Demonstrations protesting the US presidential election victory of Republican Donald Trump entered their second week on Monday, with thousands of students chanting phrases like “Not My President” after walking out of classes across the country. The latest protests came as critics slammed Trump’s selection of right-wing firebrand Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist, with many fearing the move could lift the white nationalist movement into the top levels of the White House.
The Los Angeles Unified School District estimated that 4,000 students walked out of classes across the city in protest of the president-elect, who campaigned on deporting undocumented immigrants and building a wall between the United States and Mexico. Officials with Seattle Public Schools said about 5,000 students walked out of 20 high schools and middle schools on Monday. Authorities in Portland, Oregon, Montgomery County, Maryland, and the San Francisco Bay Area said hundreds of young people marched in protest as well.
Tens of thousands of people have marched in cities from New York to Los Angeles in largely peaceful rallies since Trump’s upset victory last Tuesday over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump secured enough votes in the 538-member Electoral College to win the presidency despite trailing Clinton in the popular vote. But there have been sporadic bouts of destruction. Demonstrators in Oakland, California, last week threw objects at police in riot gear and smashed storefront windows.
More than 100 people had been arrested following days of protest in Portland, Oregon, police said on Monday. Protesters in that city over the weekend blocked traffic and threw objects at police dressed in riot gear who responded with pepper spray and flash-bang devices. Civil rights groups and police have monitored violence against US minorities since Trump’s win, citing reports of attacks on women in Islamic head scarves, of racist graffiti and of bullying of immigrant children.
Trump has called for peace and unity and denounced white supremacist groups that supported him. He said on Sunday he was “so saddened” to hear about racial slurs and personal threats made against African-Americans, Latinos and gay people by some of his supporters. “I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it – if it helps,” Trump told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview.
Here’s a look at some of Monday’s protests:
More than a thousand students from several schools on Los Angeles’ heavily Hispanic east side marched out of classes. The demonstrations began at Garfield High School, the subject of the 1988 film “Stand and Deliver” focusing on teacher Jaime Escalante’s successful college-level math programs.
Students with signs and slogans headed to nearby Mariachi Plaza. They were joined by hundreds of students from several schools, many shouting, “Say it loud. Say it clear. Immigration, welcome here.” Some carried signs that read “Deport Trump,” while others waved the US, Mexican and gay pride flags. Many said they have relatives and friends in the country illegally who they fear will be deported.
Brian Rodriguez, 16, was born in the US to parents from Mexico and Guatemala. He said he was offended by Trump’s criticism of Latinos. “It hurt me inside knowing somebody from outside our race is talking bad about us,” said Rodriguez, carrying a sign reading, “Brown and Proud.” Rodriguez said his school’s principal opened the gates and told students they could participate.
Nancy Meza, a community organizer who announced the walkout, said she helped students organize after they reached out to her. “It was really out of frustration of students wanting to voice their opinions,” Meza said. “And wanting to feel protected.”
Hundreds of students from a dozen high schools in Oakland skipped classes to demonstrate. They called on California cities to remain a sanctuary for people in the country illegally, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee vowed Monday to maintain that status.
Administrators wanted students back in class but did not them to stop protesting, said John Sasaki, Oakland Unified School District a spokesman. “We support our students’ First Amendment rights,” he said.
About 200 middle- and high-school students left two Denver charter schools to march to the state Capitol, where they chanted and held up signs saying, “Millennial voice matters” and “Make peace not war.” Police and school officials escorted the students along city streets to ensure their safety.
The protesters called out “Si, se puede” Spanish for “Yes, we can” and “The people united will never be divided.” Noelie Quintero, 17, said they represented Latinos, Muslims, women and others marginalized by Trump. “We’re not going anywhere, we’re going to continue to stand strong,” she said. “Even though we’re only 16- and 17-year-olds and we can’t vote, our voice matters. What we believe matters, and we’re not going to stop.”
In a city that has seen large and destructive protests, a few hundred students from several schools walked out of class to gather in the rain near City Hall. The group held signs saying “Students for change” and “Love trumps hate.” They marched across a bridge, some of them climbing up it, while officers stopped traffic.
It was peaceful, following smashed windows and other vandalism at recent rallies. Daily demonstrations have led to $1 million in damage and more than 100 arrests. A protest organizer says activists were contacting counterparts in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other cities in an effort to stop Trump from prevailing on his issues.
“Trump is going to be president, so we need to prepare for that,” said Greg McKelvey of the group Portland’s Resistance. McKelvey said they want to ensure local governments fight racial disparities in policing and help address global warming.
Thousands of students across Seattle chanted as they marched in the streets and waved “Not My President” or “Love Wins” signs. Luke Duecy, a spokesman with Seattle Public Schools, estimated about 2,300 students from 14 middle and high schools participated in the walkout.
Some said they oppose Trump’s divisive rhetoric and wanted to show support for those he targeted, such as Muslims or immigrants. Others say they came to support their friends or simply to observe. High school senior Rose Taylor, who is bisexual, says she worries about what Trump’s election will mean for the LGBT community and others.
SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND
Hundreds of high school students left campus and took to the streets to declare their opposition to Trump, while hundreds more gathered for a rally at a school football stadium. About 800 Montgomery Blair High School students attended the rally at the stadium, and most returned to class afterward, Montgomery County Public Schools spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala said.
The ones who left joined students from nearby Northwood High School, making up a gathering that Onijala estimated at 200 to 300, some of them chanting, “Not my president.” Police Captain Paul Starks says the protesters were peaceful except for one bottle-throwing incident. No one was hurt.
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