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US election: Thousands voice their outrage at Trump win

By Claire Williamson

On the streets of towns and cities across America, the dissent has turned to outright revolt.

Fears of unrest had formed an ugly backdrop to this election, but the aftermath of Donald Trump's stunning victory has seen anger boil over throughout this vast country.

The past 48 hours have exposed raw divisions, driving open fractious fault lines at the heart of American society.

From coast to coast, those emotions were on full display on Wednesday, as protesters flooded city streets to demonstrate in condemnation of Trump's victory.

From New England to heartland cities like Kansas City and along the West Coast, demonstrators carried flags and anti-Trump signs, disrupting traffic and declaring that they refused to accept the Republican's triumph.

The billionaire property tycoon claimed a stunning win over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

While Clinton won the popular vote, Trump got the keys to the White House through the Electoral College system.

With almost 125 million votes counted yesterday, the Associated Press tally had Clinton on 47.7% and Mr Trump on 47.5% - but 279 electoral college votes for the Republicans and 228 for the Democrats.

If it stays this way, it will be only the fifth time in US history that the candidate who got most votes failed to become president. The last was Al Gore, who lost to George W Bush in 2000. In the hours since the result was declared, an election that had been branded one of "fear" has spilled into anger on the streets, with thousands protesting against the result.

In Detroit, around 100 protesters held signs and chanted "not our president" as they snaked around the city centre. During Trump's campaign he often made controversial statements about minority groups as he amassed a movement of followers.

Experts failed spectacularly to predict the outcome of the election based on opinion polls.

Many expected it to be the Trump supporters who would be protesting, with Trump consistently claiming the election process was rigged.

One young man protesting in Detroit said the President-elect was a "great trouble" to his community.

He said: "I'm here today because I'm a member of the LGBT community and to show my support for the rest of the community.

"You have to worry not only about Donald Trump, but (Vice-President elect) Mike Pence is a great trouble to us as a community. Not only that I'm here for my black, Muslim and Latino brothers and sisters - we are all Americans, we all deserve respect.

"We need to show that the government doesn't have control over us with the electoral college.

"Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and she deserves to be our President and we have to show our support."

It was a similar story across America, as people openly revolted against the outcome.

In Oakland, California, several thousand people chanting and waving placards gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza. A night earlier, in the hours after Trump's victory, Oakland demonstrators broke windows and did other damage. No arrests were made.

In Chicago, where large crowds recently poured into the streets to celebrate the Chicago Cubs' first World Series victory in over a century, several thousand people marched through the Loop.

They gathered outside Trump Tower, chanting: "Not my president!"

Chicago resident Michael Burke said the president-elect will "divide the country and stir up hatred" and added there was a constitutional duty not to accept that outcome.

A similar protest in Manhattan drew about 1,000 people. Outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, police installed barricades to keep the demonstrators at bay.

Protests flared at universities in California and Connecticut, while several hundred people marched in San Francisco and others gathered outside City Hall in Los Angeles.

And they spread south to Richmond, Virginia, and to middle American cities like Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska, while hundreds of University of Texas students spilled out of classrooms to march through Austin.

Marchers chanted and carried signs in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, while another group stood outside the White House.

There were also protests in Portland, Oregon, San Francisco and Seattle, where police said a shooting that left five people seriously injured was not connected to the rally.

Back in New York, groups of protesters caused massive gridlock as police mobilised to contain them under a light rain.

They held signs that read "Trump Makes America Hate" and chanted "hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go" and "Impeach Trump".

Belfast Telegraph


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