Crowd gathers for ‘United Against Trump’ rally in RI; March ensues through streets
A self-described “progressive news” outlet that calls itself the “voice of the left in the Ocean State” led a “United Against Trump” rally and subsequent march through downtown Providence Wednesday night.
“Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States,” the flyer noted. “We must immediately mobilize against him. We must build a movement to fight racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia. We need to fight back.”
Josh Kilby, who told NBC 10 he helped plan the rally, shared similar sentiments.
“This is about organizing against racism,” he said. “It’s about organizing against sexism, homo and transphobia.”
Others agreed, noting that they are not happy with America’s decision.
“I woke up this morning in tears,” Andersyn Costa of Providence said. “I woke up and saw many of my friends on Facebook in fear for their lives, for their families.”
“This wasn’t anything about like, ‘Oh, we didn’t get our way,’” Cara Bella of Providence added. “It isn’t right when someone is messing with your human rights and your safety not just as an American, but as a human being on planet earth.”
Several hundred people ended up participating in the rally, which took place at the Rhode Island State House from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the event, protesters chanted, “Love Trumps hate."
Many participants were holding signs that said "Donald Trump is not my president," and "End white supremacy," while others displayed their frustration by writing, "Trump's a sex offender, "I'm With Her," and "#BlackLivesMatter," in chalk on the State House steps.
After the rally, the crowd grew to at least 1,000 people. The group then began to march through the streets of downtown Providence, with police monitoring the scene and blocking highway ramps.
Similar protests took place across the country. In Boston, thousands of people marched through the city Wednesday evening, while protesters headed toward Trump Tower in New York. Meanwhile, an American flag was set on fire Washington D.C., and windows were smashed in Oakland overnight.
Trump was named president-elect around 2:30 Wednesday morning after he awakened a movement of angry working-class voters fed up with political insiders and desperate for change. His stunning, come-from-behind victory over Hillary Clinton served as a symbolic raised middle finger to the political establishment from his fervent backers.
But to millions of others, the billionaire businessman's elevation to the presidency is a shocking, catastrophic blow that threatens the security and identity of a bitterly divided nation. Many see him as a racist, a bigot and a misogynist unfit for the office.
For Cranston resident Ashley Redinger, who attended the Providence rally, the protest was all about bringing people together in the wake of an electoral outcome that some aren’t comfortable with.
“I’m just here to make sure that anyone who feels afraid is not alone,” she said.
The group of marchers disbanded around 10:30 p.m.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)