Timothy Mclaughlin and Alexander Besant
CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Throngs of demonstrators marched in cities across the United States on Wednesday to protest Republican Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election, blasting his controversial campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and other groups.
In New York, thousands of protesters filled streets in midtown Manhattan as they made their way to Trump Tower, Trump’s gilded home on Fifth Avenue, while hundreds of others gathered at a Manhattan park and shouted “Not my president.”
In downtown Chicago, an estimated 1,800 people gathered outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower, chanting phrases like “No Trump! No KKK! No racist USA.”
Chicago police closed roads in the area, impeding the demonstrators’ path. There were no immediate reports of arrests or violence.
“I’m just really terrified about what is happening in this country,” said 22-year-old Adriana Rizzo in Chicago, who was holding a sign that read: “Enjoy your rights while you can.”
Protesters railed against Trump’s campaign pledge to build a wall along the border with Mexico to keep immigrants from entering the country illegally.
Hundreds also gathered in Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday evening, and organizers planned rallies in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland, California.
In Austin, the Texas capital, about 400 people marched through the streets, police said.
A representative of the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the protests. In his victory speech, Trump said he would be president for all Americans, saying: “It is time for us to come together as one united people.”
Earlier this month, his campaign rejected the support of a Ku Klux Klan newspaper and said that “Mr. Trump and his campaign denounces hate in any form.”
“DREAMERS” FEAR DEPORTATION
Earlier on Wednesday, some 1,500 students and teachers rallied in the courtyard of Berkeley High School, in Berkeley, a San Francisco Bay Area city known for its liberal politics, before marching toward the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.
Hundreds of high school and college students also walked out in protest in Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles and three other Bay Area cities, Oakland, Richmond and El Cerrito.
A predominantly Latino group of about 300 high school students walked out of classes on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles and marched to the steps of City Hall, where they held a brief but boisterous rally.
Chanting in Spanish: “The people united will never be defeated,” the group held signs with slogans such as “Not Supporting Racism, Not My President” and “Immigrants Make America Great.”
Many of those students were members of the “Dreamers” generation, children whose parents entered the United States with them illegally, school officials said, and who fear deportation under a Trump administration.
“A child should not live in fear that they will be deported,” said Stephanie Hipolito, one of the student organizers of the walkout. She said her parents were U.S. citizens.
There were no immediate reports of arrests or violence.
Wednesday’s demonstrations followed a night of protests in the San Francisco area and elsewhere in the country in response to Trump’s victory against heavily favored Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Demonstrators smashed storefront windows and set garbage and tires ablaze late on Tuesday in downtown Oakland. A few miles away, students at the University of California, Berkeley protested on campus.
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago, Alexander Besant in New York, Curtis Skinner in Berkeley, California, and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)
© 2016, Reuters News Agency. All rights reserved.