Tuesday 17 October 2017

Thousands turn out for Not My President's Day protest

People march during a protest Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, in Philadelphia. Thousands of demonstrators turned out Monday across the U.S. to challenge Donald Trump in a Presidents Day protest dubbed Not My President's Day. (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
People march during a protest Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, in Philadelphia. Thousands of demonstrators turned out Monday across the U.S. to challenge Donald Trump in a Presidents Day protest dubbed Not My President's Day. (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
Protesters clash with police Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, in Portland, Ore. Thousands of demonstrators turned out Monday across the U.S. to challenge President Donald Trump in a Presidents Day protest dubbed Not My President's Day. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)
Demonstrators hold a rally Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, in Salt Lake City. The rally is one of several Not My Presidents Day protests planned across the country to mark the Presidents Day holiday. Protesters are criticizing President Donald Trump's immigration policies, among other things. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Julie Walker

Thousands of demonstrators turned out across America to challenge Donald Trump in a Presidents' Day protest dubbed Not My President's Day.

The protests on the national holiday did not draw nearly as many people as the million-plus who thronged the streets following the Republican president's inauguration a month earlier, but the message was similar.

Thousands of flag-waving protesters lined up outside Central Park in Manhattan, with many chanting "No ban, no wall. The Trump regime has got to fall".

They held aloft signs saying "Uphold the Constitution Now" and "Impeach the Liar".

Nova Calise, one of the New York City organisers, said Presidents Day was "a perfect time to protest the person that's currently holding the title of president of the United States", adding Mr Trump did not share the values of those demonstrating on Monday.

A rally in central Los Angeles also drew thousands, with demonstrators calling attention to Mr Trump's crackdown on immigration and his party's response to climate change and the environment.

Organisers said they chose to rally on the holiday as a way to honour past presidents by exercising their constitutional right to assemble and protest peacefully.

They chanted "Love not hate makes America great".

In Chicago, several hundred rallied across the river from the Trump Tower, shouting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go".

Rebecca Wolfram of Chicago, who is in her 60s, said concerns about climate change and immigrant rights under Mr Trump prompted her to start attending rallies.

"I'm trying to demonstrate as much as possible until I figure out what else to do," said Ms Wolfram, who held a sign that said "Old white ladies are really displeased".

Several hundred demonstrated in Washington DC and dozens gathered around the fountain in Dupont Circle, chanting "Dump Trump" and "Love, not hate: That's what makes America great".

Marchers took to Atlanta for a rally named with a Georgia flavour: "ImPEACH NOW! (Not My) President's Day March".

And hundreds of protesters chanting "This is what democracy looks like" marched through Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune said the crowd marched to push back against Mr Trump and his administration's stance on such issues as the environment, immigration, free speech and Russia.

Some people raised signs that said "Not My President", while others held up a large American flag.

Protester Reg Brookings warned the crowd that Mr Trump was trying to divide the country by making such groups as immigrants the enemy.

A small but unruly group of protesters faced off with police in central Portland, Oregon.

The Oregonian/OregonLive said police confronted the crowd in front of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building and took some into custody.

Hundreds of Trump opponents and supporters turned out in Rapid City, South Dakota and a larger anti-Trump faction stood on a street corner as part of a "Not My President" protest, similar to other demonstrations being held across the country.

A group supporting the president lined up on a different corner at the same junction, but police were on hand and the groups remained peaceful.

The Rapid City Journal said the anti-Trump protesters held up posters including some reading "Make America Think Again" and "Build bridges, not walls".

Supporters of the president waved American flags and held signs saying "God Bless our Presidents; Go Trump" and "Veterans for Trump".

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