WASHINGTON, U.S. - Donald Trump's election as president has sparked angry protests across a deeply divided nation. After the bitter and acrimonious campaign paved the way for the ...
• Thousands protest Trump win in New York
• Shooting in Seattle unrelated to Trump victory
• Internet trolls emboldened by Trump's win
WASHINGTON, U.S. - Donald Trump's election as president has sparked angry protests across a deeply divided nation.
After the bitter and acrimonious campaign paved the way for the shocking result, a war has broken out between Red and Blue America, on ground and in the virtual space.
Most opinion polls got the 2016 election completely wrong, likely due to the silent majority who were afraid to publicly support Trump but who would vote eventually him into the Oval Office.
And now that Election Day has come and gone, online, Trump supporters are revealing themselves to their friends, family and co-workers, leading both Democrats and Republicans to vow to “unfriend” anyone who disagreed with their candidate of choice, ignoring calls for unity by President Barack Obama and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“I voted for Trump!” wrote one Rhode Island woman. “If you don’t like me anymore because of it, then you were never really my friend. I’ll help direct you to the unfriend button.”
“I proudly voted for Trump,” another from California announced. “Unfriend me, call me racist, sexist, uneducated, simple minded, etc. my real friends know the truth and everyone else, I don’t need you in my life. #sorryimnotsorry”
This is what a Hillary Clinton supporter had to say online. “I’ve been grabbed and harassed by strangers more times than I can count. If you voted for Trump then unfriend me now. You’re NOT my friend.”
Another from Texas told his Facebook friends to unfriend him if they voted for Trump because, “We don’t see America the same way.”
Many Trump supporters said they felt disrespected by loved ones who unfriended them due to their support for the Republican businessman-turned-politician.
There were signs that the battle on the internet would not wind down anytime soon, in fact it could just get worse.
The coalition of trolls and white supremacists, mostly anonymous, that turned many of the internet’s social spaces into toxic cisterns of abuse is showing signs it was emboldened by Wednesday’s historic results.
Why Latinos voted for Trump
Donald Trump won 29 percent of the Latino votes in Florida, which analysts were sure would go to Clinton.
Many voted for Trump in part out of frustration with how the earlier Clinton administration handled immigration in the 1990s.
Many also believed Clinton had deceived voters in connection with the email investigation.
Trump’s anti-corruption message is what put the state in the bag, analysts felt.
They also believed that Latinos came out in support of Trump because after eight years of Obama they saw the country going in a direction that reflected the “socialist programs run amuck” in their native homelands.
Celebrities express dismay
Hillary Clinton was supported by several celebrities, notable among them were the women of pop – Kate Perry, Tove Lo, Dua Lipa, Tinashe, Kesha, Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui, Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding, Madonna, Cher, among others, who all expressed outrage on Twitter over Trump's election.
"Do not sit still. Do not weep. MOVE. We are not a nation that will let HATE lead us," Kate Perry tweeted following the election result.
Earlier, in a heartbreaking photo, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, present at New York City’s Javits Center, were captured in a moment of comfort when they realised that Clinton's chances were officially over, reflecting the mood of many in the nation.
There was one person though who supported Trump – rap artist Azealia Banks, who mocked Perry and Lady Gaga, besides slamming Clinton.
"They said Katy and Gaga was backstage crying I would have laughed real hard and loud right in their faces LMFAOOO," she continued. "All these celebrities thought their dry a** celebrity power was gonna sway the people but this is just proof of how stupid the American people are NOT," she posted.
Comedian Sarah Silverman, who threw her support behind the Democratic nominee, tweeted “Putin’s gonna win this thing” as the results came in Tuesday night.
Jesse Williams from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ posted this message after it became clear that Trump had emerged the winner, "Be tired. Be mad. Be honest & concerned. But be not afraid. Rest up. Be safe. Come together. Construct. Know your surroundings. Be creative."
Lindsay Lohan expressed her anger at the results and demanded a recount.
Actor Chris Evans from ‘Captain America’ tweeted, "This is an embarrassing night for America. We've let a hatemonger lead our great nation. We've let a bully set our course. I'm devastated."
Scott Baio, who publicly endorsed Trump, celebrated Trump’s win, "Great faith in God works. Mr @realDonaldTrump I'm proud to call you President of the United States of America. And First Lady @MELANIATRUMP"
Several others express shock, disbelief, fear, nausea and anger over the results, such as Ariel Winter, Kristen Bell, Sophie Turner and Bella Hadid.
"Some didn't like Bush. Some didn't like Obama. But this is different. Forget dislike. Many are genuinely fearful now. This is new," Seth McFarlane tweeted.
Protests on ground
Not just in the virtual space, on the ground too, vigils and protests continued into the early hours of Thursday as opponents of the president-elect expressed dismay with the election results, underscoring the difficult task he faces in uniting a fractured country.
Thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets decrying his crude comments about women and attacks on immigrants.
Protests were reported in cities across the nation, from major metropolitan centers like New York, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles, to smaller cities, such as Richmond and Portland, Ore. Dozens of demonstrators were reportedly arrested.
Even cities in red states, such as Atlanta, Dallas and Kansas City, Mo., saw demonstrations.
Hundreds marched through Philadelphia, just one of a number of marches that were organised throughout the United States.
And in New York, hordes of angry voters materialised practically out of the blue around Union Square on Wednesday evening, catching the police unawares.
The New York protest appeared to be the largest of dozens of anti-Trump demonstrations taking place elsewhere in the country.
"We're just people who are here who love this country as much as any other person does, and right now what we're showing is love that we love our country," a protester said.
The New York City crowd, mostly dominated by young people, marched 40 blocks to their destination the home of President-Elect Donald Trump. Trump Tower was overrun by thousands, if not tens of thousands of New Yorkers, awakened to a reality that to them seemed so unthinkable.
Thousands of protesters chanted “New York Hates You” and “Not My President” in front of Trump’s flagship New York building.
One protester carried a sign that read, "White Supremacy. Misogyny is not my America." Another read, "No More Small Men with Big Mouths." Other times the crowd broke into chants of "Black Lives Matter."
Lady Gaga also staged a lone protest outside the Trump Tower building in New York on Wednesday morning, posting a picture on Twitter holding a sign that read, "Love trumps hate."
Acts of vandalism were reported in Oakland for the second consecutive night in the Bay Area.
Members of the crowd carried signs saying "Pussy grabs back," "Donald Trump is a rapist" and "Secede #CalExit."
In Chicago, rainbow flags and signs bearing messages such as “Time to Revolt” waved above the crowd, as protesters filled Michigan Avenue, cheered on by drivers who honked their support.
They then shut down Lake Shore Drive, the expressway along Lake Michigan.
In Washington, a crowd of hundreds of mostly young protesters gathered outside the White House for a candlelight vigil before marching to the new Trump International Hotel a few blocks away on Pennsylvania Avenue.
In Seattle, crowds gathered downtown, carrying signs that said "Fight Racism" and "Not My President."
One of the speakers called on protesters to "stand together and fight like hell."
In his post-election victory speech, Trump said that he would be the president for all Americans, and that it was "time to come together as one united people.”
But the display of anger and grief on the streets on Wednesday is an indicator of the depth of the rupture in the country — and the distrust with which many Americans view Trump.
Attorneys, pro bono organisations, and immigrant advocacy groups are getting a flood of calls from concerned immigrants worried about their chances of being deported or losing their legal status.
Trump launched his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans immigrants drug dealers and rapists.
He continued to make immigration a central part of his campaign, pledging to increase border enforcement and deport millions.
Shooting in Seattle
Meanwhile, a shooting was reported in Seattle on Wednesday evening near Pine Street and Third Avenue.
Authorities said a man escaped on foot after firing into a crowd and wounding five people outside a convenience store in downtown Seattle.
The incident is unrelated to the Trump protests happening near the area at the time, officers said.