Although he lives in the penthouse high above the crowd, it might be tough for President-elect Donald J. Trump to get some rest when he gets home.
Thousands of protesters chanted “New York Hates You” and “Not My President” in front of Trump’s flagship New York building, the Trump Tower.
Protesters filled 5th Avenue for five blocks, essentially closing down an iconic, much-visited neighborhood of midtown Manhattan. Those who weren’t holding signs raised their middle fingers – many of them taking selfies of the gesture — toward the glassy black 58-story tower that had become a symbol of the Trump candidacy.
The New York protest appeared to be the largest of dozens of anti-Trump demonstrations taking place elsewhere in the country, in Chicago, Boston, Oakland, Portland and other mostly Democratic cities.
The New York crowd was dominated by young people, many of whom had just voted in their first presidential election and were aghast at the results. Tourists in an open-top sightseeing bus that had been surrounded in the clogged street also yelled their opposition to Trump.
“I hate everything about Donald Trump,” said Jaime Reuter, 19, a student at Pace University in Manhattan. “Something has to be done.”
Some protesters said they came out spontaneously, hoping to vent their shock and disappointment at Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton.
“I’ve been sad and angry all day,” said Claire Mordowanec, 22, of Brooklyn. “If I didn’t come out how would I explain to my kids one day that I didn’t stand up for what’s right?”
One protester carried a sign that read, “White Supremacy. Misogyny is not my America.” Another read, “No More Small Men with Big Mouths.” Other times the crowd broke into chants of “Black Lives Matter.”
The tower was closed to visitors and the front of the building surrounded with garbage trucks, which had been placed strategically to deter visitors. Otherwise security appeared relatively relaxed, indicating that most likely nobody from the Trump family was at home.
It is an unusual situation to have the president-elect living in the middle of one of the busiest streets of New York, and is creating security headaches, not to speak of terrible traffic jams. The tower has been a magnet for pro- and anti-Trump protesters for months now.
One of the most famous was Lady Gaga, who posed on one of the garbage trucks in the wee hours Wednesday holding a sign that read “Love Trumps Hate.”
Small protests were happening elsewhere in New York, including a candlelight vigil in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. A larger demonstration is planned for Saturday night.
Although Trump is a native New Yorker, he is not popular in his hometown. In New York City, Trump received just 19% of the vote, and much of that was in the mostly suburban borough of Staten Island.