March 20, 2016, New York
Spring arrived in New York City this week…and so did hundreds of anti-Trump protesters. But while the Presidential election is still a Spring, Summer, and half an Autumn away, they were out in force yesterday. The occasion was a rally and protest march called by Cosmopolitan Antifascists to “Say No to Donald Trump.”
The group’s Facebook page states, “Donald J. Trump has made headlines in recent months with his divisive rhetoric, hate speech, and extremist plans to “make America great again”. We, in fact, believe this will do the opposite to this nation. Trump’s policy threatens many of us in the Latino, Muslim, LGBT, and other communities. These policies and this type of speech has no place in this country, and certainly does not have a place in the city that Trump grew his empire in, which is considered such a melting pot and home for many of the same characters Trump continues to wage war on. Join us at Columbus Circle as we march to Trump Tower as we say no to hate, no to divisiveness, no to fascist policies, and most importantly, no to Donald J. Trump.”
The protesters gathered Saturday morning at the southwest entrance to Central Park, a symbolic “stone’s throw” from the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Columbus Circle. Although no actual stones or other projectiles were thrown, the group’s energy built as more protesters arrived. Finally, about noon, the assembly headed out, snaking a raucous path through the park before spilling out onto Central Park South. The hundreds of protesters carried signs, beat upon drums, and chanted as a small army of NYPD looked on and kept the march orderly.
The protesters proceeded across Central Park South and then down to Trump Tower on 56th Street. There were several minor skirmishes between police and protesters, but the mood was not especially confrontational. Several protesters attempted to break ranks with the march but were quickly turned back by a wall of police officers. After trying, without success, to gain entry to the tower, the march retraced its route back to Columbus Circle.
An impromptu rally ensued, and several speakers took turns atop the USS Maine monument. By early afternoon the protesters had dispersed and been replaced by tourists strolling in and out of Central Park.