Anti-Trump Protesters March on Market, Through Mission

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Thousands of protesters marched from downtown San Francisco to the Castro and Mission districts Wednesday evening protesting the election of Donald Trump to the presidency in a symbolic act of solidary with the neighborhoods that represent those most maligned by Trump’s rhetoric.

Many of the at least 2,000 protesters decried Trump’s multiple campaign promises, like his proposal for a border wall and his call to ban Muslim immigration. Others focused on his history of alleged sexual assault and his “grab ’em by the pussy” comments — one protester carried a sign reading “This pussy fights back.”

At Harvey Milk Plaza in front of the historic Castro Theater, a smaller protest of a few hundred met and joined the main march, which began at Powell at Market streets at 5 p.m. The crowd, many of them waving rainbow and American flags, then proceed from the Castro to the Mission and back to City Hall, where hundreds chanted “Not my president!” and vowed to continue their opposition of the president-elect.

Update, 9:20 p.m.

Upon arrival at City Hall, protesters launched into a series of chants spanning several election issues – women shouted, “my body, my choice!” and men responded with “your body, your choice.” An Assata Shakur passage was recited, followed by repetitions of “Sí se puede!”

Barricades had been erected in front of the entrance to City Hall, guarded by sheriff’s deputies.

Mike McLaughlin, 27, said he was a Bernie Sanders supporter but when Sanders lost the primary, began volunteering for Hillary Clinton.

“I find it unacceptable. I just don’t like that this guy is going to be president,” he said. “My parents were illegal immigrants from Ireland. I’m bisexual myself. It affects me but it also affects the people I know.”

McLaughlin carried an American flag. “I love this country, I don’t want to see it in distress,” he said.

Tony Watkins, who lives around the corner, said he joined the protest because he was upset about the election results and wanted to show solidarity with those who would be affected. He said that though he is black, he wasn’t worried about being personally affected – rather, he worried that the social safety net for the most vulnerable would be undermined.

“A lot of people won’t be affected by it at all, people with wealth and privilege, they’ll go about their business every day,” Watkins said.

As the hour wore past 9 p.m., protesters began sitting down in the plaza in front of City Hall and in the road, though their numbers had dwindled to around 400.

One passerby remarked as he walked past, “He already won, I don’t get it.”

Update, 8:40 p.m.

By 8:30, the march had returned to the area of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, on its way to City Hall after a roughly six-mile trip along Market, Mission and Valencia streets.

Many of the protesters were students at area colleges. Kayra Reindel, an 18-year-old San Francisco State University student, came with a contingent of students dressed in black to show solidarity.

“I’m sad about people being deported who I care about. About women losing the rights they fought so hard for,” she said. “I have friends whose parents are undocumented, who are terrified at the prospect of losing their parents.”

Update, 8:15 p.m.

With continued momentum after a march that had already traveled from Powell and Market streets to Harvey Milk Plaza to 24th and Mission streets, protesters decided to head to City Hall.

They made their way along Valencia Street from 24th and Mission streets and and stopped at Mission Station at 17th and Valencia, where they were met by dozens of police officers guarding the police headquarters.

“We want you to remember a few of the martyrs in the Mission that we fought for,” said organizer and elementary school teacher Frank Lara. He named several men fatally shot by police officers, including Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez and Luis Gongora Pat.

Oakland resident Vanessa Rochelle, who was born in the Excelsior, said she was marching because it felt more significant than social media outrage.

“It speaks a lot more than Tweets or Facebook,” she said.

Update, 7:50 p.m.

After leaving Harvey Milk Plaza, the protestors, about 2,000 strong, marched down 20th Street to Mission Street, heading to 24th.

“Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here,” protesters chanted as they approached 22nd Street.

Mira Ingram, a 48-year-old wheelchair user who lives in the Tenderloin, remembered Trump’s mocking of a reporter with a disability with distaste.

“I’m here because I’m sad and upset that Trump has won. I feel like half of America has decided to say that people with disabilities, like me, are not worth living.”

At 24th Street, the crowd stopped, and organizers asked if the protesters were tired – a question they had put to the crowd several times that night.

They were met with a resounding, “No!”

“We know we’re not gonna get tired, there’s a long fight ahead,” said Natalie Hrizi, an activist and teacher at Cesar Chavez Elementary School.

Neighborhood organizer Roberto Hernandez addressed the crowd at 24th and Mission streets.

“We fought for the United Farm Worker’s movement here. We’ve been fighting gentrification here. We fought South African apartheid here,” he said, pointing to the BART plaza. “And now we have Trump.”

From there the protesters marched down Valencia Street back toward 16th Street.

Original Story

Though many of the chants were angry (“Fuck Donald Trump” was a popular refrain), speakers said they wanted to reassure minorities who feel threatened by Trump’s statements that San Franciscans would stand up for them.

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

“Maybe last night we felt down, we felt alone. But what came out of it is this,” said Frank Lara, a teacher and an organizer with the Answer Coalition, at Powell Street.

Natalie Hrizi, a teacher at a Mission District school, called out to immigrants in Spanish.

“We are with you, with all of you,” she said. “Don’t be afraid, because we will fight with you.”

Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission District, criticized not just Trump but the entire nation and its political system.

“This is still a racist, sexist, homophobic country,” he told the crowd. “It’s about the Democratic Party, which is run by a corporate Democrat. We are taking our party back. We have to send a message to Donald Trump and all the haters who elected him.”

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

One woman in the crowd, pushing her daughter in a stroller, spoke of widespread fear of deportation in her family.

“All of my son’s best friends and family members, all of my neighbors’ friends, my paternal family. People fear deportation,” the woman, a Mission resident, said. “They hear them saying that San Francisco won’t be a sanctuary city anymore.”

She added that people also fear that even with legal residency, they will be barred from returning to the country if they leave.

Another Mission resident, Angie Ramos, said she was appalled at the decision.

“As a young woman of color I’m shocked people would choose to side with a sexist, racist rapist,” she said.

Ramos said some in her family had come from Mexico without documents, and that they felt “devastated, voiceless.”

With the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, Ramos also worried about women’s healthcare and housing discrimination.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca, a queer activists and tenants rights advocate, spoke to the fear that many at the march expressed.

“I am terrified at this moment,” he told them. “I know what happens when this kind of hatred is unleashed. The most important thing is to stick together. We are facing one of the greatest evils I have faced in my lifetime.”

At Harvey Milk Plaza, LGBT rights and AIDS activist Cleve Jones said he hoped the turmoil could help end the identity politics that have divided the left.

“We’re all in this together, gay, straight, black, white, documented, undocumented,” he said.

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

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