If the New York I experienced in the day following Donald Trump’s remarkable 2016 election win was a city quietly sobbing, by sunset said tears had turned to a uniform roar of anguish.
The protest – international news, no less – started at Union Square at 6pm and navigated some 40 blocks toward Trump Tower, picking up people along the way as it closed the city streets and took on a life of its own.
The chants reverberated through the night sky – ‘F**k Trump, Pence, Christie, ‘the wall’; Black, Latino, Muslim, gay lives matter; Pussy grabs back’ – a blend of the political and social and all expressing extreme distaste with Trump’s conduct and character.
The closer it got to the tower the more uniform the message. “We reject the president elect,” they shouted loud enough that surely, even from the top of Trump Tower, their presence would have been felt.
Little may come of these protests – not just in New York tonight but across the country – but as a fly-on-the-wall it felt like a moment in history, as though a collective had thrown its arms up in exhaustion at the prospect of its coming years.
I said in my earlier post that I didn’t feel things were different in the street during the day and I stand by that remark. While the people I saw on the subway and outside the tower by day were merely going about their day-to-day lives this was a congregation of the like-minded people whose displeasure at the election result was bolstered by energy of the pack mentality.
They were primarily but not all ‘millennials’ (for whatever that term has come to mean – I’m talking people in their 20s and 30s). Age aside, the displeasure with target of the evening’s disdain seemingly transcended gender, race and sexuality – it was a united New York, but one united against the man self-tasked with making the nation great again.
I don’t personally want to delve into the politics of the situation – as a visitor that’s not really my place.
The reality remains that the United States has democratically elected Donald Trump as its 45th President.
What I can tell you is that a lot of people in New York City are disillusioned by the election of their hometown ‘hero’. From what I saw in the streets tonight I’d expect the distaste to last for some time to come.
I was only there briefly but I took these pictures. The protests continue even now, and are expected to kick on through the night.
Also three posts in two days is too many but time sensitivity is important too, so provided nothing else remarkable happens (no promises) I’ll be toning it down a bit from here.
All photos by Jack McGinn. Please note that all views are opinion and guided only by personal experience as a traveller in New York City.