From the East to the West Coast Americans took to the streets to protest the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election. Hashtags #NotMyPresident and #HeIsNotMyPresident took over Twitter.
Anti-Trump rallies were held in most States including California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Oregon and in front of the White House. There were prayers as well as fear, anger, disappointment and outrage across the Land.
In cities with Trump buildings the protesters made a point of gathering in front of them. In other places, people gathered in front of local landmarks. In many areas, streets, highways and freeways were blocked by protesters. Students at colleges and universities nationwide were exercising their right to protest.
At one point, in Los Angeles there were so many protests taking place simultaneously, the LAPD didn’t have enough manpower to control them. Hundreds of people brought 101 freeway (between Downtown L.A. and Hollywood) to a halt last night. According to latest reports 28 people were arrested in anti-Trump rallies in Greater Los Angeles.
There were Trump piñatas, masks and puppets as well as burnings of the American flag. The prospect of #CalExit (cessation of California from the Federal government) was raised.
“One of our greatest privileges as Americans is the right to free expression. Last night, thousands of Angelenos came together publicly to make their feelings known.
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. But walking and throwing objects onto freeways is dangerous for pedestrians and drivers — and it puts a heavy burden on people just trying make it home to their families or get to work safely.
I am proud that the demonstrations in Los Angeles have been mostly lawful and peaceful, and that our officers are working with demonstrators to keep people out of harm’s way. Protests can, should, and must proceed in that spirit — and I urge everyone to look out for their fellow Angelenos and put safety first.”
Several days after the Election and the first meeting between the First Family and the family of the President Elect the nation remains bitterly divided.
UPDATE: Anti-Trump protests continue in many States, including California. A large protest is scheduled for Saturday 11/12/16 in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. (10,000 people are expected.)
There is nothing wrong with protesting. However the time for self-expression was the election. Continued protests, some involving vandalism of property (ours, not the President Elect’s!) and violence against police officers (our city’s, not Federal government’s!) are not only futile but senseless. No protest can change the outcome of Presidential Election.
Social activism, civic initiatives – both of which are peaceful – might moderate the impact of some federal policies on Los Angeles and California.
The time for expressing our preferences has ended once the polls closed. Now it’s time to get ready for a new era with President Trump at the steering wheel. We and the President Elect will have to make some compromises. It’s time to look for the positive and focus on values we can agree on. It’s time to move on.