Thousands of Americans took to the streets in election protests this week while others promised extended legal actions to fight the policies of President-elect Donald Trump.
While most of the protests – which stretched from New York to Chicago and Los Angeles – were peaceful, violence has erupted in Oakland and Portland, Oregon.
Elsewhere, university students petitioned administrators to cancel classes so they could deal with the election campaign’s emotional finale, while some public schools offered coping resources to students in the wake of the presidential vote.
Others took a more hard-line approach over election protests and angst on Wednesday.
“These temper tantrums from these radical anarchists must be quelled,’’ Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate to head the Homeland Security Department, said on Twitter. “There is no legitimate reason to protest the will of the people.”
Trump himself sent a tweet on Friday morning about the protests.
“Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country.” he said. “We will all come together and be proud!”
Thousands of demonstrators in Los Angeles came out to make their feelings about the election known, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday. Most of the actions – but not all — were peaceful and lawful, Garcetti said.
“I understand that the results of Tuesday’s election are painful for many of us, and this kind of engagement can be a meaningful part of the healing we need after such a long and divisive campaign,” he said in a prepared statement. “But walking and throwing objects onto freeways is dangerous for pedestrians and drivers – and it puts a heavy burden on people just trying to make it home to their families or get to work safely.”
Los Angeles police officers are working with demonstrators to keep everyone out of harm’s way, he said.
A couple thousand protesters in Portland, Ore., shouted slogans such as “Not my president” and “Trump and Putin sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G” on Wednesday. Police at one point had to shut down Interstate 5 as a precaution.
Although the protests appear to be spontaneous reactions, evidence arose duringt eh campaign of coordinated efforts by Democrat party officials to encourage violence at Trump rallies. One group that has organized protests against Trump’s candidacy in past months is the National Council of La Raza. Although it has not claimed any connection to the post-election protests, its president promised a spirited response to Trump.
“We want to reassure our community and our fellow Americans that if the new administration continues to be steeped in the politics of division and blame, then we will continue to stand up and defend the 58 million Latinos in this country, along with the values our nation holds dear: tolerance and inclusion,” Janet Murguia said in a prepared statement.
About 7,000 protesters turned out Wednesday night to express indignation over Trump`s election in Oakland. Demonstrators turned violent and caused damage as time wore on, according to Mayor Libby Schaaf.
“Tens of businesses, including many of our small businesses and other institutions vital to Oaklanders, were hit hard,” Schaaf said in a prepared statement. “Graffiti and broken windows were left behind by a group of anarchists who continually invade these otherwise peaceful protests with the intention of doing nothing but causing destruction.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, meanwhile, promised to see the Trump administration in court if it tries to implement policies such as deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, banning the entry of Muslims into the nation, re-authorizing waterboarding and other types of torture, and placing new limits on freedom of expression.
“These proposals are not simply un-American and wrong-headed,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said this week. “They are unlawful and unconstitutional. They violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and 14th Amendments.”
The U.S. Constitution and the nation’s system of laws are more enduring than any single individual, Romero said.
Some university students, however, took a less strident line by simply calling on classes to be canceled to give students a break from a long, divisive campaign.
“Loyola students are exhausted and exasperated from this election, and no one wants to go to class,” said one Loyola University New Orleans student in a petition to administrators. “The only cure to an election hangover is drinking a cold beer in bed … all day.”
The Boston Public Schools told students disturbed by the election that its Behavioral Health Department was available to help them deal with fears or concerns. “Additionally, the Employee Assistance Program is available to support city of Boston employees’ well-being,” according to a statement on the Boston Public Schools website.
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