During Saturday’s anti Donald Trump protest, the signs were almost as numerous as the number of protesters who came out to express their anger, fear and disappointment over the election of the businessman as the next president of the United States.
The anti-Trump protesters started at City Hall and made their way down Wilton Drive, Dixie Highway, Northeast 6 Avenue and back down Wilton Drive to City Hall. After they returned to City Hall, about half the protesters marched down Wilton Drive one more time.
As they waved American and Pride flags and chanted “Not my president,” “We are the popular vote” and “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” they hoisted signs that expressed much of the same sentiment.
“It just makes me angry,” said protester Charles Hurd. He sees the election of Trump as proof that the country is intolerant. “I’m scared of his right-wing appointments. Thank god we live in an island of tolerance. We have to stand up and do something.”
Hurd added that he does a lot of travel and he doesn’t know how he’s going to explain Trump to people in the rest of the world. “We’re a laughing stock.”
Protester Edward Leuchs remembers anti-Vietnam War protests from the ‘60s and ‘70s where the protesters chose between violence and non-violence. In response to Trump, Leuchs said people need to get more involved. “Don’t let your representatives off the hook.”
The protest remained peaceful but police took no chances. The Wilton Manors Police Department had a strong show of force, including bicycle units and vehicles augmented by Broward Sheriff’s Office motorcycle units and a helicopter, to close off streets.
Chief Paul O’Connell, who was hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, said no incidents occurred except for “the traffic nightmare” caused by the protesters. He added that protesters did not cooperate with police and his department only knew “they were going to go mobile because of chatter” before the protest.
One protester, who declined to give his name, said that “the point of protesting is to inconvenience people” as much as possible.
“We’ve got a scary four years ahead of us,” said another protester.