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Long Beach protests Trump’s administration

Protesters gather at Bixby Park to march against the president-elect and his policies.

Long+Beach+residents+rally+together+on+Saturday+to+oppose+the+president-elect+by+walking+from+Bixby+Park+towards+the+Pike+on+Ocean+Boulevard.
Long Beach residents rally together on Saturday to oppose the president-elect by walking from Bixby Park towards the Pike on Ocean Boulevard.

Long Beach residents rally together on Saturday to oppose the president-elect by walking from Bixby Park towards the Pike on Ocean Boulevard.

Johnny Romero

Johnny Romero

Long Beach residents rally together on Saturday to oppose the president-elect by walking from Bixby Park towards the Pike on Ocean Boulevard.

Chrystina Schwartz and Roberto Herrera, Staff Writers

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Close to a thousand people showed up in Bixby Park in Long Beach Saturday night to protest President-elect Donald Trump’s plans and initiatives for his first 100 days in office.

Some of those policies include the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the banning of Muslims entering the country and the reinvestment in coal mining.  

Trump is proposing to federally defund sanctuary cities, which serve as a safe place for undocumented people to live without fear of being deported. He vowed to immediately begin deporting millions of undocumented immigrants on the Nov. 13 episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes.

Protesters held signs saying “Love Trumps Hate” and “Pu**y Bites Back”. Others wore LGBT, Mexican or U.S. flags while beating on drums.

The protest, organized by activist Maii Ware, started at 6 o’clock, with a few hundred protesters arriving in the park area next to Cherry Avenue and Ocean Boulevard. Protesters waved signs and chanted “we reject the president-elect!” and “this is what democracy looks like” as motorists honked their horns and revved their engines.

Claudia Peña, a Buena Park resident, stood on the sidewalk while holding her baby and cheered on protesters as they passed by.

“I attended a candlelight at Harvey Milk Park last night and heard about tonight’s protest,” Peña said. “I think that tonight’s protest will end in the community taking action and spreading the message which is that we can’t have Donald Trump as president.”

A Facebook page called Long Beach United Against Trump – March in Unity and Peace was established by Maii Ware and Tonii Rae Engberg following last week’s presidential election. Ware and Engberg called on the community to organize and spread awareness, education and solidarity as they marched in the streets of downtown Long Beach.

Bystanders cheered on the protesters as they marched by their apartments and houses. Alondra Mims, 53, was outside her house on Ocean Blvd. waving a LGBT flag and chanting “Not my president.”

“I am happy to see the young people out here because they get it,” Mims said. “This is the way we make change. Demonstrations like this [are] bringing us together and down the same path towards a common goal.”

The organizers of the protests urged demonstrators to keep the peace and stay on the sidewalks, as the march was not permitted to occupy roads. As more people gathered, volunteers in neon vests kept the group together as they made their way down Ocean Boulevard towards Pacific Avenue, then making a right on Broadway and ultimately ending the march where they started back in Bixby Park.

People spilled into the street, which caused gridlock at intersections like that of Ocean Boulevard and Pine Avenue, but organizers with blow horns continued to direct people through the street while they communicated with motorists.  Police ended up blocking the Ocean entrance to Pine with police vehicles.

Officers were on motorcycles and bicycles, patrolling the areas surrounding the protest, setting up roadblocks and waiting on street corners in protective gear to ensure everyone’s safety.

There were few scattered instances of Trump supporters vocalizing their views throughout the night, but they did not get much attention from the anti-Trump protesters. One woman passenger in a passing truck yelled “Donald Trump, Donald Trump” and “Blue lives matter” before driving away at the green light on Ocean Boulevard.

 

However, protests remained peaceful and organized throughout the whole night.

After the march concluded around 9 p.m., some protesters left while many stayed and gathered around a stage area in Bixby Park located behind the community center. Some decided to go up and speak to the crowd about the issues they allegedly face with a Trump presidency.

A 13-year-old advocate who only wanted to be referred to as Justin took the megaphone and described how on Election Day, he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in school because he refused to pledge to “a man like Trump.”

“And because I sat it out I got in trouble by my advisory teacher,” Justin said as the crowd booed. “So I’m here to protest because our founding fathers fought for our right to protest.”

Tuesday’s election resulted in Trump receiving  290 electoral votes, 30 more than he needed to win the election. Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, received 238 electoral votes.

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