside a newly opened Trump hotel and others gathered outside the White House.
- Smaller marches were reported in St Paul, Minnesota; Richmond, Virginia; Kansas City; Omaha, Nebraska; and Austin, Texas.