Just hours after Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States, protests began to break out throughout the country. News channels showed protests occurring in Miami, Portland, New York, and other cities. On the third night of protests in New York City, I was there. These protests weren't unfamiliar to me, as I had seen some prior to the election, which you can read more about in my article Yes, I Went to a Trump Rally. The experience took a different tone this time, however, because the protesters had already seen the very person they despised become elected, against the popular vote.
Excited for what was ahead, I got onto the 3:56pm train to Grand Central Station, and I was in New York City by about 5:30pm. I had been learning information about the protests through Facebook events that had been created for them as well as additional information that I could find under the search terms "trump protests nyc" on Twitter. From Grand Central I took the subway to Washington Square Park, where protests had been occurring since 2pm. As I walked from the subway station to Washington Square Park, I began to hear the faint cheers of a crowd. Fast forward, and I was outside the barricades at Trump Tower, where on both sides of the block hundreds of protesters cheered. Protesters had marched there from Washington Square Park, Union Square, Madison Square Park, and other locations.
Organizers passed a microphone around to people who wanted to speak; a transgender woman, a Muslim woman, an African American man, and many others. With emotion in their voices, they praised the people who were protesting as well as the police protecting them, and they let it be known they were fighting with love. Their claims were correct, because what I observed was that the compassion and kindness the activists shared knew no limits. Some protesters wore hijabs in solidarity with Muslims threatened by Trump's policy proposals, and another man walked around handing out donuts to the protesters who had been standing in the cold for hours.
At about 8:30pm a transgender woman recalled all the transgender suicides which had occurred in recent years, and called the protesters to action. She led the passionate protesters from Trump Tower, around the blockades on 5th Avenue, and they set off down the streets of Manhattan. They marched together, armed with clever chants and powerful messages, as New Yorkers looked from their office windows, and clerks stood outside of their stores in awe. Spectating minorities flashed grins as wide as the streets in which the protesters marched. LGBTQ couples embraced each other, with tears in their eyes. The whole city's attention was on them. Regardless of whom the onlookers were supporting, it was hard not to respect the passion the protesters had for standing up for what they believe in.
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