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Protesters set fires, vandalize businesses as anger over Trump win explodes in several U.S. cities

AP, Reuters

Demonstrators angry about the election of Donald Trump smashed windows and set garbage bins on fire early Wednesday in downtown Oakland, California, joining protesters elsewhere in the country who swarmed streets in response to the election. Other protests were generally peaceful.

In Oregon, dozens of people blocked traffic in downtown Portland and forced a delay for trains on two light-rail lines. Media reports said the crowd grew to about 300 people, including some who sat in the middle of a road. The crowd of anti-Trump protesters burned American flags and chanted, “That’s not my president.”

In Seattle, about 100 protesters gathered in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, blocked roads and set a trash bin on fire. Police also responded to a shooting with multiple victims near the scene of anti-Trump protests.

They said the shooting was unrelated to the demonstrations.

In Pennsylvania, hundreds of University of Pittsburgh students marched through the streets, with some in the crowd calling for unity. Campus protests also erupted at the University of Texas, the University of Connecticut, the University of California, Berkeley, and other University of California campuses.

On Twitter, the hashtag “NotMyPresident” had been used nearly half a million times.

The Oakland protest grew to about 250 people by late Tuesday. Police Officer Marco Marquez said protesters damaged five businesses, breaking windows and spraying graffiti. No arrests were made.

A woman was struck by a car and severely injured when protesters got onto a highway, the California Highway Patrol said. Demonstrators vandalized the driver’s SUV before officers intervened. The highway was closed for about 20 minutes.

In Chicago, police closed roads near Trump International Hotel and Tower, impeding the demonstrators. There were no immediate reports of arrests or violence there.

“I’m just really terrified about what is happening in this country,” said 22-year-old Adriana Rizzo in Chicago, who was holding a sign that read: “Enjoy your rights while you can.”

In New York, thousands of protesters in midtown Manhattan made their way to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. Hundreds also gathered in Philadelphia and Boston.

In Austin, the Texas capital, about 400 people marched through the streets, police said.

A representative of the Trump campaign did not respond immediately to requests for comment on the protests. Trump said in his victory speech he will be president for all Americans, saying, “It is time for us to come together as one united people.”

Earlier this month, his campaign rejected the support of a Ku Klux Klan newspaper and said that “Mr. Trump and his campaign denounces hate in any form.”

Earlier on Wednesday some 1,500 students and teachers rallied in the courtyard of Berkeley High School, in a San Francisco Bay Area city known for its liberal politics, before marching toward the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

Hundreds of high school and college students also walked out in protest in Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles and three other Bay Area cities — Oakland, Richmond and El Cerrito.

A predominantly Latino group of about 300 high school students walked out of classes on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles and marched to the steps of City Hall, where they held a brief but boisterous rally.

Chanting in Spanish: “The people united will never be defeated,” the group held signs with slogans such as “Not Supporting Racism, Not My President” and “Immigrants Make America Great.”

Many of those students were members of the “Dreamers” generation, children whose parents entered the United States with them illegally, school officials said, and who fear deportation under a Trump administration.

“A child should not live in fear that they will be deported,” said Stephanie Hipolito, one of the student organizers of the walkout. She said her parents are U.S. citizens.

There were no immediate reports of arrests or violence.