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The History of Anti-Trump Protest Movements

Origins of the Anti-Trump Movement

The anti-Trump movement has been developing for the past two years. Since June 17, 2015, there have been many anti-Trump rallies and protests by individuals and groups who are concerned about the state of the country.

Donald Trump’s first rally in New Hampshire was attended by three anti-Trump protesters who held up signs inside the rally. Since then, the anti-Trump protests have been gaining momentum and growing strong. Anti-Trump clothing such as shirts and hats are available to show one’s protest to Trump at a rally, in the street, or in the classroom.

Upon announcement of his candidacy, his previous political statements helped to ignite the anti-Trump protests and rallies. The anti-Trump movement started in part as an expression against the divisive and derisive way Donald Trump ran his campaign. His intolerant views, insensitive political discourse, and “dog whistling” to hate groups were all causes of concern that fuelled the anti-Trump movement.

During the campaign, there was a protest in Birch Run, Michigan against Trump. The protesters numbered about one hundred and fifty. The participants were protesting because of anti-immigrant and anti-veteran statements that Trump had made. Protests were also made because of Trump’s stance on Hispanics, Muslims, and women in general. His campaign promise to build a wall to prevent Mexicans from illegally entering the United States is another cause of the anti-Trump movement.

Donald Trump’s rivals in the Republican party accused him of creating undertones that were aggressive and fostering a violent climate during rallies and campaign events. His rhetoric was said to escalate tension. Violent actions that occurred at lots of the rallies were not condemned by Trump his statements at times encouraged the violence.

His victory at the polls, his inauguration speech, and numerous actions he has taken as President are further indications that the anti-Trump movement will likely continue to thrive.

Forms of Protests

Active protest is not limited to attending rallies or marches alone. Many choose to wear anti-Trump clothing, such as anti-Trump hats and anti-Trump shirts. Many have also protested through business closures, petitions, and walk-outs. Although there have been allegations of violence, most of the anti-Trump activities have been regarded as peaceful.

Anti-Trump Protests During the Presidential Campaign

During the election, large anti-Trump rallies were reported with participants in the thousands at various locations.

A small number of the many protests included:

Arizona - In Phoenix, Arizona in March 2016, anti-Trump protesters blocked the highway on the way to a campaign event. Once the highway was cleared they continued on their way to protest at the event.

Illinois - The movement was strong from early on in Chicago. In June 2015 when Trump came to give an address at a luncheon at the City Club of Chicago, members of the Mexican community showed up in anti-Trump protest. Over one hundred Mexicans showed up at the protest. In Chicago in March 2016, a campaign event at the University of Illinois was canceled as thousands of protestors amassed.

The Carolinas - On December 4, 2015, anti-Trump protesters showed up and continuously interrupted his speech in Raleigh, North Carolina. This also occurred in Aiken, South Carolina on December 12nd, 2015.

Massachusetts - In January 2016, supporters for Bernie Sanders, alongside members of the Black Lives Matter movement, protested in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Abuse and Conflict

Anti-Trump protesters have been victims of verbal abuse and violence during anti-Trump rallies. On September 3, 2015, Keith Schiller who was Trump’s Chief of Security was caught on film hitting an anti-Trump protester. This was not the only incident of Trump’s staff engaging in physical altercations with protesters.

On May 27, 2016, protesters clashed with supporters Trump after a rally in San Diego. The altercation was largely verbal and no injuries were recorded. There was also no property damage recorded. Police arrested some of the protesters and the protest was declared illegal. Thirty-five people were arrested.

Anti-Trump Sentiment After the Presidential Elections

Although many thought that the anti-Trump movement was going to fizzle out, it has shown itself to be a strong resilient movement. After the election results were announced, protesters, many clad in anti-Trump shirts and hats, continued to register their protests.

Before his inauguration, more than a hundred thousand protesters marched against Donald Trump. Over five hundred thousand women marched against him in Washington D.C. with three to four million marching against him in total in the United States. The number of women who marched against him around the world is about four to five million. Other countries with strong anti-Trump movements and rallies include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Philippines, and the United Kingdom.

Post-Inauguration Protests

As a result of Trump’s executive order on immigration, there was an anti-Trump protest at the United States Consulate in Toronto, Canada on January 30, 2017. There was also a demonstration outside the Supreme Court to protest the order. Protests were held in major cities in the United Kingdom on the same day because of Trump’s executive order that travelers from specific countries not be allowed into the U.S. There was a petition to ban Trump’s visit to the U.K. as a result of his order and the petition received over one million signatures. On President’s Day, tens of thousands of the protesters assembled and chanted “Not my President” to show their dissatisfaction with Trump’s Electoral College victory.

There was also a demonstration in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on January 31, 2017 showing support for Muslims. On February 4, there were protests in Palm Beach held near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. More than one thousand people protested there. Thousands of LGBTQ supporters also demonstrated against Trump outside the Stonewall Inn, which President Obama declared as a national landmark.

In further protest against the perceived aggressive moves by the Trump administration against immigrants, there was a protest on February 13 named the “Day Without Latinos”. Held in Milwaukee, this strike was also directed against Sheriff David Clarke, who was a supporter of Trump.

On the same day, there was a protest at Howard University by students against Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy Davos, visiting the school. The students also made it known that they did not want President Donald Trump to visit the school.

Protest on Social Media

Various hashtags including #AntiTrump and #NotMyPresident are used on social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Much like anti-Trump clothing is worn as a form of identification with the movement offline, these hashtags do so online.