Hundreds of people marched through lower Manhattan on Friday evening, despite the chilly temperatures and steady rain, protesting the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
Protesters at NYC Stand Against Trump: Inauguration Day Rally & March chanted, “Stand up, fight back” as they gathered at Foley Square just hours after Trump was sworn in as the nation’s 45th president.
As the crowd made its way to the Trump Building at 40 Wall St., protesters chanted “Not my president” and held signs, including one with the words, “Trumpcare equals death care.”
NYPD Sgt. Carlos Nieves tweeted that about 1,500 demonstrators took to the streets.
The gathering and march followed several small protests in the city earlier in the day, which remained largely peaceful, save a few arrests.
As the march began to wind down, one woman was arrested for allegedly spitting at a man wearing a Trump hat after they got into an argument, police said. The woman, who was not immediately identified, was apparently drunk and is expected to be charged with disorderly conduct, according to cops.
Inwood resident Eljeer Hawkins, 42, helped organize the Foley Square event, noting that Trump’s inauguration has brought out many people who weren’t active in protests before.
“We want to make it clear that this administration will not have a honeymoon period,” said Hawkins, who grew up in Harlem. “This is our response to what will be a very reactionary administration. We hope this will be the first day of many protests.”
Hawkins, a health care worker, said he hopes the protests serve to “fight for the things that we need and what we want,” like affordable care, public education and jobs with a living wage and union benefits.
“This kind of ‘America first’ idea must be rejected. That hatred, that bigotry cannot fly in the face of what is a natural impulse of people to be together,” he said, later adding, “What I think is bringing people out is the sense that that’s a threat.”
Daniel Moore, 30, an art handler from Bushwick, said he was particularly upset with Trump’s Cabinet picks.
“I’ve had a visceral reaction toward this whole election this last year,” Moore said. “I was prepared for the worst and it came. I refuse to accept the fact that I have to support the president. That is not how democracy works.”
Now, he said, is the time to “resist what seems to be a very dark cultural moment in our history. They brought the fight and I think we have to respond.”