You turn to us for voices you won't hear anywhere else.

Sign up for Democracy Now!'s Daily Digest to get our latest headlines and stories delivered to your inbox every day.

Protesting Trump’s America: Nationwide Demos Continue Against Racism, Xenophobia & Islamophobia

Media Options

Over the weekend, protests around the world voiced opposition to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promises to restrict immigration and register Muslims, and allegations that he sexually abused women. Demonstrations in the United States took place in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, Springfield, Massachusetts, Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, several cities in Florida, New York and Philadelphia, where a Mexican immigrant who is the father of three U.S.-born children entered sanctuary in a church on Sunday and called on President Obama to stop his deportation and others’. We feature voices from Sunday’s march of an estimated 10,000 people in New York, which marked the fifth straight day of protests against Trump in his home town.

Related Story

StoryDec 15, 2017Medics, Observers & a Journalist Face 50 Years in Prison in First Trial of J20 Inauguration Protests
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, I’m Amy Goodman, here in Marrakech, Morocco, the second week of the U.N. climate talks. There have been major protests. But we’re going first to what has been taking place in the United States. Over the weekend, protests around the world voiced opposition to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. In Berlin, Germany, nearly a thousand people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate, a short distance from the U.S. Embassy.

GERMAN PROTESTER: [translated] From our perspective, this election is very dangerous, because a Trump presidency encourages other nationalistic parties to fight harder and people to give their votes to them.

AMY GOODMAN: In the United States, demonstrators took to the streets to oppose Trump’s campaign promises to restrict immigration and register Muslims, and allegations that he sexually abused women. Protests took place in Seattle; Portland; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Oakland; Chicago; Oklahoma City; Salt Lake City; Springfield, Massachusetts; Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio; a number of cities in Florida, in New York and in Philadelphia, where a Mexican immigrant who’s the father of three U.S.-born children entered sanctuary at a church Sunday and called on President Obama to stop his deportation and others’.

This comes as mayors from Seattle to New York say they’ll refuse to cooperate with Donald Trump’s promise to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, even though he says he’ll withdraw federal funding from such cities. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed not to hand over the personal data of those who applied for the city municipal ID, and said he would possibly even destroy the records if federal authorities attempt to use them to target people for deportation. Thousands of working-class immigrants marched in Manhattan on Sunday with their supporters.

ANNETTE ALEJANDRO: I’m here to support everybody, to speak for my community, that’s afraid, and they don’t know where the country is going, and so together we could come up with a plan on what we can do next. A lot of things that are being talked about, and people are trying to reverse the laws that are in place, I’m very concerned about that, because I feel that would put our country back, and I feel that we should progress and be inclusive of everybody.

AMY GOODMAN: Sunday’s protests in New York marked the fifth straight day of protests against Trump in his home town. On Saturday, an estimated 10,000 people marched to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue as he met with his advisers. Democracy Now! was there.

PROTESTER 1: Well, I think protests like this can’t achieve anything very practical right now, because he doesn’t have any policy initiatives on the table. But what I think a protest like this can do is send a message to others in the country who are upset with this new president, and also internationally, that Americans don’t support his racist, sexist agenda.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go back right now to those protests in the street in New York.

RENÉE FELTZ: This is Renée Feltz reporting for Democracy Now! just outside the iconic Union Square Park, that’s a place, for centuries, people have gathered for protest. There’s a protest underway right now against President-elect Trump. Already there’s a block full of people next to me. The scene includes many, many police and barricades that are preventing some of the public from joining the protest. But we’ve come in, and now we’re going to talk to people about what Trump’s America means to them.

PRINCE: I’m Prince. I’m from Philadelphia. I felt that, before Trump, America was starting to show signs of a more progressive, a more diversified America, and it made me feel like I had a place in this country. But now, with the Trump administration, it makes me feel a little bit more on edge about where I stand, my status in this country, despite the degree I may hold, despite the position I may hold. And I feel that it’s important to show my opposition against that.

PROTESTERS: My body! My choice! Her body! Her choice! My body! My choice! Her body! Her choice!

JAIDAN: Hi, I’m Jaidan, from West Orange, New Jersey. I’m a sophomore in high school. As a person of color, it would negatively affect me and most of the people in my life. A friend I know went to high school on Wednesday, and people were saying racial—or religious slurs toward Islamic people who go to her school, and things like that. It’s definitely prevalent.

MARI INOUE: My name is Mari Inoue. I’m with Max, my son. We started to hear that there are violence or abuses against the people of color, children of color, in rural neighborhoods in the United States, and that’s a really dangerous sign. Here in New York, diversity is embraced, but you don’t know what is going to happen, even in a progressive state like New York. And we’re really concerned that a Trump administration is going to incite violence, hate, racism and other dangerous policies, which could affect or threaten safe environment for parents to raise kids.

RENÉE FELTZ: And you said you brought your son here. Hi. What’s your name?


RENÉE FELTZ: And what grade are you in?


RENÉE FELTZ: And do people talk about President Trump and the election at school?

MAX INOUE: Yeah, sometimes.

RENÉE FELTZ: And have you heard anyone respond to the election? What are they saying?

MAX INOUE: They said that Trump is going to start World War III.

RENÉE FELTZ: And, Max, what does your sign say?

MAX INOUE: “Bigotry destroys democracy.”

RENÉE FELTZ: Did you make that?


RENÉE FELTZ: I see it also says “Protect kids from hate.” And what are you trying to say with your sign?

MAX INOUE: I’m trying to say that Trump uses bigotry against—against minority groups.

RENÉE FELTZ: How does it make you feel to see all these other people out here with similar signs and saying that they are also against bigotry?

MAX INOUE: It feels like we have a louder voice in this.

LAUREN: My name’s Lauren, and I live in Flatbush, Brooklyn. And today my sign says, on one side, “I love my Muslim neighbors,” and, on the other side, “I love my Mexican neighbors,” because I live in a heavily Muslim area of Mexican and Latin American community. And I just want them to know I love them. I’m an ally. I am watching anything that happens to them. If they need any support, they can come to me.

RENÉE FELTZ: Have you had a chance to say that anyone directly? And what are those conversations like?

LAUREN: I’ve gotten a lot of hugs. It’s been awesome. Like, even just walking to the train today, one of my neighbors hugged me, a neighbor I don’t know, but they were Mexican. They asked me politely if I could be hugged, and we hugged it out. So, yeah, it’s been really positive, in a really dark week.

RENÉE FELTZ: Now we’re here on Fifth Avenue. We’ve walked out of Union Square Park at 14th Street, north to 57th Street, where President-elect Trump lives in Trump Towers. Behind me, a wall of police. Behind the wall of police, a wall of barricades. Behind the barricades, a wall of tourists taking pictures. Many of them said they were glad to see people taking to the streets.

JOANN: My name’s JoAnn. I’m from Los Angeles, and I’ve stumbled into this crowd.

PROTESTERS: New York hates you and Mike Pence! New York hates you and Mike Pence!

RENÉE FELTZ: What do you think as you see these signs and see these people and hear their chants?

JOANN: I have mixed feelings about it. He is our president. I didn’t want him, but he is our president. I think it’s great that these people are here. I think it’s great that he knows this. And hopefully he’ll take some—he’ll pay some attention.

RENÉE FELTZ: Do you have any thoughts on what a Donald Trump presidency and administration is going to mean for you and for people in your life?

JOANN: I think I’m lucky it probably won’t mean very much of anything, because I’m one of the lucky few.

RENÉE FELTZ: Can you elaborate further?

JOANN: I’m a professional. I’m near—I am virtually retired. I don’t live on Social Security. So—but that doesn’t mean that I’m for what he’s for. You need to understand that. But I think it’s very frightening. And I think it’s awful for our country.

PROTESTERS: We reject the president-elect!

MARCIA SCARNATO: My name is Marcia Scarnato. And what brought me out here today is I have to protest. I have to protest. I came out in 1957.

RENÉE FELTZ: You came out as a lesbian?

MARCIA SCARNATO: I came out as a lesbian in 1957, when it was so bad that gay bashing was a national sport. I was thrown out of high school at 15 years old. I was told I either had to get out of school or go to a psychiatrist. And I said, “Well, I’m not sick, so I don’t need a doctor,” and I left school. So they took my education away. This is what it was like in the '50s, where I'm not going back.

RENÉE FELTZ: We’ve been asking people what steps they’re taking to prepare for a future under President Trump. What steps are you taking here as you’re here with your girlfriend?

MARCIA SCARNATO: We’ve been together almost 30 years. And we didn’t get married. We haven’t gotten married. It was like, “Well, I’m really glad we can,” but, you know, we just didn’t bother. Now, we are going down, getting our marriage license next week, and we are getting married—OK?—while we can.

JOSE LASALLE: My name is Jose LaSalle. I’m the founder and creator of Copwatch Patrol Unit. And our group basically goes into the community of color, where there is a lot of police activity, and we document police and civilians’ encounter. And we make sure that we let the civilians know that we are documenting for them, so if they have an issue or a problem, we have it on recording so, you know, it could help them out.

RENÉE FELTZ: You’ve been doing a lot of work already. What do you think now needs to happen under President-elect Trump’s administration moving forward?

JOSE LASALLE: Well, what I know is that now dealing—Trump already talked about reintroducing stop and frisk back into the community of color. So, if that does happen, especially if Giuliani is elected—is put in the position of attorney general, we know that that is going to happen, so we’re going to have to really be out there in big numbers to show that there’s no way you could use stop and frisk in a way that is used without violating people’s constitutional rights.

RENÉE FELTZ: A lot of people watching this may not be that familiar with New York’s former mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, even though he’s sometimes called America’s mayor because of the role he played during 9/11. You are familiar with him. What do people need to know, as he may be a member of President Trump’s Cabinet or perhaps even appointed attorney general?

JOSE LASALLE: Well, Mayor Giuliani was very aggressive when it came to quality-of-life issues. And he really swept up everything dealing with people that are using drugs. Instead of giving them help, what he was doing is just locking them up. So that’s why, during his time, the prison population rose up within hundreds of thousands.

RENÉE FELTZ: Have you read any reports, beyond police behavior, of civilians harassing other civilians?

JOSE LASALLE: Last night, when I was around—we was patrolling the area of Times Square. We’ve seen and witnessed a group of young black teens being harassed by another group of white teens calling them the N-word and telling them that they need to go back to Africa, and if they want to go back to Africa, not to worry, that Trump sends them there free. So, it was really crazy and—

RENÉE FELTZ: Did you intervene? Or how—did you play any role in that?

JOSE LASALLE: Well, we did. We did intervene. We grabbed the group of the white kids and told them, “Listen”—you know, we tried to let them know this ain’t—you know, this ain’t worth getting in trouble, because the simple fact is—you know what I’m saying?—this could escalate to something else. And we kind of used psychology to try to push them away from the other crowd. And we didn’t want—we didn’t want an incident to happen.

RENÉE FELTZ: Well, here we are on 56th Street. We haven’t got any closer than one more block. There’s basically a Trump fortress now in Midtown Manhattan. Even the people that live on these streets have had to go through checkpoints in order to go home. As people wind down, perhaps they’re going to teach-ins or other events where people are making banners and art and strategizing for the days ahead.

For Democracy Now!, I’m Renée Feltz, with Martyna Starosta.

AMY GOODMAN: And that was a report from New York. When we come back, we’ll bring you the protests of thousands here in the streets of Marrakech, Morocco, during the beginning of the second week of the U.N. climate summit. Stay with us.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Next story from this daily show

As U.S. Elects Global Warming Denier, Thousands March in Marrakech Calling for Climate Justice

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation