By Caroline Flannery and Tracy Smith
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writers
Nearly 1,000 people gathered in Baltimore City Thursday night to march in protest of Republican Donald Trump’s victory in this week’s presidential election.
Holding signs that read “Not My President,” “She Got More Votes,” and “Love Trumps Hate,” the demonstrators walked from Station North to M&T Bank Stadium by way of the Washington Monument and the Inner Harbor.
The crowd was energized but emphasized that this was a peaceful protest against Trump and his vision for America.
As they marched the streets chanting slogans like “build bridges, not walls,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “I have no president,” dozens of drivers and pedestrians held up their fists in solidarity, with several joining the march.
Protestors clashed with Ravens fans tailgating outside the stadium. Men in Ravens gear got in protesters’ faces and yelled phrases like, “If you don’t like this country leave,” “you’re wasting your time,” and “lock her up.”
Police intervened and sent away a group of intoxicated football fans who were becoming overly aggressive towards protesters.
Two protesters were detained, but no charges were filed, police said.
Maria Tono, a 21-year-old political science student at University of Maryland Baltimore County, said she came to the rally with the hope of spreading unity and bringing about change.
“Trump has sparked this greater sense of division that’s going to separate us,” she said. “He brought out the ugly and his remarks touched me as a woman and as an immigrant.”
The event was organized by Kaila Philo, a 21-year-old University of Maryland Baltimore County student, whose goal was to have a peaceful protest where everyone could voice their feelings and opinions.
Members of the New York-based Unite Here Local 100 — which represents workers in cafeterias, executive dining halls, delis and other establishments — made an appearance at the rally, with members expressing the importance of people sticking together to make a movement.
“We came out here to show that we support what Baltimore is doing right now,” said union member Sarah Vargas, a Manhattan native.
With thousands of Americans threatening to move to Canada if Trump takes office, Steve Allan, 57, of Toronto, stood out in the crowd with his Canadian flag and Canada T-shirt over his dress shirt.
“I’m afraid for us, as Americans, and I’m afraid for the world,” said Allan, who is now a U.S. citizen and resident of Baltimore. “America deserves better.”
Protestors came from all over the country to participate in the demonstration.
A 47-year-old Chicago native who went by the nickname “Free” said she was inspired to join the march to show her children that standing up for what you believe in is always important.
“We have been listening to him talk for months now, and hearing him talk is enough to know he should not be our president,” Free said.
Joe Parise, 22, moved to Baltimore from New York only last Friday and was already making his mark by protesting against what he believes is the hate and bigotry perpetuated by the Trump campaign.
However, Parise said it is not too late for Trump to unite the people of the country.
“I will support Trump if he can show that he can do the right thing, which would mean adjusting his immigration stance,” said Parise, who was holding a sign that read, “The people united will never be defeated.”
But not everyone stood with the protest.
Kara Manning, a Florida native who moved to Baltimore in 2015, thought the protest was “pure “bullsh*t.”
“Anyone is better than Hillary Clinton,” said Manning, whose fiance is a military veteran. “She left active soldiers in Benghazi to get murdered,” she added, raising her voice with frustration.
“Donald Trump is going to be our next president,” Manning said. “Yelling ‘Black Lives Matter’ won’t change that. This isn’t a race thing.”
But that didn’t stop the protesters from sharing their views with each other on a microphone provided by the event organizers.
Marie Langlois, a law student at the University of Baltimore, took the opportunity to challenge women to speak up.
“This election does not mean that women cannot make a difference,” she said. “Do everything you possibly can and never forget that your voice makes a difference.”
A special needs teacher in Baltimore City added: “This is not the legacy people died for, sacrificed for, and were lynched for. We have to come together.”
In addition to immigrants, the diverse crowd was made up of senior citizens, educators, high school and college students, and even mothers and fathers pushing their children in strollers.
One protester showed dedication by participating in the nearly four-hour march on crutches.
Sam Du, 24, of Baltimore, broke his ankle playing roller derby, but he did not let that stop him from marching the streets.
“I am here to say Donald Trump is not my president,” Du said.
Jeremy Tabbets, a 36-year-old man from California, said he had mixed feelings when he unexpectedly came close to the demonstration while enjoying the Inner Harbor on his visit to Baltimore.
Tabbets said he had no problem with a peaceful protest, but he added that he thought it was great to see an underdog win the presidency.
Some participants questioned whether the American election process is the best way to determine who will be president.
“We need to realize that the Electoral College doesn’t work,” said Miranda Jane, 29, of North Baltimore County.
“Hillary really won by popular vote,” Tylor Norfolk, 18, said. “She was the choice of the American people.”
Baltimore is not the first city to show its distaste for Trump, who defeated Clinton with 290 Electoral votes.
Protests have occurred in cities across America, including New York, Portland, Oregon, Oakland, and Chicago.
In New York, thousands of protesters demonstrated in front of the Trump Tower, blocking off all traffic.
American flags and other items were set on fire during protests in Portland and Oakland while 13 people were arrested during demonstrations in Los Angeles.