A crowd of about 200 people wound its way through Portland’s Old Port and downtown district Friday night in a peaceful but loud protest against President-elect Donald Trump.

“We need to unite against hate,” said Oliah Fall, an artist from Falmouth who held a “Not my president” sign as the rally began in Monument Square. In particular, she criticized the way Trump spoke about women. “What does that say that this man can say this and get elected? It’s not OK,” she said, and the crowd started chanting, “It’s not OK! It’s not OK!”

During the roughly three-hour rally and march the crowd moved from Monument Square, rallied briefly on the City Hall steps, then marched through the Old Port and looped to Longfellow Square, before returning to Monument Square and then taking another loop through the Old Port.

Police in cruisers occasionally drove along, keeping pace with the protesters, who stayed largely on the sidewalks, occasionally tying up traffic when they walked through intersections regardless of the traffic lights.

“I’m devastated. He’s not representative of our country and he shouldn’t be president,” said Bill Weber, 62, who was wearing a Hillary Clinton button on his jacket. “I just think it’s a terrible choice.”

They carried signs saying “Dump Trump” and “Not my president,” and chanted as they walked, “Love trumps hate,” “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace.” Drivers in cars occasionally honked in solidarity, while other drivers leaned on their horns in protest.


The march was one of many across the nation Friday night. A similar protest was held at Monument Square on Wednesday night, also drawing hundreds of people. From New York to Chicago to California, in red states as well as blue, thousands of demonstrators marched through streets, many for the third straight night, though in somewhat smaller numbers.

Late Thursday, Trump fired back on his Twitter account: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

The organizer of the Portland march, Ellie Hoang, 18, a freshman at Maine College of Art, said she wanted the event to be a nonviolent rally. At least half of the crowd was young people, but it also drew older protesters and families with children.

“We are the people and we will not be silenced,” Hoang said. A first-generation Asian-American whose parents fled communist Vietnam, she empathized with people who felt disenfranchised by a Trump presidency. “Do not go back. Do not stop defending your rights and your morals.”

As the group paused along the march, a megaphone was passed around and people shared their stories. One young Muslim woman said she felt fear after Tuesday.

“The day after the election, my father told me not to wear my hijab because he was scared for me,” said Hannah Mickool, 16, a junior at Yarmouth High School. “I’ve gotten called a terrorist. I am not a terrorist! I should not be afraid because of my religion.”


Another student said he connected the atmosphere around the Trump campaign with his experiences being harassed at a YMCA and at Freeport High School for appearing feminine, something that hadn’t happened to him before this presidential campaign.

“I’ve been going there for years and never had a problem,” said Drew Michaud, a junior, who reported the incidents to officials at both places. “In America, Trump has kind of normalized that hate.”

Several speakers urged the group to get involved personally, donate time and money to organizations and continue to stay involved.

“Are you going to do something?” asked Marena Blanchard, a black woman and community activist who decried the structural systemic racism in the United States and urged people to learn about implicit bias. “I need all you white people to wake up. Donald Trump won because of white supremacy. … I’m not ready to forgive yet. I am betrayed by white supremacy.”

Newly elected Portland School Board member Roberto Rodriguez, a military veteran, spoke, saying there are “injustices we all put up with” and urged the crowd to fight “the right way.”

“Today we are going to project love. We’re going to show the world this city is beautiful and we’re going to stand together and we are going to be stronger together,” he said.


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