By Sharon Fountain, Chicago Crusader
Before most people woke up to learn the outcome of their vote in the 2016 Presidential Election, plans were already underway to begin a new fight in protest of the election results.
The day after the election Hillary Clinton gave her public concession speech in the morning from New York to Donald J. Trump. At times she appeared to be holding back tears as she remarked on the pain of the defeat. In the same speech she asked everyone, especially her supporters to accept the election results and to be open-minded, as Trump becomes the next President of the United States. Her speech was followed by Donald’s victory speech from his New York headquarters.
Although Donald Trump’s campaign was riddled with racist, sexist, and disparaging remarks and gestures towards numerous groups, his victory speech called for unity as one nation under his leadership. Trump said, “It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me…. It’s a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.”
The NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement regarding the results of the 2016 presidential election and noted Trump’s pledge:
“Even as we extend our congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, the NAACP, as America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, must bluntly note that the 2016 campaign has regularized racism, standardized anti-Semitism, de-exceptionalized xenophobia and mainstreamed misogyny. Voter suppression, as the courts have declared, has too become rampant and routine.
“From the day that General George Washington accepted the people’s charge to become their first commander-in-chief, to the day that we elected Barack Obama as our country’s first African-American president, America has come together to ensure a peaceful transition of power. This most recent presidential election must meet this distinctly American standard. President-Elect Trump’s victory speech avoided a divisive tone and thus invoked this standard.”
Likewise the African American Mayors Association issued statements reminding president-elect Donald Trump of his campaign promise to make new investments in infrastructure. He said that would be one of his top priorities. The statement said, “Now that the election is over, we must turn our attention to working together to address the most important issues in America – job creation, criminal justice reform, healthcare, a quality education for every child and national security. Importantly, improving our nation’s transportation and infrastructure is equally critical, and it will be a top priority of the African American Mayors Association to work with the new administration to bring American infrastructure into the 21st century.”
Despite the remarks by Trump in his victory speech and calls for solidarity, plans were being made throughout the day all over the United States in every major city to protest the results of the election. Trump’s victory over Democrat and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who won 228 electoral votes to Trump’s 279, did not make him more popular. Hillary won the popular vote, making her the preferred candidate of the people.
In particular, plans in Chicago were underway to have no less than 800 protesters to converge on Trump Tower in downtown Chicago to express disapproval of a Trump Presidency in the early evening. The idea was to resist the outcome because Trump’s campaign had been particularly filled with blatant and hateful statements and views towards so many groups.
However by nightfall there were hundreds of people walking down a normally busy Lake Shore Drive toting signs and chanting. As they headed towards Upper Wacker Drive, a growing crowd near the Trump Tower joined them. The protesters quickly reached several thousands in number. Some carried signs, some chanted, but all wanted to send a clear message to the president-elect.
The protesters were not pleased with the outcome “I couldn’t believe it when I woke up this morning. I was outraged. Clearly there is something wrong with our electoral system. But what’s worse—what does this say about the hate in the United States?” one woman said, “so we want to come together to change that and make sure we keep going forward,” said a male protester.
It should be no surprise that groups representing immigrants, Muslims, women, LGBTQ people, the poor, disabled and working people, as well as civil right activists, were all present.
Hundreds of activists across the nation from the east coast to the west coast planned demonstrations, marches, to show their opposition to the president-elect Donald Trump. They took to the streets in every major city in the United States spilling into the streets to effect the most disruption of busy business districts or the nearest Trump Hotel.
As the evening marked the end of the day it signaled the beginning of nonacceptance by protestors not only in Chicago, but New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, St. Paul, Minn., Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and several other cities.
Downtown Seattle had approximately 2,000 protesters.
Not only did protesters flood the streets in Los Angeles and marched down the 101 Freeway, they burned an effigy of Trump a short distance from City Hall.
Washington, D.C., was no different with hundreds of women and men protesting.
If you thought it was a one day thing, Black Lives Matter has scheduled a protest for Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.