NEW: Woman brings sign to Chicago rally wondering why she is still fighting for civil rights
Donald Trump supporters, opponents gather outside White House
They chanted anti-Donald Trump slogans. They flooded city streets. They gathered near the White House, disheartened and dismayed.
“Not my President, not today,” many across the nation yelled.
In cities from Boston to Los Angeles, thousands of demonstrators gathered Wednesday night in protest of election results that mean the billionaire real estate developer will be the next president.
As many as 5,000 people were at a protest in New York, police estimated. Among the issues being yelled about outside Trump Tower were immigration and other controversial topics from the campaign.
“I came out here to let go of a lot of fear that was sparked as soon as I saw the results,” protester Nick Powers said. He said he feared Trump will support stronger stop-and-frisk policies that would put many people in prison. He was worried that Trump’s victory would embolden sexist views.
Many of the protests were in cities with large Democratic bases – in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.
In Chicago, people walked down a normally busy Lake Shore Drive carrying signs. Many headed to Upper Wacker Drive, where a crowd was growing near the Trump Tower. CNN’s Ryan Young estimated the throng at a few thousand people covering the street for half a mile. Many were using a vulgar chant aimed at the President-elect.
One college student showed CNN a sign that said, “I still can’t believe I have to protest for civil rights.”
“It’s been really frustrating, because as a nation we thought we had come so far but it seems like we’re taking many steps back,” another woman said, “so we want to come together to change that and make sure we keep going forward.”
In Portland, marchers chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” as they trekked through downtown. Protesters in D.C., who headed to the Trump International Hotel, shouted the same slogan. After an earlier solemn gathering at the White House a few dozen young people remained, their cries profane.
Hundred of mostly young Latino protesters marched on Los Angeles City Hall Wednesday night. As the protest grew throughout the night, protesters set on fire a piñata depicting the head of President-elect.
They chanted “I will not live in fear,” “Fight back, stand up” and “¡Si se puede!” (Spanish for “It can be done”).
Several protesters said they feared that family or friends might be deported once Donald Trump is sworn into office.
In Austin, protesters blocked a highway Wednesday afternoon. Students burned a flag on the campus of American University in Washington, and they walked out of class in high schools and colleges across the country the day after the Presidential election.
In downtown Los Angeles, high school students crowded the steps of City Hall on Wednesday afternoon. Protester Brooklyn White was holding a sign that said “Hate won’t win.” The 18-year-old voted for Hillary Clinton and was disappointed.
“We can’t let it stop us. If he’s the President then fine, but if Donald Trump is gonna be it then he has to listen,” she said.
At Berkeley High School in California, about 1,500 students walked out of classes Wednesday morning. In Des Moines, Iowa it was hundred of high school students who left class to protest of election results. In Phoenix, about 200 students from Carl Hayden High School marched to the state Capitol in protest.
Earlier Wednesday, trash fires burned on an Oakland, California, highway as an illuminated sign in the nation’s capital proclaimed that the United States was “better than bigotry.” The Oakland Police Department said as many as 6,000 demonstrators had marched in the streets by Wednesday night.
“People are furious not just at the results of the election, but the rhetoric of Donald Trump,” Ahmed Kanna, an organizer for Social Alternative Berkeley, told CNN’s Don Lemon.
White House candlelight vigil
A candlelight vigil for Clinton supporters in front of the White House on Wednesday evening drew those who wanted to mourn their election loss.
The peaceful crowd called out “you are not alone” to over 2,600 people watching the gathering on Facebook, organizers said.
Maybelline McCoy, an immigrant from Panama, came to the vigil with her three children.
“My biggest fear is that they will be limited, that they will see people being silenced and invalidated and that I won’t be able to shield them,” she said.
Protests after the vote count
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning after the votes were counted, one member of the crowd near the White House held an upside-down American flag, alongside the LGBT rainbow flag, in silent protest.
Brian Barto, a protester who had remained at the White House after most dispersed, told CNN affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington that he was “destroyed, honestly distraught.”
“Everything that has been built up has been destroyed. … America has failed (minorities).”
Latasha Wilson said she was scared about the next four years. “He doesn’t respect women, Black Lives Matter, Latinos. He’s a racist. … There are multiple things that add up,” she said of the President-elect.
Others went to the White House late Tuesday and early Wednesday to show their support for Trump.
Nicholas Elliot, a student at Washington’s Georgetown University, said he was elated about Trump’s election.
“I feel pretty good, a year and a half process has ended and it ended my way,” the Texan told WJLA. He said he thought it was “definitely the responsibility of both parties” to unite the country.
Referencing the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union, which “translated strongly here,” he said he had no fear his candidate would lose.
“There is a hidden vote,” he said, contending people didn’t voice their true voting intentions to pollsters in case they were perceived as sexist, racist or homophobic.
In New York on Wednesday morning, groups of Trump supporters cheered his victory outside Trump Tower. Pop star Lady Gaga, a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter who had performed at the Democratic candidate’s final rally in North Carolina, stood atop a sanitation truck outside Trump Tower in New York, brandishing a sign that read: “Love trumps hate.”
Images and footage shared on social media showed dumpster fires on what was described as a stretch of Broadway, from 14th to 20th streets in the city.
At the University of Louisville in Kentucky, the base of a large-scale bronze cast of Rodin’s “The Thinker” was spray-painted with the message: Trump #BuildThatWall.”
CNN’s Paul Vercammen contributed to this story