The gilded avenue of President-elect Donald Trump’s namesake tower swelled with thousands of sign-waving protesters Saturday chanting: “Not my president!”
Four days after the Republican stunned most pundits and pollsters by defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton, protests continued for a fourth day in Manhattan and nationwide, though New York’s lacked the violence seen in Portland.
Shoulder-to-shoulder protesters crammed along Fifth Avenue, south of 56th Street, as far downtown as the eye could see. A moat of NYPD cops kept the crowd from reaching the tower.
In interviews, several said demonstrating was as much about challenging the president-elect as reminding the subjects of his campaign rhetoric — immigrants, women, racial minorities, Muslims — that nearly half the nation’s voters oppose him.
“Donald Trump is preaching pure evil. He’s preaching hate, and he’s asking people to be racist. He doesn’t care about a woman’s body or a woman’s choice, and I’m not OK with that,” said film critic David Bruce, 35, of Manhattan, at the protest’s start, Union Square. “All of that equals, he’s not my president.”
Ellen Frances, also 35, stood on Fifth Avenue holding her 6-year-old daughter Oona and a handmade not-my-president sign they had made together.
Frances, an ad-agency creative director, said she’s alarmed at Trump’s denial that human action is causing climate change, his promise to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education, and more.
“We’re going to pay the price. Women and girls are going to pay the price, minorities are already paying the price. LGBT are paying the price,” said Frances, who wore a Clinton pin and sticker.
Mary Jo Yazzetti, 52, of Queens, said she hopes the protests inspire Trump to rein in his campaign rhetoric because he cares about public perception.
“He was elected fair and square,” she said. “I think he wants to be the best president ever . . . I think the protests will push him to stop all the division and hate.”
The crowd roared when shop workers from several high-end retailers overlooking Fifth Avenue — including Valentino and Polo Ralph Lauren — signaled solidarity from behind the glass by applauding or hoisting fists in the air.
Also Saturday, filmmaker Michael Moore, famous for on-camera ambushes, approached Trump Tower to ask to see the president-elect “to suggest that he be a gracious man and step aside and let the person who won the popular vote take over the Oval Office,” Hillary Clinton, Moore recalled afterward. His efforts proved unsuccessful.
With Laura Blasey and Joan Gralla