Protests and Violence Erupt in Chicago Following Trump’s Election
Trump Tower is permanently affixed to the Chicago skyline. A massive, 98-floor, 2.6 million square-foot residential building, with units worth well over Chicago’s median home price of $285,000, the tower now looks like a middle finger to the entire city.
After Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, anger began erupting on the streets of Chicago.
On the Wednesday following election day, in addition to thousands of Facebook statuses condemning the president-elect, Chicagoans took to the streets, marching up to Trump Tower to protest.
“No Trump, No KKK, No racist U.S.A.!” echoed through the night sky, as did “Si Se Puede!”
“Black Lives Matter” protesters held their signs and chanted alongside those who demanded respect for women’s reproductive rights. Not far off stood Hispanics and Latinos, mocking Trump’s idea to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. A group of gay black men danced while crowds cheered them on, celebrating their sexuality in a time of uncertainty. Some held signs that said, “Not my president.”
Every group that Donald Trump had wronged and slandered throughout his campaign was represented at the front steps of his own building.
“I want this to show that we’re still here, to show there are still good people in this country,” said Emily Marlowe, a Chicago resident. “We’ll be here every day if we have to.”
But anti-Trump protests weren’t the only ones taking place. On the other side of police barricades, Trump supporters mocked the demonstration.
Police kept the protesters on close watch, many fueling the fire by opening supporting the president elect.
One officer sported a “Trump” button on his hat, while others exchanged words with the protesters and joined in on the mockery.
When asked where his KKK hood was, Officer Jason Lenski said, “You know this is why Trump won…Because people are sick of liberals.”
Yet the protest was largely peaceful, with few reports of violence or backlash. Five protesters were arrested out of an estimated 2,000.
However, not all Chicagoans took peaceful approaches following the election. Video footage of 50-year-old David Wilcox being beaten to the ground was posted on YouTube on Wednesday. People in the background were yelling, “You voted Trump!”
Wilcox was attacked following a traffic altercation, according to police, though they are unsure what provoked the group of three men and two women to attack.
While Wilcox’s car sat in the middle of an intersection and he was being beaten, one assailant stole his car and fled the scene.
Wilcox told police that, yes, he did vote for Trump, but his attackers would not have known that.
“Violence is never an acceptable response,” said Rev. Michael Pfleger in response to the video footage. “Emotions are raw coming out of this election, but frustration, anger and despair do not give permission to be violent.”
Following the election, protest continue to erupt nationwide. President-elect Trump, who has regained access to his Twitter account, tweeted on Friday, Nov. 11 that these protests were “very unfair” and “incited by the media.
Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
Following that tweet, he sent another one saying that he appreciated the small groups of protesters coming together to show support for the U.S.
“We will all come together and be proud!” he said.