OAKLAND, Calif. – Violence has broken out at anti-Trump rallies across America overnight as tens of thousands marched against the President-elect before angry mobs attacked police, started fires and shut down highways.
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Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of at least 16 US cities to protest against the election of Donald Trump. Many shouted the slogan “Not my president”. Others burned orange-haired effigies of the businessman, the BBC reported.
Mr Trump will become the 45th US president after securing a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton. He is due to meet current White House incumbent Barack Obama for talks aimed at ensuring a smooth transition.
Despite their calls, protesters gathered in several cities across the country. They followed election-night protests that took place on university campuses in Democrat states, after alcohol-fueled parties descended into wakes as swathes of Republican red spread across the map.
The streets of downtown Oakland in California were choked with smoke Thursday as police launched tear gas and protesters lit fires and threw missiles, in what became by some distance the most violent of the many protests against the election of Donald Trump.
More than 6,000 protesters were seen on the streets of Oakland with an initially peaceful march down a cop-lined street turning nasty after some protesters threw bottles at officers and torched a police car. An office block was also attacked, daubed with ‘f*** Trump’ and ‘kill Trump’ graffiti and then set alight.
— CNN (@CNN) November 10, 2016
In New York, home of the President-elect, thousands marched on Trump Tower, attacking Mr Trump’s policies on immigration, gay rights and reproductive rights. Fifteen people were arrested, the New York Times reported. Fifteen more were arrested when cops cracked down on demonstrations in Columbus Circle.
As many as 7,500 demonstrators were believed to have been split between the two locations, chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay.’
And thousands more filled streets in Los Angeles before taking over the key 101 Freeway while other protesters gathered outside City Hall, lighting fires and waving Trump heads on sticks. There were 14 arrests.
Twitter videos showed many fires burning in downtown streets, and cops marching information on protesters.
— Claudio Duarte (@claudioduarte__) November 10, 2016
— Reggie Jackson (@rebel2real) November 10, 2016
— Matt Mrozinski (@MattMrozinski) November 10, 2016
Crowds of disgruntled voters packed into the northern plaza of Union Square, in Downtown Manhattan tonight – among them pop star Cher. One protester announced on Facebook: ‘Cher just told me we have to fight. I trust in Cher.’
Madonna posted footage of crowds chanting ‘Not my President!’ on her Instagram feed.
The rally, organised by a group called Socialist Alternative, called on people to ‘build a movement to fight racism, sexism, and Islamophobia’
Trump’s poll-defying win has sparked a wave of similar rallies across the country. Protests stopped traffic in Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, and California among many others.
In Chicago, crowds blocked the entrance to Trump Tower, chanting: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascists USA”.
In Portland, Oregon, demonstrators temporarily closed an interstate highway. American flags were set ablaze in the hipster capital as dozens of people blocked traffic and forced delays on two rail lines, and that number ultimately swelled to around 2,000 according to KOIN.
In Washington DC, protesters held a candlelit vigil. Organiser Ben Wikler told the crowd: “We are here because in these darkest moments, we are not alone.”
Outside the White House, a candlelit vigil was being held in protest against Mr Trump’s inflammatory and divisive brand of politics. But even peaceful protests in that city went awry, with at least one protester being bundled into the back of a van by the Secret Service.
Masses of protesters – more than 6,000, according to the East Bay Times marched down a cop-lined Broadway, protesting the election of Donald Trump.
Hundreds of protesters in Richmond took their anger onto the I-95, WTVR reported. The march began at Virginia Commonwealth University, before proceeding onto Broad Street and Belvidere, then down the south ramp of the Interstate.
— erictucker (@erictucker) November 10, 2016
They stopped traffic there, but were removed by police. It’s not yet clear whether there were any arrests. They then looped back around and to the VCU campus. Some then peeled away to protest at the Virginia State Capital.
On the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, a group of around 30 Trump supporters tried to shout down demonstrators, the LA Times reports.
In Pennsylvania, hundreds of University of Pittsburgh students marched through the streets, with some in the crowd calling for unity, while others organised an event entitled: ‘Emergency Meeting: Let’s Unite to Stop President Trump.’ Students chanted: ‘No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA’.
In his victory speech in the early hours of Wednesday, Mr Trump vowed to “bind the wounds of division”, after an acrimonious election contest, and to be “president for all Americans”.
The president-elect will be accompanied to the White House on Thursday morning (1600 GMT) by his wife, Melania, who will have a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House residence.
Mr Obama, who congratulated his successor in a phone call in the early hours of Wednesday, said it was “no secret” that he and Mr Trump had pretty significant differences.
But he added that “we all want what’s best for this country” and he was “heartened” by what he heard in Mr Trump’s remarks the night before.
Mr Trump’s transition team for the 10-week period until inauguration will be led by Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey.
The president-elect, who has never held elected office, has said his immediate priorities will be restoring the country’s infrastructure and doubling its economic growth.
As president-elect, Mr Trump is entitled to get the same daily intelligence briefing as President Obama, which includes information on covert US operations and other data gathered by America’s 17 intelligence agencies.
Mr Trump’s team is understood to be focused on quickly filling key national security posts. But it is not yet clear who will sit in his cabinet or fill senior posts in his administration, such as chief of staff.