Donald Trump’s ascendancy to US President-Elect has triggered large-scale protests in several US cities.
The words “Not my president” have left many a protester’s lips over the past few hours and, so too, “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascists USA!”. Alongside these vocal protestations, Trump-esque effigies have been burned, roads have been blocked and infrastructure has been damaged as a wave of discontent sweeps across the nation.
These and other actions are the result of November 2016’s shock US Presidential vote result that saw businessman Donald Trump overtake politician Hillary Clinton.
Addressing America early on 9 November, Trump said it was “…time for us to come together as one united people.” He continued by promising “every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen to not support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I am reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can unify our great country."
Current US President Barack Obama has his first post-election meeting with Trump today. Having not previously spoken too favourably of Trump, Obama has since asked all US residents to accept the new situation, stating: "We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.” Hillary Clinton has also urged her backers to give Trump a chance.
None of this has stopped protesters from taking to the streets of New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere these hours past.
Trump Election Protests
New York’s Trump election protests were focused around Trump Tower: the 58-storey skyscraper that’s stood on Fifth Avenue for more than 30 years. Here, Trump’s immigration, reproductive rights and gay rights policies all came under attack and, according to the New York Times, 15 arrests took place.
Oakland, California’s Trump protests were reportedly quite violent, with shop windows shattered and riot police having to deploy tear gas in response to projectiles aimed their way.
Elsewhere, Los Angeles’ and Portland, Oregon’s election protests both involved major road closures while other cities hosting Trump protests have included the likes of San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and Philadelphia. “We are all afraid of what may come, but we are stronger when we are organized”, ‘Time’ quoted one protester as having said.
Trump Security Concerns
In related news, Donald Trump will soon be national security-briefed by the country’s foremost intelligence agencies. Consequently, he’ll gain access to much classified information including covert operations data and the nuclear weapons codes. These are scenarios that seemingly concern a lot of people, although others perhaps display a bit more optimism.
“Once the American people have chosen a president, he or she is entitled to complete support from intelligence, and intelligence agencies have to assume that a president-elect will be equally professional”, ex-CIA Deputy Director, John McLaughlin, tells the Huffington Post. “I have seen the transformation that occurs when candidates become presidents and realize the awesome responsibility that rests on them. We can only hope it happens again.”
Named the ‘Gold Codes’, the nuclear weapons codes are those that enable a nuclear attack to be launched.
“The commander-in-chief’s power is clear: He or she has sole authority to use nuclear weapons”, Princeton research scholar Bruce Blair explains to Bloomberg. "‘Before initiating military action, the president convenes a conference with military and civilian advisers in Washington. If travelling, the President is patched in on a secure line. The consultation lasts as long as the president wishes, but if enemy missiles are heading toward the US and the president must order a counterstrike, the consultation may last just 30 seconds."
These Gold Codes, as might be expected, are protected by ultra-tight security measures: for one thing, they’re renewed every single day.
Trump protest image copyright nathanmac87 – courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Used as per Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
Donald Trump image copyright Voice of America – courtesy Wikimedia Commons.