Cities across the USA braced for a new round of protests Sunday, as rallies denouncing the election of Donald Trump entered a fifth straight day.
Demonstrators supporting immigrant rights marched Sunday in Manhattan. Other gatherings were expected in Chicago, Hollywood, Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale, among other cities, according to social media sites and news reports.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators have filled the streets of Austin, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other cities since Tuesday, when Trump beat rival Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College count, but lost the popular vote, to become the president-elect. Protesters have denounced what they say was hateful rhetoric from Trump during his campaign against immigrants, Muslims and women.
On Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., attempted to quell protesters' angst and fears.
“People should really put their minds at ease,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union. “We’re pluralistic, we’re inclusive. That’s the country we are and that’s the country we’ll continue to have.”
The protests have been mostly peaceful, though Los Angeles and New York reported some arrests. But in Portland, Ore., police arrested 71 people after Saturday night's protest turned into a riot, KGW-TV reported Sunday.
High school students in Seattle were also planning a large walkout Monday to protest the president-elect.
“You can’t change the results of a presidential election by protesting. That’s irrational,” said Stephen King, 18, a student at the University of Texas-Austin who marched in Austin rallies last week. “But I couldn’t sit down idly and just accept that this happened. I need to speak up for those who don’t have that privilege.”
The weekend demonstrations top a tumultuous week following Tuesday's vote, where both Clinton and Trump supporters have been targeted in discriminatory and violent incidents.
An 11-year-old elementary student in Stafford, Texas, was allegedly attacked Wednesday by classmates when he revealed he had supported Trump in the school’s mock election. And a Central Florida high school student got into fights with another student and school officials over a pro-Trump sign, according to local news reports.
A student at the University of Oklahoma was temporarily suspended for inciting racist speech on a chat site, and police in Ann Arbor, Mich., were looking into a report of a man who threatened to set a Muslim student on fire with a lighter if she didn’t remove her hijab Friday, according to the Associated Press.
The Southern Poverty Law Center had logged 201 incidents of election-related harassment and intimidation across the USA, as of Friday. The group also recorded around 10 incidents directed at Trump supporters. Most of the incidents involved younger students, according to the group, which monitors hate crimes.
“Disturbingly, the most commonly reported location where incidents of harassment occurred were K-12 schools,” the group wrote on its website. “It appears that the election results might have pushed some schools to a boiling point.”