Donald Trump

Trump Victory Sparks Protests in Downtown LA, Halts Freeways

Thousands gathered in downtown Los Angeles to protest the presidential election win of Donald Trump.

Demonstrators angry over Donald J. Trump's election as president marched in downtown Los Angeles early Thursday and shut down portions of the 101 Freeway.

Twenty-nine people were arrested after they entered the freeway with hundreds of other protesters at Alvarado Street around 10:20 p.m., according to Los Angeles Police Department. Police were anticipating more arrests as a group of protesters remained in the southbound 101 lanes near Alvarado Street, according to Los Angeles Police Department Public Information Director Josh Rubenstein. Other protesters were moving through the streets, headed toward Los Angeles City Hall.

Shortly before that, protesters shut down both sides of the 110 Freeway in the downtown area at 3rd Street after walking on lanes through traffic. They had scattered shortly after 10  p.m., but police officers were still directing traffic in lanes.

Officers were in full tactical gear as they walked protesters off the freeway in what has otherwise been a peaceful demonstration, Rubenstein said. By 1:30 a.m., the freeway was clear of demonstrators but lanes remained closed for cleanup.

With the exception of some protesters throwing rocks at officers and vandalizing portions of the freeway, Rubenstein said the protest had been non-violent, including the officers' response.

Social media posts showed a bus, the Los Angeles Times building and a news live truck spray painted with anti-Trump graffiti reading “F--- Trump.”

The rally and march began about 7 p.m. outside Los Angeles City Hall, drawing an ethnically diverse crowd of more than 5,000, many of whom who appeared to be high school and college age.

More than 300 youthful-looking demonstrators earlier rallied outside City Hall before marching to LAPD headquarters and then on toward Staples Center.

Some protesters chanted "Not my president," and at least one had a sign that stated: "Trump Equals Death." Other signs read "Epic Fail," "Rapist President" and "Artists Against Trump."

While some of the signs and chants contained expletives, the protests were noisy but initially peaceful, and appeared to be growing as the day wore on.

Some motorists honked their horns when they saw the crowds. Helicopters hovered overhead as law enforcement officers controlled traffic and watched for signs of trouble.

In Orange County, police broke up a demonstration that included hurling objects at officers.

Around 350 people rallied in Santa Ana on Wednesday night. One person was arrested, and a demonstrator threw an object, either a rock or a bottle, at an officer. More people were gathered in front of Mater Dei High School early Thursday morning.

One rally started about 11 a.m. Wednesday as a walkout at several Los Angeles Unified School District campuses, according to 16-year-old Gerson Macias, a student at Ramon Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Macias said he joined the protest after seeing other students march past their school because Trump's policies could affect him as a Hispanic and gay person.

"I believe this man cannot split families apart anymore, and cannot take away our rights as LGBT people, because we have been fighting for this for years, and this man cannot come in and just take that all away,'' he said.

Alexa Orozco, 16, said she feels personally affected by this election because she has friends and family who are "not born here."

Because she was too young to vote, the rally was her way of expressing her opinion on Trump, she said.

"I feel like a lot of our generation, we feel strong about certain things and I feel like that it's devastating to not be able to do something like vote," Orozco said.

"But we're not going to let that stop us from trying to do something, and that's why we're here today."

Seeing Trump win in other states, such as Florida, was a "wake-up call to me, realizing that I haven't been anywhere else besides California," Orozco said.

Since the results were settled, she says she has been obsessed with looking at what demographic groups voted for which candidate.

"It's sad to see that sexism, racism, it's all over the place," Orozco said. "Maybe we don't see a lot of it here." 

Some of the protesters said they learned about the rally on Instagram, via hashtags such as "notmypresident." 

Other protests of students and young people were held Wednesday across the Southland, including on the campuses of UCLA, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine.

At Cal State Long Beach, hundreds of students took part in a march across campus, with some carrying signs and many loudly chanting, "Not my president.'' The CSULB student government set up a "safe space" on campus designed to give students a place to express their feelings about the election.

Similar spaces were set up at UCLA, and an open-discussion event was scheduled to take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at DeNeve Auditorium.

University officials said the Young Progressives Demanding Action at UCLA plans to hold a rally at 11 a.m. Thursday in Meyerhoff Park.

Substantial anti-Trump protests also took place Wednesday in New York, Chicago, Washington and other cities.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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