Anti-Trump Protesters March On In Days After Election

Nov 18, 2016
Originally published on November 18, 2016 6:17 pm
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

People protesting against President-elect Donald Trump were still out in the streets around the country this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD #1: (Chanting) Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has to got to go.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD #2: (Chanting) No Trump, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A.

SIEGEL: That's chanting from demonstrators in Ypsilanti, Mich., and West Lafayette, Ind. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang checked in with some protesters in New York City.

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: David Gaddis voted for Hillary Clinton. And he's been picketing for a few hours every day since Donald Trump became the president-elect.

DAVID GADDIS: The reason I'm protesting is so that this state of affairs does not become normalized.

WANG: He's never been to a protest before. But he's worried that the Trump administration would encourage right-wing nationalism in the U.S.

GADDIS: He's been taking a hammer to the communal ties that bind us together, trying to make us revert to tribe. That is not America. That is not the country I love. I won't stand for it. Other people aren't standing for it either.

WANG: Gaddis has been stopping by this art supply store for foam boards to make protest signs.

GADDIS: We're just meeting at the tower every night if you ever want to tag along.

SAM GOODSELL: I was there Saturday.

WANG: That's Sam Goodsell, who works at this store. And he says they've been selling a lot of foam boards.

GOODSELL: It activated a lot of people who don't usually do this, you know, march in the streets.

WANG: Goodsell marched partly because he's worried about friends who've been told by strangers to go back to China or Mexico since the election.

GOODSELL: It kind of, like, emboldened the bigots to say what they want now.

WANG: But protesters underneath the city are having their say, too. On hundreds of brightly colored Post-it notes stuck to tile walls in the Union Square subway station.

So you just wrote a note on this wall here...

LISA DONTZIN: I've been writing notes almost every day.

WANG: Lisa Dontzin of Manhattan says when she looks around the city now, she sees fear. And it reminds her of the days after 9/11.

DONTZIN: Stay strong, get involved, love trumps hate and bigotry. You know, just because the election is over our voices aren't shut down. We still have a voice. And that's what makes America great already.

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UNIDENTIFIED CROWD #1: (Cheering).

WANG: Back above ground, drivers cheer on a small group of protesters pinned inside police barricades outside of Trump Tower where there's also the occasional shout from Trump supporters.

UNIDENTITIED MAN #1: It's over.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: What's over, democracy?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Johnny, it's over. Johnny, it's over. Live with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: The fight for democracy is never over.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Live with it. It's over, Johnny.

WANG: Long Island resident Denise Riggio is living with it. She says she has accepted Donald Trump as our next president.

DENISE RIGGIO: Well, I protested last week with some people who were screaming and chanting things like, you know, not my president and things like that. I didn't agree with that.

WANG: But she worries about women's abortion rights and reports of harassment against women and people of color. She says she wants to remind Donald Trump about his responsibility now towards all Americans.

RIGGIO: This isn't about big government or small government. This isn't about not wanting jobs. Of course, I want jobs. I want him to choose the right people who will give him good counsel and really think about all people, not just some.

WANG: And she says making that happen will take more than protests.

RIGGIO: So the time for whining is almost over. And people need to move on and be organized.

WANG: And there are more demonstrations planned this weekend in New York and other blue cities and mostly blue states. For some protesters it's part of a Hail Mary to pressure the Electoral College to vote for Hillary Clinton next month or to bring attention to specific issues. For others, it's more of a form of therapy as they try to figure out what their country will look like after Donald Trump becomes president in January. Hansi Lo Wang, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.