A protester at a #NotMyPresident protest against Donald Trump.

‘Not My President’ Protests Against Donald Trump Heat Up In New York

Protesters turned out in their thousands in New York City on Saturday to protest the election of Republican Donald Trump to the office of president of the United States. The protesters, rallying around the social media hashtag “#NotMyPresident,” seek to express their anger over the election of Mr. Trump, who many see as unqualified to take the office or, as a danger to the people of the United States.

“NotMyPresident” protesters have been active in New York City since Wednesday, the day after the United States elections that resulted in an Electoral College victory for Donald Trump. The Saturday action drew a heavy response on social media, with some 10,000 people promising to attend. According to The Guardian, organizers estimated the initial crowd gathering near Union Square numbered some 2,000 individuals, but as the protest began to march toward Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, that number swelled and likely reached the promised 10,000. Many people took to social media to share their photos and feelings about the event.

The #NotMyPresident march against Donald Trump was escorted by a heavy police presence as it moved toward Trump Tower. Protesters chanted slogans such “Not My President” and “Whose Streets? Our Streets” as they made their way toward their destination. The crowd, expressing a deep public anger at the election of Donald Trump, was a diverse one. According to interviews conducted during the Saturday event, among those represented were transgender individuals, Mexican-Americans, and people of the Muslim faith, all groups that have felt threatened by the Trump candidacy and election. One woman, Shake’ Topalian, 71, who is the child of immigrant parents from Turkey, reported that she feared a repeat of the Armenian genocide that shocked the world in Turkey during the early 1900s.

The #NotMyPresident protests are an aspect of the fallout from the Tuesday election of Donald Trump over Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton. According to Politico, Donald Trump won in the Electoral College with 290 votes to Clinton’s 228. Problematically, Trump lost the popular vote by around 400,000 votes. The disparity between the popular and Electoral College vote has been an increasingly contentious object of concern in the United States, especially since a similar situation occurred in 2000 during the contest between candidates Al Gore and George Walker Bush.

Despite this backdrop, the #NotMyPresident protest seemed more to be one focused on disdain for Donald Trump than support for Hillary Clinton. Newsweek talked to several protesters in the crowd.

“I find Trump’s way of speaking, his populist rhetoric, his way of speaking about minorities, extremely terrifying, especially as someone who has studied the Holocaust and Hitler,” Elizabeth Hyman, a historian, said during the protest. “I find his speech about Muslims and blacks and immigrants especially scary. I’m terrified by the way a lot of white men in this country have latched onto him.”

Indeed, more then anything, the #NotMyPresident movement lays bare the division that exists in the United States. Many people feel offended and frightened by Trump, believing that he will promote an agenda that will discount minorities and promote racial and religious separation.

A protester waves a flag at a #NotMyPresident protest in Los Angeles.
#NotMyPresident Protester In Los Angeles [Image by Damian Dovarganes/AP Images]

Those taking part in the demonstration in New York City are not limited to disenfranchised Clinton supporters, but also supporters of her primary challenger Bernie Sanders, many of whom chose to support Green Party candidate Jill Stein or otherwise did not rally behind Clinton. Others represent long time community activist groups, minority and religious equality organizations, and members of the anarchist and communist movements. This coalition has not united behind Clinton, but against Trump.

The #NotMyPresident protest was not limited to New York City. Other, similar demonstrations against Donald Trump were held in Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as Oakland, Baltimore, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Columbus, and Portland. The groundswell of popular anger has drawn tens of thousands into the streets across the country.

[Featured Image by Charlie Riedel/AP Images]