PORTLAND, Ore. – Another night of nationwide protests against Donald Trump’s election came to a head in Portland, where thousands marched and some smashed store windows, lit firecrackers and started a dumpster fire in what police declared a riot.
Some 4,000 protesters were in the streets of Portland late Thursday night with chants like “we reject the president-elect!”
Police termed the protest a riot and began making mass arrests after protesters began spreading through downtown streets and lashing out.
Around the country from New York to Chicago to California, in red states as well as blue, hundreds of demonstrators were marching through streets again, though in somewhat smaller numbers than previous nights.
Trump himself fired back late Thursday, tweeting: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”
In Denver, protesters managed to shut down Interstate 25 near downtown Denver briefly Thursday night.
Denver police tweeted around 10 p.m. that demonstrators made their way onto the freeway and traffic was halted in the northbound and southbound lanes. Police say the interstate was reopened about half an hour later as the crowd moved back downtown.
In San Francisco’s downtown, high-spirited high school students marched through, chanting “not my president” and holding signs urging a Donald Trump eviction. They waved rainbow banners and Mexican flags, as bystanders in the heavily Democratic city high-fived the marchers from the sidelines.
“As a white, queer person, we need unity with people of colour, we need to stand up,” said Claire Bye, a 15-year-old sophomore at Academy High School. “I’m fighting for my rights as an LGBTQ person. I’m fighting for the rights of brown people, black people, Muslim people.”
In New York City, a large group of demonstrators once again gathered outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue Thursday night. They chanted angry slogans and waved banners baring anti-Trump messages.
“You got everything straight up and down the line,” demonstrator David Thomas said. “You got climate change, you got the Iran deal. You got gay rights, you got mass deportations. Just everything, straight up and down the line, the guy is wrong on every issue.”
Protesters briefly shut down interstate highways in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. In Philadelphia, protesters near City Hall held signs bearing slogans like “Not Our President,” “Trans Against Trump” and “Make America Safe For All.” About 500 people turned out at a protest in Louisville, Kentucky and in Baltimore, hundreds of people marched to the stadium where the Ravens were playing a football game.
Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside Trump Tower in Chicago and a growing group was getting into some shoving matches with police in Oakland, California.
As expected, the demonstrations prompted some social media blowback from Trump supporters accusing protesters of sour grapes or worse, though there were no significant counter-protests.
Trump supporters said the protesters were not respecting the democratic process.
As of Thursday, Democrat Hillary Clinton was leading Trump in votes nationwide 47.7 per cent to 47.5 per cent, but Trump secured victory in the Electoral College.
Jablon reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Deepti Hajela in New York, Janie Har in San Francisco and Lisa Baumann in Seattle contributed to this report.