Protesters marched in several cities across the country on Tuesday evening after Donald Trump was elected president.
They were particularly numerous on California university campuses, the Bay Area, and in cities on the West Coast, where feelings from the mostly young crowd ranged from disbelief and heartbreak to anger and fear, in the wake of an election where the gulf separating the candidates’ platforms was perhaps the widest in modern US history.
Hundreds of people flooded into the streets around the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) early on Wednesday morning, chanting anti-Trump expletives and setting ablaze a piñata with his likeness in a trash can, according to the Los Angeles Times, which estimated protesters’ numbers at up to 1,500. One young woman, N.J. Omorogieva, told the newspaper that she joined the protest after coming across it on her way home.
"Of course I joined in," she said. "To give hugs to people who were overcome by devastation."
Things were tenser in Oakland, a city with a long history of radical activism, where more than 100 protesters burned an effigy of Mr. Trump, lit fires in roadways and smashed windows at the offices of the Oakland Tribune newspaper, according to NBC Bay Area. They were met by police in riot gear who later made what a local news station called “a small number of arrests for disobedience and vandalism.”
Others walked through the streets with linked arms, chanting, "When our communities are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back."
One person was struck by a vehicle while blocking a highway with other protesters, according to the East Bay Times, although the extent of the victim’s injuries remains unclear.
Demonstrations also sprung up in San Jose, San Diego, and Berkeley, as well as in Portland, Ore., where people blocked traffic and overturned a dumpster in the middle of the road.
"Whose streets? Our streets!" they chanted, according to Portland’s KGW.
The nation’s capital played host to several protests as well, with more than 1,000 people gathering outside of the White House, according to Fox News.
Members of Avaaz, a civic organization that promotes progressive causes such as climate change, were also present at the White House. The group had planned to perform a choral performance carrying signs that spelled out "We are better than bigotry." But as the election results rolled in Avaaz leader Andrew Nazdin said he began to realize his group was about to host “the first protest of the Trump administration,” according to The Washington Post.
There, as in cities on the West Coast, fear about what life would be like under the new presidency was a special theme among minority protesters.
"It’s scary being a minority right now," Howard University sophomore Kaylin Young told The Washington Post, adding that she couldn’t "even begin to describe" how different a Trump presidency would be from that of President Obama. "The things that he said about minorities, the things that he said about people of different colors, of different nationalities, has been incredibly hurtful."
Naja Nelson, a George Washington University student, pointed to the danger that many of Mr. Obama’s signature policy initiatives could be peeled away. "I’m starting to question everything," she told the Post. "I’m afraid things will go back to the way it was years ago. Racism has never gone away, but now those racists feel like they can step it up.... I mean, the KKK endorsed [Trump]. I don’t know what’s happening."
This report contains material from the Associated Press and Reuters.