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BOSTON (AP) — Thousands of anti-Donald Trump protesters streamed through downtown Boston streets on Wednesday, chanting “Trump’s a racist” and “not my president,” and carrying signs that said “Impeach Trump.”
The protesters gathered on Boston Common at about 7 p.m. before marching toward the Massachusetts State House, which had beefed up its security including bringing in extra police officers.
The protesters paused on the steps of the State House before continuing on through the city streets toward Copley Square.
The protest was the largest of a series of anti-Trump actions in Boston on Wednesday and it was boisterous and noisy but peaceful.
Protest organizer Elan Axelbank, 21, said the long term goal is to build a sustainable grassroots movement of the majority of people who don’t subscribe to what he called Trump’s racist ideas and who want less inequality and less racism.
“He’s had a chance for about a year and a half on the campaign trail and I think he’s proven himself to be absolutely abominable,” Axelbank said.
Fellow organizer Toya Chester, said she wasn’t surprised that a notice of the rally placed on Facebook after Tuesday’s returns drew thousands of protesters.
“People are angry. They’ve been angry. And it’s clear, you make a Facebook event at one o’clock in the morning and you have thousands of people that are ready to fight against Donald Trump,” said Chester, 28.
Earlier in the day a smaller group of protesters chanting “we will not be silenced” and carrying signs reading “Love Trumps Hate” and “Make Bigots Afraid Again” gathered on the State House steps.
Many hailed from Boston-area colleges and said they were shocked and disillusioned by Democrat Hillary Clinton’s loss.
Meaghan Schaefer, a 19-year-old political communication student at Emerson College, said she was angry.
“We were so close to seeing the first woman become president and she lost to a man who has no political experience, who doesn’t represent the majority in this country,” she said.
Matthew Bittner said he was in utter disbelief over Trump’s win.
He said he knows Clinton isn’t perfect, but said he felt like people didn’t want her in office because she’s a woman.
“There’s so much bigotry in this country that we thought was resolved but it was just covered with a blanket,” said the 21-year-old theater student from Suffolk University. “He wants to bring back a sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic society and we will not stand for it.”
The two were among hundreds who flocked to the State House holding signs that read “Make Bigots Afraid Again,” chanting “I’m still with her” and singing The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love.”
Massachusetts, a reliably Democratic state in presidential elections, handed its 11 electoral votes to Clinton on Tuesday.
Nineteen-year-old Robert Duncan, who is black and a musical theater student at the Boston Conservatory, said he is gay and sees Trump as an oppressor.
“He’s said awful things to people of all different kinds,” Duncan said. “I’m here because I just want to get all my emotions out honestly. I’m sad. I’ve been crying all day.”
Many of those protesting said despite Trump’s victory, they have their eyes set on the future.
“For the next four years, we just have to do what we can,” said Schaefer. “We can’t throw away our shot. We’re young. We’re educated. We can make a difference the next time around.”