Violence has broken out at anti-Trump rallies across America overnight as tens of thousands marched against the President-elect before angry mobs attacked police, started fires and shut down highways.
The streets of downtown Oakland in California were choked with smoke Thursday as police launched tear gas and protesters lit fires, in what became by some distance the most violent of the many protests against the election of Donald Trump.
More than 6,000 protesters were seen on the streets of Oakland with an initially peaceful march down a cop-lined street turning nasty after some protesters threw bottles at officers and torched a police car. An office block was also attacked, daubed with ‘f*** Trump’ and ‘kill Trump’ graffiti and then set alight.
And thousands more filled streets in Los Angeles before taking over the 110 Freeway while other protesters gathered outside City Hall, lighting fires and waving Trump heads on sticks. There were 14 arrests.
In New York, home of the President-elect, at least 30 people were arrested when cops cracked down on twin demonstrations in Columbus Circle and at Trump Tower.
As many as 7,500 demonstrators were believed to have been split between the two locations, chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay.’
Cher and Madonna were among the NYC protesters, with Cher telling one supporter they needed to ‘fight.’
Trump’s poll-defying win has sparked a wave of similar rallies across the country. Protests stopped traffic in Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, California, among many others.
Outside the White House, a candlelit vigil was being held in protest against Mr Trump’s inflammatory and divisive brand of politics. But even peaceful protests in that city went awry, with at least one protester being bundled into the back of a van by the Secret Service.
Masses of protesters – more than 6,000, according to the East Bay Times marched down a cop-lined Broadway, protesting the election of Donald Trump.
The group had convened in Frank Ogawa Plaza for a peaceful but passionate protest – that plan, however, went to pieces after 8pm after the crowd threw glass bottles at the police line.
The cops responded in kind, firing incendiary devices into the crowd as unlawful assembly orders were read out.
Two groups were still contained by police in the area, feeding fires and being blocked from entering the I-90.
It’s not yet clear how many – if any – were arrested in that incident, but one person was taken in after shining a laser at a police helicopter – something that cops say is a federal offense.
Twitter videos showed many fires burning in downtown streets, and cops marching in formation on protesters.
New York City, NY
New York City: Thousands – including Cher (circled) packed the streets of New York as they marched more than 40 blocks from Union Square to Trump Tower
Crowds of disgruntled voters packed into the northern plaza of Union Square, in Downtown Manhattan tonight – among them pop star Cher. One protester announced on Facebook: ‘Cher just told me we have to fight. I trust in Cher.’
Madonna posted footage of crowds chanting ‘Not my President!’ on her Instagram feed.
The rally, organised by a group called Socialist Alternative, called on people to ‘build a movement to fight racism, sexism, and Islamophobia’
Among the crowd was teacher Julia Dunn, who told NBC 4 New York: ‘There’s a man who’s the human embodiment of hate who’s going to become our next president, so the best thing we can do is try to connect with people who are representing love and connection.’
‘Fight white power’ and ‘Love Trumps Hate’ were printed across dozens of placards as people voiced their anger over the election result.
There were reports of ‘multiple arrests’ as the crowd started their march 40 blocks uptown towards Trump Towers. Father Craig Wolf was reportedly detained as he marched with his 15-year-old daughter and her friends, and NBC later reported at least 30 arrests.
One woman taking part in the event was Julie Rossman, 30, who told DNA Info: ‘He is a misogynist, he’s a racist, and he ran a campaign on hate and lies.’
In Columbus Circle demonstrators hung a plastic effigy of Donald Trump as cries of ‘Black Lives Matter’ rang out across the crowd.
At around 8pm, NYPD officers outside Trump Hotel & Tower attempted to break up the crowds and move them onto the sidewalk.
Video on Twitter shows rows of police standing in the road as a robotic voice warned that anyone refusing to leave the road would be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
Los Angeles, CA
Countless thousands of protesters were seen across LA’s streets, swarming in what was described by CBS as an apparently disorganized protest, with no particular start or end point.
As time wore on, the crowd looked increasingly out of control, it said.
Many of the protesters took over the 110 Freeway, stopping traffic completely.
Others headed to City Hall, where they lit fires on the steps and waved around placard and signs – as well as a papier mache Donald Trump head on a stick. Police eventually dispersed the crowd around the fires and put them out.
A socialist councilwoman’s call for a protest was met in mass in Seattle, KIRO 7 reported.
Kshama Sawant called for a massive protest on Wednesday night and a nationwide shutdown on Inauguration Day. ‘I appeal to you, [Wednesday] at 4 o’clock, at Westlake [Park], let’s have a massive protest, and tell America we do not accept a racist agenda,’ she said.
And so at 4pm hundreds began to amass in the park, objecting through bullhorns to being ruled by billionaires. Their numbers swelled until thousands were amassing downtown.
They then traveled to Capitol Hill, and on into the University District.
In a separate incident, five people were shot dead at around 7am, while the protest was ongoing. Police have said there was no link between the two events.