Instead of celebrating Presidents’ Day, thousands of demonstrators lined Central Park on Monday to protest the presidency of Donald Trump, saying his election win was “illegitimate” and his policies dangerous.
In one of several “Not My President’s Day” rallies across the country, protesters used the holiday to rail against Trump’s controversial travel ban, and his rise to power despite a popular vote defeat.
“He lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes,” said Zack Winestine, a researcher from lower Manhattan, who carried a sign calling the election illegitimate.
“Technically, the people did not elect him. For him to be governing as though he has a mandate on the far right is not legitimate. Russia intervened in this election. The FBI intervened in the election. Trump himself ran a campaign based on lies and misrepresentations never before seen in modern American politics. He does not represent the will of the American people.”
Winestine joined thousands of sign-waving, chanting protesters who filled Central Park West for seven blocks on the Upper West Side. More than 13,000 Facebook users had said they planned to voice their outrage.
It was a chant echoed in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and nearly two dozen other communities across the country, where Trump was criticized for everything from police brutality to climate change.
Theresa Dilworth, 55, of Greenwich Village, carried a sign calling for Trump’s impeachment.
“He has to get out,” Dilworth said. “He doesn’t represent the values of America or the American people. I’m a registered Independent. I’ve voted for Republicans and Democrats in the past. But it’s just his ethics and his morals. Him as a person. He’s just bad news. I think he’s really brought the reputation of America way down.”
Alana Ryan, 17, a student from New Jersey, knows she is not old enough to vote, but said she is old enough to have her voice heard.
“I just don’t like his ideals, the blatant racism, the sexism,” Alana said. “I don’t really like any of his policies. I’m hoping to see unity and everybody coming together against Trump.”
A day earlier, hundreds of protesters, including Mayor de Blasio, rallied in Times Square in support of Muslim Americans. The “I Am A Muslim Too” rally was organized by, among others, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.
Source: Leonard Greene, New York Daily News