Violence has broken out at anti-Trump rallies across America overnight as tens of thousands marched against the President-elect before angry mobs attacked police, started fires and shut down highways.
The streets of downtown Oakland in California were choked with smoke Thursday as police launched tear gas and protesters lit fires, in what became by some distance the most violent of the many protests against the election of Donald Trump.
More than 6,000 protesters were seen on the streets of Oakland with an initially peaceful march down a cop-lined street turning nasty after some protesters threw bottles at officers and torched a police car. An office block was also attacked, daubed with ‘f*** Trump’ and ‘kill Trump’ graffiti and then set alight.
And thousands more filled streets in Los Angeles before taking over the 110 Freeway while other protesters gathered outside City Hall, lighting fires and waving Trump heads on sticks. There were 14 arrests.
In New York, home of the President-elect, at least 30 people were arrested when cops cracked down on twin demonstrations in Columbus Circle and at Trump Tower.
As many as 7,500 demonstrators were believed to have been split between the two locations, chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay.’
Cher and Madonna were among the NYC protesters, with Cher telling one supporter they needed to ‘fight.’
Trump’s poll-defying win has sparked a wave of similar rallies across the country. Protests stopped traffic in Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, California, among many others.
Outside the White House, a candlelit vigil was being held in protest against Mr Trump’s inflammatory and divisive brand of politics. But even peaceful protests in that city went awry, with at least one protester being bundled into the back of a van by the Secret Service.
Hundreds of protesters in Richmond took their anger onto the I-95, WTVR reported.
The march began at Virginia Commonwealth University, before proceeding onto Broad Street and Belvidere, then down the south ramp of the Interstate.
The group stopped traffic there, but were removed by police. It’s not yet clear whether there were any arrests.
They then looped back around and to the VCU campus. Some then peeled away to protest at the Virginia State Capital.
One Twitter video showed the group marching down the I-95. Another showed the group occupying a wide street, raising banners painted with the gay pride colors, and another designed to look like an upside-down US flag.
Protesters gathered for a second night outside the White House before marching to picket the new Trump International Hotel in Washington DC – but their initially peaceful protest also ended with arrests.
Disappointed voters of all ages lit candles before moving on to Trump’s new hotel. There people chants of ‘say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here’ were met with cheers. Others chanted: ‘They go low, we go high’.
As the night wore on, however, things became less placid; a flag was burned in the street, and later ABC 7’s Tim Barber tweeted a photograph of a man being handcuffed and bundled into a van by Secret Service.
He had reported of a ‘scuffle’ just shortly before, although between whom was not clear.
Across the country
Other cities affected by protests included San Diego, California; Dallas, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
They followed election-night protests that took place on university campuses in Democrat states, after alcohol-fueled parties descended into wakes as swathes of Republican red spread across the map.
Hundreds of people in Philadelphia, Oakland and Seattle marched in the early hours as Trump’s win was confirmed. Police said 500 angry voters swarmed onto streets in and around the University of California, Los Angeles, shouting anti-Trump expletives and lighting flares.
In Oakland, more than 100 protesters took to the streets, with local media reporting they burned a Trump effigy, smashed windows of the Oakland Tribune newsroom and set tires and bins on fire. Police said one woman was struck by a car and seriously injured.