What do anti-Trump protesters want? Here are 5 key demands

Updated 2:43 PM EST, Tue November 15, 2016
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'March for Truth' protests in dozens of cities

Story highlights

Protesters across the country are raising a range of concerns

Some chant "Dump Trump," while others say "not my President"

(CNN) —  

Demonstrations against President-elect Donald Trump are erupting across the United States.

From New York to Atlanta to San Diego, thousands of people have taken to the streets.

The protests have been largely peaceful, but some have turned violent. In Portland, Oregon, police described one as a riot after vandals threw objects at officers and damaged cars.

Protesters are raising a range of concerns as they take to the streets. But they seem to be standing together on several key points.

Here are five things they’re pushing for:

1. ‘Dump Trump’

Many demonstrators have used “Dump Trump” as a rallying cry.

A protest Wednesday in downtown Seattle.
Ted S. Warren/AP
A protest Wednesday in downtown Seattle.

What does that mean exactly? It’s a slogan that first gained traction as some Republicans pushed for the party to cut ties with Trump. But now that the election results are in, it’s taking on a different meaning.

For some, it’s a catchy way to sum up their rage about the President-elect. But others are taking things a step further, signing an online petition and writing letters to members of the Electoral College, asking them not to vote the way their states did at the polls.

Could that happen? The Internet rumor debunking website Snopes.com describes the prospect as “extremely, extremely unlikely,” noting that it would be “wholly unprecedented in American history and would require a sudden and drastic change in the United States’ political traditions.”

The Electoral College itself has also become a focus for some protesters, since Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election.

02:14 - Source: CNN
Clinton can win popular vote, Trump still wins election

2. Build bridges, not walls

Trump made immigration a focal point of his campaign, and it’s a key issue for many protesters who are against Trump’s vows to deport undocumented immigrants.

“I’m out here for my undocumented friends,” protester Spencer Smith, 19, told CNN in Atlanta.

At protests in Miami, demonstrators held signs that said, “build bridges, not walls,” taking aim at Trump’s oft-touted plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Is there any chance the wall plan could come off the table? Don’t hold your breath, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of Trump’s advisers on immigration, told CNN affiliate KWCH this week.

“There’s no question the wall is going to get built,” Kobach said. “The only question is how quickly will it get done and who pays for it?”

Whether or not Trump heeds protesters’ calls, building a wall along the border may be harder than it sounds.

The fence that divides the US and Mexico in Naco, Arizona.
CNN
The fence that divides the US and Mexico in Naco, Arizona.

3. Making a statement

Some protesters say they know Trump will take the reins January 20, but they want to make it clear that they’re not happy about the election results – and they’re not going to be quiet about it.

Protesters in Iowa this week had two main goals, said Rachel Walerstein, who attended protest in Iowa. First, they wanted to let people know that rhetoric-fueled violence against people of color, immigrants and LGBT people won’t stand, she said.

“The second is to make a statement of political instability to render it difficult to govern, and in particular, to make it impossible for Trump to implement his policies in the first 100 days,” she said. “For me, it’s important to make these statements known and visible.”

“It’s mostly to raise awareness,” said Dalina Aimée Perdomo, who also joined protests in Iowa City this week and said she felt angry and disappointed that her state had gone with conservative choices at the polls. “We gathered to share how we felt and how our families felt.”

Trump has slammed protesters as “paid professionals,” but later praised their passion on Twitter.

4. Trump should denounce the divisive things he’s said

“He needs to really address all the divisive, hateful things he’s said in the past and recant them, denounce them,” protester Nick Truesdale told CNN in New York on Friday.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal this week that he doesn’t think his rhetoric on the campaign trail went too far. But he also said he wanted people to come together, according to the newspaper.

“I want a country that loves each other,” he told the Journal this week. “I want to stress that.”

Others have called for Trump to denounce an upcoming KKK parade scheduled to celebrate his victory in North Carolina.

Trump himself hasn’t spoken out publicly about the event, but the North Carolina Republican Party condemned it.