Protesters take to New York City during Donald Trump’s inauguration
Kathryn Krawczyk | Senior Staff Writer
UPDATED: Jan. 20, 2017 at 9:22 p.m.
NEW YORK — While the ceremony for Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration got underway in Washington, D.C., protests broke out in New York City Friday morning and afternoon. Here are three takeaways from the protests.
The NYPD was ready
The New York Police Department was prepared to deal with much more intense protests than they actually encountered. For at least a week before Inauguration Day, police barricades lined Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower.
Since then, a few protesters at a time would stand around Trump Tower. On Friday morning, a crowd of fewer than 50 gathered across the street, jammed between the entrances of the Abercrombie & Fitch and Prada.
NYPD officers stood at the entrance to either store, telling anyone blocking the doors to step aside. Stopping on the sidewalk in front of the protesters resulted in a similar warnings to keep moving.
Just a few blocks away at Columbus Circle, about 100 people formed a circle in front of Trump International Hotel to protest for safer cities. Anyone who stood too far from the crowd was told by officers to keep walking and keep the sidewalk clear.
Four armed guards stood outside of Trump Tower itself, guarding an entrance that’s usually open to the public. Few pedestrians even walked on that side of the street. NYPD officers held chains on the curbs between the sidewalk and street, ushering people through when road traffic was clear.
There wasn’t much protest backlash
New York City consistently votes Democratic, and the 2016 presidential election was no exception, which might explain why passersby didn’t seem to mind people protesting Trump’s inauguration.
At the protest in front of Trump International Hotel, few even stopped. Only in front of Trump Tower itself was there any backlash. One man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat walked back and forth in front of the protesters for nearly an hour, holding a homemade sign printed with #ByeBarry in reference to outgoing President Barack Obama. He broadcasted his thoughts via Facebook Live the entire time.
But another, wearing a “Re-elect Trump 2020” shirt, simply stood near the protesters, conversing briefly with one and simply saying “no thank you” to any media who tried to talk to him.
A third man in a pro-Trump shirt got aggressive with protesters. One New York resident, Bill White, was carrying an American flag with #F**kTrump written on it in black marker. The Trump supporter tried to grab the flag, shouting that he was a soldier and White couldn’t treat the flag this way. The NYPD quickly stepped in, pulling the Trump supporter away and sending him away from the protest. Another man quickly came up, telling White he was a veteran and supported his choice of protest.
Afterward, White continued to silently protest with his flag.
“People have fought and died for this country for my right to do this,” he said. “They can’t do this in Russia. They can’t do this in China. And I don’t care what that man says.”
Protesters had a lot of different goals
Trump protesters said there were many reasons — such as fighting climate change to respecting women’s bodies — they took to the streets Friday.
Basma Eid helped organize the Freedom Cities protest outside Trump hotel as a part of Enlace, the New York Worker Center Federation. She protested for the rights of workers, from street vendors to construction workers.
Some protesters’ signs made their intents clear, especially at Freedom Cities. Their posters featured their definition of safety, whether that was free healthcare, the right to organize or divesting from police and prisons.
In front of Trump Tower, protesters’ goals were even more clear. Their signs were printed with a bold “No! Stop Trump/Pence fascist regime before it starts.” And chants of “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” made it clear they interpreted Trump’s presidency as fascism.
CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, Basma Eid was misnamed. The Daily Orange regrets this error.
Published on January 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm