Thousands of people took to the streets in California to protest the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, leading to speculation regarding the “blue state” seceding from the union. Protesters came out in large numbers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with massive rallies being carried out on the streets of Oakland.
The streets of downtown Los Angeles were flooded by thousands of protesters Wednesday night, denouncing the president-elect. A number of these protesters then moved onto the 101 Freeway, shutting down traffic. According to a spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol, the 101 Freeway is expected to remain closed until at least 3 a.m. (6 a.m. EST) or longer, Los Angeles Times reported.
The Los Angeles Police Department has issued a dispersal order near Los Angeles and Aliso streets. At least 13 people were arrested in relation with the demonstrations, Tony Im, an LAPD officer, reportedly said.
San Francisco’s Powell and Market streets saw another anti-Trump protest beginning at 5 p.m. (8 p.m. EST) Wednesday with hundreds marching to join a vigil in the Castro District, a predominantly gay neighborhood. The protests also led to delays on the F-Market MUNI line.
In the second night of protests in the Bay Area city of Oakland, an officer was reportedly injured while attempting to control the masses, the police said. With an unspecified number of arrests having been made, the authorities also deployed tear gas after the demonstration was declared an unlawful assembly.
Molotov cocktails, bottles, rocks as well as firecrackers were thrown at officers in riot gear starting around 8 p.m. (11 p.m. EST). The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said police cars have also been targeted and destroyed.
The protests, which started around 5 p.m. (8 p.m. EST), saw hundreds gathering at 14th Street and Broadway with loud chants of “not our president.” The protesters, whose numbers grew to roughly 7,000, according to police estimates, carried signs saying “P---- grabs back,” “Donald Trump is a rapist” and “Secede #CalExit.”
Universities have been active theaters of protest against the Republican and over 1,000 University of California, Berkeley, students walked out of classes Wednesday to gather in the school's courtyard holding anti-Trump signs. Berkeley Unified School District spokesman Charles Burress reportedly said classes were on for students who wanted to attend but added that the authorities understood the circumstances that initiated the student protests.
Similar demonstrations were carried out at University of California campuses in Los Angeles, Irvine and Davis and at San Jose State University following the announcement of Trump’s victory.
Following the construction mogul’s election to power, there has been a surge in the number of people calling for so-called Calexit or Califrexit. A statement from a group called Yes California Independence Campaign, which advocates California’s secession from the union, says: “In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children.”