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Anti-Trump Activists Seek To Create 'Movement' At Downtown Protest

By Joe Ward | November 19, 2016 3:07pm
 Protests march through Downtown Chicago to denounce President-elect Donald Trump.
Protests march through Downtown Chicago to denounce President-elect Donald Trump.
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DNAinfo/Joe Ward

DOWNTOWN — Activists angry over Donald Trump's presidential victory said protests will not stop in Chicago unless the President-elect abandons his "war" on immigrants and other minorities.

About 200 people marched from Federal Plaza to the Trump Tower Saturday, denouncing Trump and seeking to create a "movement" against his policies that target immigrants, Muslims and other minorities.

"An openly racist, sexist, homophobic man ... is about to occupy the White House," said John Beacham of Answer Chicago, the group that organized the protest. "This isn't a moment. It's a movement. We need to do this ourselves."

John Beacham speaks to protesters near Trump Tower. [DNAinfo/Joe Ward]

As the group marched from Federal Plaza to State Street, shoppers and tourists lined the streets to take pictures and, in some cases, chant along. Organizers rolled a mobile loudspeaker through the streets, their chants echoing off the buildings.

"Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Donald Trump, go away," the group chanted.

Alex Pupon, of Lincoln Park, said he has been marching since the night after the election, when thousands took to the street to denounce Trump. He said he's marching to show his solidarity with those who might be hurt from Trump's policies.

"[This is] for everyone," he said. "This is for women, Muslims."

The group ended the march outside Trump Tower, where police had blocked off a stretch of Wacker Drive for the protesters. Rogers Park resident Thomas Jeager said the rally was uplifting, despite the cold and blowing wind.

"I'm pissed off, and it's keeping me warm," he joked. "I'm also terrified. I'm terrified for my Muslim friends. Terrified my mom will lose her health insurance. I'm afraid I'm gonna burn [due to climate change]."

Whereas other protests since the election had a mournful or somber tone, organizers Saturday worked to galvanize support to further action. Beacham, on multiple occasion, implored the group to come to Washington D.C. on inauguration day.

Protesters march down Dearborn Street to denounce Donald Trump. [DNAinfo/Joe Ward]

Some protesters spoke harshly of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democrats, causing one woman, Toni Stanley, to ask Beacham if she, as a Democrat, was welcomed at the march.

"There are a lot of Democrats here and I felt it was anti-Democrat," Stanley said.

Stanley, of suburban Oak Lawn, said she came because she opposes some of Trump policies on immigration and civil rights, but did not expect to hear blowback from organizers.

"I came here for immigration, for separation of church and state, and I got a lecture," she said.

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