Protesters gather to ‘Trump’ hate

Protests lasted into the early hours of Nov. 10 and continued that evening with hundreds marching downtown shouting, “We reject the president-elect,” and other expressions of concern. 

By Metro Reporter

“I was in disbelief after hearing the results,” said Dan Villa, a 23-year-old Chicagoan, following Donald Trump’s presidential victory Nov. 8. “Being a queer person of color and being on the receiving end of a lot of the hateful, disgusting rhetoric from Donald Trump really infuriated me.”

Villa and thousands more took to the streets Nov. 9 as Chicago became one of 10 cities in which protesters marched to signal their opposition to Trump’s win. Chicago protests continued Nov. 10 and were also scheduled throughout the weekend. 

Multiple Facebook events were created to encourage people to gather outside of Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave. at 5 p.m. Starting at Trump Tower, thousands of people of all ages, ethnicities and genders marched through downtown, blocking traffic on Lake Shore Drive.

These protests came a week after Chicago City Council voted to remove the honorary Trump street sign outside of Trump Tower Nov. 1. 

Protesters yelled, “This is what democracy looks like,” and, “The people united will never be divided.” 

Posters read “Not my president,” “Would you let a man grab your daughter by the p—y?” and “AmeriKKKa f–k your white supremacy.” People waved American, Mexican and LGBT flags in solidarity with minority groups targeted by controversial comments from Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. 

Bystanders on the sidewalk, those in cars stopped in traffic and even some city bus drivers gave supportive shouts, honks and fists raised in solidarity.

Colleen Evans, a 38-year-old cocktail server in Chicago, said she felt as if America’s current political system has failed the people. However, she was happy to see people come together to protest Trump.

“It’s great that people are willing to get organized and really fight for what they believe is right,” Evans said. “Can we change the outcome of the election tonight? No, but we can at least show that people are not willing to sit down and be quiet and let the chips fall where they may.” 

While most protesters remained peaceful, some climbed on stoplights and CTA buses, broke through police barricades and yelled at, spit on and threw water bottles and other small items at police officers. At one point, police pushed protesters away. 

According to multiple news sources, five people were arrested for misdemeanor charges of obstructing traffic, reckless conduct and trespassing.  CPD did not respond to requests from The Chronicle to confirm the arrests as of press time.

The crowd of protesters had significantly died down by 10 p.m., and almost completely dissipated by 1 a.m. on Nov. 10.

“I just needed a cathartic group experience because I have a lot of feelings,” said Allison Joy, a 28-year-old para-professional for autistic children from Berwyn, Illinois. “It’s such a diverse group, but we’re all here: queer people, black people, Muslim people, women; we’re not going anywhere. This is the population the next president is going to have to bring together. We’re not all moving to Canada.” 

The Nov. 10 protests continued a smaller scale as a few hundred protesters marched downtown to Trump Tower, setting off small fireworks as they moved.

Aderlin Lopez, a 27-year-old student from Waukegan, Illinois, came to protest both Nov. 9 and 10. He said he hoped the second night of protests would be more peaceful and even brought a first aid kit in case anyone needed medical assistance. 

Lopez was disturbed by the burning of the American flag, which he said he witnessed on Nov. 9.

“A lot of the backlash [the Nov. 9 protest received] was because there were people jumping on buses, flag burning, but not everybody out here is like that,” Lopez said. “I saw people who almost got into a fight settle the argument and hug each other. There were people singing, there were people dancing, there were people coming together as one.”