Civil rights a major concern on second day of anti-Trump protests


U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Friday praised demonstrators for being passionate about their country, just hours after he accused them of being “professional protesters” incited by the media.

“Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!” Trump tweeted early on Friday.

On Thursday night, the president-elect had posted: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

Mostly peaceful and orderly protests took place in at least eight cities following the Republican businessman’s defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s election. Demonstrators have voiced concern Trump would harm Americans’ civil rights.

“Everyone needs to just take a deep breath, take the weekend count our blessings, and let’s come back on Monday,” Priebus said.

MARCH FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

Police set up security barricades around two Trump marquee properties that have become focal points of protests – his newly opened Pennsylvania Avenue hotel near the White House and the high-rise Trump Tower in Manhattan, where he lives.

About 100 protesters marched from the White House, where Trump had his first transition meeting with Obama on Thursday, to the new Trump International Hotel several blocks away.

At least 200 people rallied there after dark, many chanting, “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!” and carrying signs with such slogans as “Impeach Trump” and “Not my president.”

“I can’t support someone who supports so much bigotry and hatred. It’s heart-breaking,” said Joe Daniels, 25, of suburban Alexandria, Virginia.

Protesters threw objects at police in Portland and damaged cars in a dealership lot, the Portland Police Department said on Twitter. Some protesters sprayed graffiti on cars and buildings and smashed store front windows, media in Portland said.

“Many in crowd trying to get anarchist groups to stop destroying property, anarchists refusing. Others encouraged to leave area”, the department tweeted after declaring the demonstration a riot.

The demonstration continued into Friday morning as Portland police arrested a handful of protesters and used pepper spray and rubber bullets to try to disperse the crowd, the department said.

At least 35 were arrested in a protest in downtown Los Angeles, where demonstrators blocked traffic and sat in the street, local media reported.

Dozens in Minneapolis marched onto Interstate 94, blocking traffic in both directions for at least an hour as police stood by. A smaller band of demonstrators briefly halted traffic on a busy Los Angeles freeway before police cleared them.

BALTIMORE, DENVER

Baltimore police reported that about 600 people marched through the downtown Inner Harbor area, with some blocking roadways by sitting in the street. Two people were arrested.

In Denver, a crowd that media estimated to number about 3,000 gathered on the grounds of the Colorado state capitol and marched through downtown in one of the largest of Thursday’s events. Hundreds demonstrated through Dallas.

Thursday’s gatherings were generally smaller in scale and less intense than Wednesday’s, and teenagers and young adults again dominated the racially mixed crowds.

“Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” Trump tweeted on Thursday night.

Police pitched security barricades around two Trump marquee properties that have become focal points of the protests – his newly opened Pennsylvania Avenue hotel in Washington and the high-rise Trump Tower in Manhattan, where he lives.

About 100 protesters marched from the White House, where Trump had his first transition meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday, to the Trump International Hotel several blocks away.

At least 200 people rallied there after dark, many chanting “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!” and carrying signs with such slogans as “Impeach Trump” and “Not my president.”

“I can’t support someone who supports so much bigotry and hatred. It’s heart-breaking,” said Joe Daniels, 25, of suburban Alexandria, Virginia.

‘GIVE TRUMP A CHANCE’

Two Trump supporters stood off to the side carrying signs reading: “All We are Saying is Give Trump a Chance”.

Trump’s critics worry that his often-inflammatory campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims, women and others – combined with support from the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist’s – could spark a wave of intolerance against minorities.

Taking a far more conciliatory tone in his acceptance speech early Wednesday than he had at many of his campaign events, Trump vowed to be a president for all Americans.

His campaign rejected a Klan newspaper endorsement this month, saying Trump “denounces hate in any form.”

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and a high-profile Trump supporter, called the demonstrators “a bunch of spoiled cry-babies” in an interview with Fox News.

Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer urged the protesters to give Trump a chance once he is sworn in to office in January.

“I hope that people get it out of their systems … but then they give this man that was just elected very historically and his new vice president an opportunity to govern,” Spicer told MSNBC.

In San Francisco, more than 1,000 high school students walked out of classes Thursday morning to march through the financial district carrying rainbow flags representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, Mexican flags, and signs decrying Trump.

Civil rights groups and police reported an uptick in attacks on members of minority groups, some by people claiming to support Trump. There were also reports of Trump opponents lashing out at people carrying signs supporting him.

More anti-Trump demonstrations were planned for the weekend. -Reuters

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