COLUMBUS CIRCLE — Thousands of people and a host of celebrities rallied near Trump International Hotel and Tower in Columbus Circle on Thursday, on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, to demand that Trump uphold the city's values.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Mark Ruffalo, Robert De Niro and Rosie Perez decried Trump’s positions on immigration, climate change, reproductive rights, and health care.
The mayor encouraged the crowd to "build a movement" following the inauguration.
"Some people think tomorrow we're gonna be dejected. No. Tomorrow we organize," says de Blasio. "We think the future is bright!"— Noah Hurowitz (@NoahHurowitz) January 19, 2017
New York native and actress Rosie Perez took offered a warning to Trump.
"The world is watching and we want to let them know that we are here," sez Rosie as the crowd starts chanting "the whole world is watching"— Noah Hurowitz (@NoahHurowitz) January 19, 2017
North Carolina resident Clark Luster said he traveled to New York on his way to Washington, D.C. to protest the inauguration.
"Trump is not prepared to be president and he knows nothing about the office he's about to take," said Luster. "I'm also concerned about his relationship with Russia. My wife and daughter are down in D.C. and we're going to march as a family on Saturday."
Director Michael Moore pulled no punches when he first addressed the crowd.
"First the bad news: as bad as we think it's gonna be, it's gonna get worse," says Michael Moore. "But there's more of us than them"— Noah Hurowitz (@NoahHurowitz) January 19, 2017
Civil Rights leader Al Sharpton called for a positive response to the president-elect.
"What makes a Good Samaritan, mr Trump, is when we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down," sez Al Sharpton— Noah Hurowitz (@NoahHurowitz) January 20, 2017
Since before Election Day, and especially in the months leading up to inauguration, de Blasio has propped himself up as a prominent critic of Trump’s policies, with a particular focus on the president elect’s enthusiasm for deporting undocumented immigrants.
While the mayor angles to define himself as a leading critic of Trump, a recent poll showed that the president-elect's election adversary, Hillary Clinton, would trounce de Blasio in the upcoming mayoral race.
The star-studded protest lineup includes celebrities who have often been vocal in their opposition to Trump, including Alec Baldwin who frequently parodies the president-elect on "Saturday Night Live."
There were no arrests by the end of the protest, an NYPD spokeswoman said Friday morning.