As Protests Continue, Trump Attacks Media and Free Expression
President-elect said nationwide protests against him were 'very unfair,' blamed media
As people took to the streets for another night of protests on Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump offered a grim vision of the future as he blamed the media for "inciting" anger against his win and called the demonstrations "very unfair."
Protesters gathered throughout the country to express outrage at Trump's election and solidarity with those most threatened by his rise to power. In Portland, Oregon, which became an unofficial epicenter of the action, thousands marched downtown chanting, "We reject the president-elect!" before police officers used tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang grenades to force them to disperse.
Twenty-six people were reportedly arrested.
Protesters also briefly shut down highways near Denver, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, while others demonstrated in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, many chanting, "Not my president!"
A 15-year-old student in San Francisco said, "As a white, queer person, we need unity with people of color, we need to stand up. I'm fighting for my rights as an LGBTQ person. I'm fighting for the rights of brown people, black people, Muslim people."
Another protester in New York said Trump was wrong on "every issue."
"You got everything straight up and down the line," he told the Associated Press. "You got climate change, you got the Iran deal. You got gay rights, you got mass deportations. Just everything, straight up and down the line, the guy is wrong on every issue."
Trump, who spent roughly one day making uncharacteristically diplomatic statements about his historic upset victory over Hillary Clinton, was back in full effect Thursday night, when he responded to the actions by tweeting, "Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!"
He later wrote, "Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!"
The protests continue amid a reported increase of abuse and assaults against Muslims, people of color, immigrants, women and girls, and the LGBTQ community, among other minorities. Account after account on social media described high school students seeing their classmates making heil Hitler salutes, using racial and homophobic slurs, and chanting "white power!" in the halls. Students from Babson College in Massachusetts reportedly sped through the campus of Clinton's alma mater, the all-female Wellesley College, in a pick-up truck waving a Trump flag, and harassed black students there.
Trump has a notoriously antagonistic relationship with the press, having kicked reporters out of his rallies after they challenged his positions and more recently refused to allow journalists to accompany him on his trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama. During his campaign, he seemingly vowed a crackdown on free expression, declaring to "open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money."
Hundreds also gathered in Louisville, Baltimore, and Philadelphia on Thursday. In the latter city, demonstrators gathered outside City Hall holding signs that read, "Not Our President," ''Trans Against Trump," and "Make America Safe For All."