Several hundred marchers gathered at Dutch Kills Green park in Queens on Saturday and made their way to Manhattan to protest the presidency of Donald Trump.
“I had to express my outrage,” said Noreen Horran, 66, of Rockaway. “Not that Trump won, but that he brought out all the hate that’s been simmering [in the country]. To me, he’s the biggest con man there ever was.”
The march was organized by Queens Respond with Queens Values and New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. It began just before 2 p.m. at the park in Long Island City and proceeded over the Queensboro Bridge toward Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.
“We don’t hate. We love our neighbors,” Van Bramer said. “We stand for good old-fashioned values like decency and respect. Trump was raised in Queens, but he’s not from here any longer.”
Organizers said about 1,000 people participated in the march. As protesters walked along Queens Plaza North toward the bridge, several motorists used their vehicles to stall traffic and honk their horns in a show of support for the demonstrators.
Dozens of NYPD officers watched over the crowd, which was peaceful but shouted “This is what democracy looks like!” Demonstrators held signs that read “We won’t normalize hate!” “Hate fixes nothing!” and “Stop Bannon!,” a reference to Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive whom Trump picked to be White House strategist and senior counselor.
Demonstrators, including Queens resident Andrew O’Sullivan, 30, made their way to Fifth Avenue and 57th Street before being stopped by barricades. Trump Tower is at 725 Fifth Ave.
“I feel strongly about Queens being a place where people from all over can live and build a community,” O’Sullivan said. “We don’t want a federal government that breaks those values apart.”
Dirk Peters, 35, of Astoria, said his Muslim and immigrant neighbors are under attack. “I think we have a new wave of discrimination and racism, and we have to stand up to that,” Peters said.
Anna Gaffney, 59, of Astoria, said she marched to show solidarity.
“He’s not my president,” Gaffney said, adding that she disapproves of Trump’s Cabinet choices thus far. “He’s all about inciting.”
Trump has named Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to be attorney general, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to lead the CIA and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
Van Bramer, an openly gay man, said Queens is a diverse borough whose residents believe in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the right to marry the person you love.
“Queens is about love and equality,” Van Bramer said as the march began. “Queens rejects racism. Queens rejects misogyny. We believe in a woman’s right to choose.”