DOWNTOWN — Activists took to Downtown streets again Thursday night to protest Donald Trump's impending presidency, even though Trump wasn't in town to see it.
More than 100 people gathered near the Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave., to protest the views of a president-elect they feel is not only offensive but dangerous to various segments of society.
"We won't tolerate a racist, sexist bigot in the White House," said John Beacham of Answer Chicago. "This is a threat. It's going to have to be us" to stop it.
The protest was organized quickly Wednesday after reports that Trump — who's embarking on a "Thank You Tour" for his supporters — would stay at his namesake tower on the Chicago River during his Midwestern travels. Chicago Police said Wednesday evening that they were not preparing for Trump's arrival, but activists decided to go ahead with the protest anyway.
Protesters taking up a whole block on Michigan Avenue, heading onto Ohio pic.twitter.com/dEqqpOsHxL— Joe Ward (@JayDubWard) December 2, 2016
It wasn't the first time Trump canceled a visit to Chicago. A planned rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago in March was called off after protesters swarmed the arena and clashes erupted inside.
"Trump ... is a coward," said protester Greg Lucero. "He's afraid of Chicago. We'll make sure every time he comes to Chicago he gets the welcome he deserves."
Protesters rally outside Trump Tower. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
Beacham, one of the event organizers, said that Thursday's protest — though smaller than prior rallies — was about "building a movement."
"Even the threat that Donald Trump is coming to town means we need to protest," he said.
After meeting up outside Trump Tower, the group marched down to Wacker Drive before heading up Michigan Avenue, over to Ohio Street, then back to the tower. The group stayed on the sidewalk, and traffic congestion was held to a minimum.
The crowd chanted "no Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA" and other things as their numbers grew:
Rob Daniels, a 17-year-old high school student from Naperville, said this was his fifth protest against Trump. He said he took the train into Downtown Thursday to show his solidarity for groups targeted by Trump's rhetoric and policies.
"I'm trying to fight as much as I can," he said.
"I'm straight, white, Christian," Rob said, a LGBTQ flag wrapped around his shoulders. "People tell me I have nothing to be complaining about. If I was in anyone else's situation, I'd want people to be fighting for me."
The group was cited for bringing a loudspeaker to the protest. The loudspeaker was used at a recent protest by Answer Chicago.
Trump protesters getting cited for this speaker across the street from Trump Tower pic.twitter.com/tl5z08WTQs— David Lee Matthews (@DavidLMatthews) December 1, 2016
Beacham declined to comment on the citation.
A group of roughly 100 protesters march along Wacker Drive near Trump Tower Thursday. [DNAinfo/Joe Ward]
The protest is the latest in a slew of rallies since Trump was elected president less than a month ago. Thousands marched throughout Downtown the night after the general election, and subsequent protests lasted for days after the election.
"We want to impart to him he's not welcome in Chicago, that every single day of his administration his regime will be met with protests," Beacham said.