Students lead new wave of anti-Trump protests

Susan Miller , USA TODAY

 

 Los Angeles protest Trump’s election and  protestors in New York City march to Trump Towers to protest election results

High school students led the charge Monday as protests against President-elect Donald Trump rolled into a sixth day.

Hundreds of teens, many not even old enough to vote, exited classrooms on both coasts, carting signs and chanting slogans against a man they say poses a threat to their future. The students are part of a protest movement that has seen tens of thousands taking to the streets in U.S. cities large and small after Tuesday’s election. Monday’s protests happened in Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, Ore., and Silver Spring, Md., among others.

Hundreds of students from about a dozen Oakland high schools walked out on their classes and took to the streets. “We hope to get our rights and just get our freedom. We want less racism, stop the violence, all of that,” said 14-year-old Salvador Briseno, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

While most protesters acknowledge they can’t change the fact that Trump beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the electoral vote count, they say they want to make a statement that the Republican’s barbed campaign comments against women, Muslims, immigrants and beyond aren’t acceptable and Trump’s policies have not earned a national mandate. Clinton still leads Trump 48% to 47% in the popular vote.

In Los Angeles, students converged Monday on Mariachi Plaza, a gathering spot for the city’s iconic musicians, and marched to City Hall. The walkout was part of a planned demonstration in the Los Angeles Area School District, KTLA reported.

“Although it has been nearly a week since the presidential election, many students remain concerned about the outcome and want their voices to be heard,” Superintendent Michelle King said in a statement released by the district Monday morning, KTLA said. “These are important conversations that need to take place. We want our students to know they are not alone.”

The students carried signs with message such as “Be Kind Not Racist,” “We Reject the President Elect” and “Bridges Not Walls.” Many of the youths were Latino, and some lifted aloft Mexican and American flags as they trekked down the street. Some protest signs were in Spanish.

A few students had a rejoinder for those charging that the younger generation, many loyal to Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, bears responsibility for Trump’s stunning upset.  “Don’t Blame Millennials or the 3rd Party Vote; Blame the DNC,” one sign read.

United Teachers Los Angeles union applauded the walkout, saying the union “stands proudly” with the students, KLTA reported. “We believe students should join their communities in expressing themselves through peaceful protests,” the union said in a statement.

In Silver Spring, Md., a northern suburb of the nation’s capital, youths from five high schools walked out en masse Monday morning for a student-led march. About 500 students, some chanting “we reject the president-elect,” blocked traffic on a busy downtown boulevard on their journey to Veteran’s Plaza. School officials said no teachers were involved in organizing the protest.

“We want the children to realize what their political power is and how to utilize their voices,” said pastor Jeffrey Thames, who joined the protest at one point. Other passersby offered words of encouragement.

In Portland, Ore., hundreds of students from at least three schools also staged a walkout and march to City Hall. The protesters caused some disruptions for shoppers and merchants when they headed to a shopping mall.

While most of the anti-Trump protests have been peaceful, Portland has had a turbulent week with nightly demonstrations that have turned violent and led to at least 100 arrests. On Saturday, protesters blocked streets and tossed bottles and other projectiles at police officers.

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