Trump's Win Sparks Protests in Cities Across the Nation
By Matt Hamilton, Matt Hamilton and Barbara Demick
Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election sparked protests across the nation Wednesday, with crowds marching through city streets, rallying at college campuses and staging walkouts at schools in an open disavowal of the president-elect.
Students at several San Francisco Bay Area high schools got up from their seats in the middle of class and filed out. A throng of more than 1,000 young protesters gathered on the steps of Los Angeles' City Hall, burning a giant Trump head in effigy and blocking traffic.
"I expected better of my electorate," Vishal Singh, 23, said in downtown Los Angeles late Wednesday. He said he was reeling in shock over the support for a man he saw as opposed to immigrants and LGBT rights. "I thought this country was different."
Thousands of protesters blocked traffic in downtown Portland, Ore.; Chicago; Boston and Philadelphia, with some torching flags. Demonstrators in Oakland, Calif., smashed windows at five businesses and ignited trash containers and tires, police said.
In New York City, thousands clustered in front of Trump's flagship building, the Trump Tower, and repeated a common refrain: "Not My President."
The demonstrators were mostly young, and some said they came out spontaneously, hoping to vent their shock and disappointment at Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton.
"I've been sad and angry all day," said Claire Mordowanec, 22, of Brooklyn. "If I didn't come out, how would I explain to my kids one day that I didn't stand up for what's right?"
The unrest began early Wednesday, soon after Trump delivered his victory speech. Shortly after midnight on the University of California, Los Angeles campus, an estimated 2,000 people rallied, according to UCLA police Sgt. Miguel Banuelos.
N.J. Omorogieva, 19, said she was heartbroken by the election's result when she spotted the growing crowd.
"Of course, I joined in," she said. "To give hugs to people who were overcome by devastation."
At Berkeley (Calif.) High School, about 1,500 students _ half the entire student body _ walked out of class after first period began at 8 a.m., Berkeley Unified School District officials said.
Students tweeted "#NotMyPresident" and pledged to unify. Others chanted "Si, se puede," Spanish for "Yes, we can," and waved Mexican flags, according to posts on social media.
"It's not the first time we've had a walkout," said Berkeley Unified spokesman Charles Burress. "We know what to expect, we know what we need to do."
School officials accompanied students as they marched, and there were no plans to discipline the students, Burress said.
In downtown Los Angeles early Wednesday, a crowd gathered near City Hall and property was defaced, including a fence scrawled with graffiti insulting the incoming commander in chief.
The mood was more buoyant at the president-elect's star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, where a small crowd of about 30 Trump supporters gathered early Wednesday to celebrate.
Diane Mendez, 23, a Trump supporter who volunteered at a polling place, said she came to observe what she saw as a turning point.
"He said he would bring jobs back to America. We all need jobs," Mendez said. "Who doesn't need jobs?"
(Demick reported from New York, Hamilton and Queally from Los Angeles. Times staff writers Joseph Serna and Alene Tchekmedyian contributed to this report.)
(c)2016 Los Angeles Times