In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, protests occurred in many cities across the country, loosely confederated under the hashtag sentiment “#NotMyPresident.”
The absolute rejection of election results is not something we are unfamiliar with. After President Bush was reelected, it was de rigeur to dismiss his office, exemplified by a maudlin “Sorry Everybody” craze which, as the name implies, was a bunch of miffed liberals holding up signs in photos and YouTube videos apologizing to the rest of the world for our democratic election. Which itself, of course, followed the endless (and still a thing to this day) “illegitimate president” refrain over Bush’s first election.
#NotMyPresident, like its predecessors, occurs with apparently no awareness of the rest of the time in political discourse that liberals spend condemning such declarations as being anti-American or “dangerous” or even racist when the object of the rejection is a Democrat.
This latest iteration is more out front and in the news than ever, and treated generally by the press with gloomy tones evoking dark times in America. Not, mind you, because the protests are anti-American or the sentiment is “dangerous”, but rather because things are now, in the wake of Tuesday, so bleak that such protests are necessary. “Those poor injured souls,” the melodrama intones, “how can we have done this to them.”
First, there were the institutions of “learning.”
In Berkeley (well, duh.) students and teachers walked out.
BREAKING: Teachers & Students Walk Out Of Berkeley High School In California, Chanting Trump Is Not Their President… https://t.co/MHfdIjHN9o
— Weasel Zippers (@weaselzippers) November 9, 2016
At Cornell, students held a “cry in.”
“I’m quite terrified, honestly,” one student told the campus newspaper as she took part in the event. “It’s saying that people are really given into fear-mongering. They are willing to put people down based on their identity just so that they would feel vindicated that they would be getting rid of ‘Crooked Hillary.’”
Another participant told the Sun many are in “shock” as she sipped on a Starbucks coffee cup, sitting cross-legged in the institution’s Ho Plaza.
“I am concerned how this is validating the behavior of a lot of people,” she said.
Then things began in earnest.
Thousands marched in New York City, and dozens were arrested.
The protesters chanted “Not my president” and “hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go.” They held signs that read “Trump Makes America Hate” and “Impeach Trump.” A few climbed vehicles and light poles. There was anger and fear among many. Some said they worried about what the new president’s policies could mean for them.
“I was afraid this morning. I’m still afraid today, you know. As a black woman, I’m afraid. But I’m not going to let my fear hold me back,” a woman said.
One group began at Union Square Wednesday night, while another started at Columbus Circle. Splinter groups of protesters then streamed into the streets causing massive gridlock as police mobilized to contain them under a light rain.
Police installed barricades outside Trump Tower to keep the demonstrators at bay as they burned American flags and effigies of Trump. Officers made dozens of arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Then came vandalism, fires, riots.
Bonfires, fireworks, tear gas, and marching in the street — thousands turned out in Oakland to protest President-elect Trump.
Seven thousand were demonstrating, some set fires, a police car was vandalized and one officer was injured.
Anti-trump protesters first gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza Wednesday night and the crowd grew to some 7,000. They took over Webster Street in Downtown Oakland and marched. All was peaceful.
Police surrounded them and the march splintered into smaller groups at Washington and 8th street. Suddenly, a Trump piñata was up in flames and flash bangs were going off in the streets.
Several buildings were vandalized and there were reports of looting and building fires throughout Wednesday night. Police have made arrests.
— Տᗩᑎᗪᖇᗩ ن (@SandraSentinel) November 10, 2016
— NewYork_Paris_ (@NewYork_Paris_) November 10, 2016
And worse. One protester told CNN exactly what she thought should happen. Bloodshed.
“If we don’t fight, who is going to fight for us? People had to die for your freedom where we’re at today. We can’t just do rallies, we have to fight back. There will be casualties on both sides. There will be, because people have to die to make a change in this world”
It has been a year of protest, riots, and violence. Does anyone think the day of rage will be just one day? The left still burns effigies of George W. Bush. This isn’t over.