Sacramento protesters call Trump’s post-election call to unity disingenuous

With chants of “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” between 200 and 300 people took to the streets of downtown Sacramento on Wednesday evening to voice their opposition to President-elect Donald Trump.

The peaceful protest, which began in front of the Federal Building at Fifth and I streets, was organized by the ANSWER – Act Now to Stop War and End Racism – Coalition. It drew a culturally and racially diverse group of people, most of whom appeared to be in their 20s or 30s.

Doua Yang, 22, said she is a member of Sacramento’s Hmong community. Her protest wasn’t directed at Republicans, but at Trump “because of what he represented during the campaign,” she said. “We just want justice.”

Kobi Posey, 15, said he is homosexual and has witnessed the LGBT community’s fight for gay marriage. “It disgusts me that I have to feel the threat of that right being taken away from me,” he said.

Protesters carried signs urging people to fight against sexism, racism, homophobia and war.

The ANSWER Coalition was formed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as an antiwar movement to protest the invasion of Iraq, according to the organization’s website.

Teresa Torres, 66, said she came to the protest as an observer. She is Hispanic, a veteran and voted for Trump. “This is very sad,” she said of the protest. Now that the election is over, she said, everyone should try to get along.

She acknowledged that Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign was divisive, but said he was just talking like “everyday people.” Now, Torres said, she believes Trump is trying to back away from some of his more inflammatory remarks and be more presidential.

But those who turned out for the protest weren’t swayed by Trump’s post-election call for unity. Matt Williams, 23, said he found it both insulting and disingenuous. Williams, who works for a state environmental regulatory agency, said Trump’s stated goals go against all that he values. He was a Bernie Sanders supporter, Williams said, but he shifted his allegiance to Clinton after the primary.

“Trump won. I don’t deny that,” Williams said. “He won the electoral vote and that’s what counts.” But, he noted, Clinton won the popular vote.

After gathering at the Federal Building, the protesters went on the move, making their way to the state Capitol, where several members spoke to the group before the return march.

They crowd, extending a block long, chanted as they proceeded down the middle of 10th and I Streets. Sacramento police officers on bicycles rode alongside and ahead of the procession, providing traffic control at intersections.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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