By Danielle Prokop
WASHINGTON- Protests against President-elect Donald Trump broke out nationwide Wednesday, one day after he won the presidency in a historic upset against Hillary Clinton.
In the nation’s capital, where Trump will soon reside, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets to the newly opened Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue to voice their anger.
As they marched, the demonstrators drew in bystanders.
“I joined them up on 14th, off of the sidewalks and into the streets,” said Dominic Roach, 23, an artist from Baltimore who joined the march on a whim after bringing a friend into the city to pick up an Italian passport.
The hotel beefed up security, with two private security officers posted at every entrance. An additional 20 or so police officers were around the hotel.
A handful of Trump supporters wore shirts and hats and chanted in a counter-protest early in the evening but left after 10 minutes or so. At one point, a young man wearing a suit and one of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats tried to push his way through the crowd and had his hat taken away.
At 9 p.m., about 200 people marched in a peaceful protest up Pennsylvania Avenue. The crowd’s chants became louder and protesters set an American flag on fire, with some of them lighting cigarettes off of it. They carried the charred flag up to the nearby White House at around 9:30 p.m.
Hillary Clinton appears to have won the popular vote by a slim margin, but Trump took the presidency with an electoral college cushion of at least 279 votes.
Sequoria Brown, 27, a worker for a communications consultancy firm, suggested that the protests sprang from voters not grasping their full potential.
“As young people and immigrants we maybe underestimated our power and knowledge that our vote counted,” Brown said.
New York City was the site of one of the larger protests, where approximately 5,000 people gathered in front of Trump Tower to voice their anger over the ascension of a candidate who they say is both racist and anti-gay. Trump lives in Trump Tower, which is also the site of his campaign headquarters.
Protests were reported in other cities, including Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Oakland, Calif.; Philadelphia; Portland and Seattle.
(Correction: Dominic Roach is an artist from Baltimore, not a D.C. based graphic designer as initially reported. In addition, Roach’s friend was brought to the city to pick up an Italian passport, not to be naturalized.)