‘Bridges, Not Walls’ Protesters Chant Outside Trump Buildings Around U.S.

New York, N.Y. “Bridges, not walls,” protesters chanted outside Trump International Hotel in Washington late Saturday, referencing President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along the southern U.S. border to bar Mexicans — who Trump has described as “criminals” and “rapists” — from entering the country.

About 400 protesters gathered outside the Minneapolis Convention Center where Donald Trump was holding a private fundraising event. Photo: Fibonacci Blue, Flickr.

On a fourth night of demonstrations around the country since Trump won Tuesday’s election, demonstrators held a candlelight vigil in front of the White House on Saturday evening before marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to the hotel where they blocked traffic and belted out other chants, including “We reject the president-elect.”

Protesters also took to the streets and parks across other parts of the U.S. Saturday, with more than 2,000 people marching from Union Square in Manhattan to Trump Tower, home of the president-elect and where he was meeting with his transition team.

“I just can’t have Donald Trump running this country and teaching our children racism, sexism and bigotry,” one protester, 30-year-old fashion designer Noemi Abad, told the Associated Press. “He needs to go… there’s no place for racism in society in America.”

Thousands of protesters marched in other major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as smaller cities like Worcester, Massachusetts, and Iowa City, Iowa.

After a divisive campaign, protesters have said they fear a Trump presidency will erode Americans’ civil rights and trigger unrest. Demonstrators in New York on Saturday carried signs that included “Black Lives Matter” and “Not My President.”

More protests have been planned and organized on Facebook for the coming days throughout the country, leading up to the presidential inauguration in January; among them, a Million Women March organized for Washington on January 21, 2017, the day after Trump is set to be sworn in as president.

“This march is a show of solidarity to demand our safety and health in a time when our country is marginalizing us and making sexual assault an electable and forgivable norm,” organizers for the Maryland group of women posted on social media.

Nearly a dozen women have alleged that Trump sexually harassed or assaulted them, though no charges have been filed against the president-elect. In October, video surfaced of Trump boasting in 2005 that he could grope women because he is a “star.”

‘Give him a chance’

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Saturday that if Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had won the election and Trump supporters were protesting against her, “everyone’s hair would be on fire.”

Conway called on President Barack Obama and Clinton to urge protesters to give the president-elect and his administration a chance.

Since protests began Wednesday, heavy trucks loaded with sand have been parked near the entrance to the Trump Tower apartments as a security measure. Police have kept demonstrators at least a block away from the building.

Both the mayor and the police chief of Portland, Oregon, called for calm Saturday night after days of violent protests, but to no avail. Hundreds of rowdy demonstrators took to the streets with police making multiple arrests.

In Germany Saturday, hundreds of Germans and American residents gathered in Berlin near the Brandenburg Gate and the U.S. Embassy to protest Trump’s election. They said the policies Trump discussed during his campaign would, if applied when he is in office, damage civil rights and human rights protections.

The wave of protests began just hours after Trump’s stunning upset victory over former secretary of state Hillary Clinton was confirmed early Wednesday, and demonstrations have sprung up daily since then in more than a dozen U.S. cities.

‘Immigrants welcome here!’

Demonstrators in all of these locations angrily recalled some of Trump’s inflammatory and controversial comments during his campaign, about immigrants, Muslims and women. One of the slogans they have chanted is: “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here.”

Many of the protesters have said they intend to continue their rallies and demonstrations during the weeks ahead, even until the new president’s inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 20.

Meantime, reports are emerging of racist incidents at a number of U.S. schools and universities, including chants of “white power,” anti-black graffiti and in some cases physical clashes.

Since his election Tuesday, reports have shown an increase in racist incidents and hate crimes across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, documented more than 200 incidents of hateful harassment and intimidation in the three days after election day.

Threats against blacks, Muslims

A student at the University of Oklahoma was temporarily suspended Saturday on suspicion of sending racist social media messages, including threats of lynchings, to black freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania.

Also, police in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are investigating a threat against a Muslim student near the University of Michigan after the woman said a man threatened to set her on fire unless she removed the hijab she was wearing.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said there has been an increase in threats and attacks on American Muslims after the election, and called on Trump to speak out on the incidents. During the campaign, Trump called for banning Muslims from entering the country for security reasons.

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