Thousands gather in U.S. cities for 4th day of anti-Trump protests

Demonstrators were gathering again Saturday in cities across the United States to protest against president-elect Donald Trump, who they say will threaten their civil and human rights.

Rallies were scheduled throughout the day in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where organizers said they hoped to continue the momentum after several nights of demonstrations triggered by the real-estate mogul’s surprise win in Tuesday’s presidential election.

“We must unite despite our differences to stop HATE from ruling the land,” organizers in New York wrote in a Facebook post announcing a rally at noon local time in Union Square and then a march to Trump Tower, the president-elect’s skyscraper home on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

Hours before Saturday’s demonstrations were set to begin, a protester in Portland was shot as he took part in a march across the Morrison Bridge. He is expected to live, but police said the suspect, who apparently fled in his vehicle, remains at large.

Since Trump’s victory, demonstrators in several cities have decried the Republican’s campaign promises to restrict immigration and register Muslims, as well as allegations that the former reality-TV star sexually abused women.

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Thousands of people protested Trump’s election in Miami, with a few hundred making their way to a highway and halting traffic. (Javier Galeano/Reuters)

“It is our time as a movement to unite and fight back against Donald Trump and what he wants to do to this country,” organizers said on Facebook in announcing a rally in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles on Saturday.

As of early on Saturday morning, some 100,000 people had indicated on Facebook that they were planning to attend or were interested in the anti-Trump rallies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, where organizers told protesters that violence and vandalism will not be tolerated.

‘I’m here for them’

Leslie Holmes, 65, a website developer from Wilton, Conn., took an hour-long train ride to a demonstration in New York — her first protest since the 1970s, when she hit the streets of San Francisco to oppose the Vietnam War.

She described herself as an armchair liberal but declared, “I’m not going to be armchair anymore.”

“I don’t want to live in a country where my friends aren’t included, and my friends are fearful, and my children are going to grow up in a world that’s frightening, and my granddaughters can look forward to being excluded from jobs and politics and fulfilling their potential, so I’m here for them,” she said.

The demonstrations so far have been largely peaceful, although in Portland, protesters have smashed store windows, sprayed graffiti and damaged cars as they clashed with police who used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

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Protesters hold up signs during a ally against the election of Donald Trump in Los Angeles on Nov. 12, 2016. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

And Friday evening marches disrupted traffic in Miami and Atlanta. Trump supporter Nicolas Quirico was travelling from South Beach, Fla., to Miami. His car was among hundreds stopped when protesters blocked Interstate 395.

“Trump will be our president. There is no way around that, and the sooner people grasp that, the better off we will be,” he said. “There is a difference between a peaceful protest and standing in a major highway backing up traffic for five miles. This is wrong.”

The demonstrations since the election have been impromptu affairs, quickly organized by young Americans with a diverse array of backgrounds and agendas.

But as activists look to the next four years with Trump in the White House while his party controls both houses of Congress, some are preparing for what they hope will be the nation’s most enduring demonstrations since the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Friday that protesters have to accept the election results.

Trump initially denounced the protests and said they were “incited” by the media, but then reversed course on Friday and praised the demonstrators’ “passion for our great country.”

Many voters were shocked by the result, after opinion polls failed to predict a win for Trump.

Some 60.3 million people voted for Trump, fewer than the 60.8 million who cast ballots for Clinton. But Trump’s strong showing in swing states, including Michigan, meant he triumphed in the Electoral College that ultimately picks the president.

Security barricades now shield some of the businessman’s most visible properties, including the newly opened Trump International Hotel near the White House and Trump Tower in New York.

The president-elect’s biggest support base was the broad middle of the country, from the Heartland through the Rust Belt, with voters in states that had long supported Democrats choosing Trump after he promised to end corruption in Washington D.C., bring back jobs and renegotiate international trade deals.

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Philadelphia was one of many cities across the U.S. that held a third night of protests against the election of Trump. (Mark Makela/Reuters)

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