(By: Nathan Sing)
Hundreds of protesters filled the streets and gathered in front of Toronto’s Trump Tower on Saturday.
Hundreds braved the rain and took to the streets of Toronto Saturday afternoon, protesting their opposition of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.
“We stand together, united against hate and show the world that Canada stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters to the south,” said the Rally Against Trump Facebook event page, which garnered thousands of RSVP’s in less than a week. This was the second protest in Toronto condemning the president-elect Trump following his surprising win on November 8.
Yvone Wang braves the rain as she holds an upside-down American flag before the Rally Against Trump on Saturday.
“I’m sad that people don’t feel safe in their own country,” said Janna Stam, who had never participated in a protest before Saturday. “This is such a step back for the LGBT community, for Muslim people and for minority groups … I had to let my voice and their voice be heard.”
At 1 p.m., a sea of protesters gathered in the rain at Nathan Phillips Square, grasping umbrellas and signs condemning president-elect Trump.
Anti-Trump protesters gathered at Nathan Phillips Square at 1 p.m. on Saturday before marching to Trump International Hotel and Tower.
“The turnout today demonstrates Canadians’ understanding of what happens in America does influence Canada,” said Kayla Perry co-organizer of the event. “Whether that’s through policies and international relations or setting a precedent for what is and what is not acceptable in a leader.”
Small groups of Trump supporters were also there opposing the protest, grabbing the attention of protesters by chanting and waving signs, with one reading, “Make Canada Great Again.”
A small group of Trump supporters were among the sea of Anti-Trump protestors on Saturday, with some sporting Trump’s iconic red hat.
“We’re here to celebrate this Trump victory, defend democracy and denounce all race-based groups like Black Lives Matter,” exclaimed Trump supporter Joseph Ridell.
“All of these people are just mad that (Hillary Clinton) didn’t get in,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that there was an election, somebody was going to be elected. We live in a democracy, and these people just have to deal with it.”
As tension grew between a small group on a sidewalk along the square, police officers were quick to barricade the opposing sides with their bikes as they verbally clashed.
Within the small group, at least one person was arrested after a violent altercation between an Anti-Trump protester and a Trump supporter.
A man is taken away in handcuffs after a violent altercation with an opposing protester at the Rally Against Trump Saturday.
Meanwhile, the majority of protesters filled Bay Street, marching towards the building bearing the president-elect’s name while chanting, “Love Trumps Hate.”
Many bobbed their damp signs in the air outside Toronto’s Trump Tower, which was secured by a barricade and a line of police.
The crowd chanted “Black Lives Matter,” “Toronto Rejects Trump,” and “Donald Trump is KKK” for hours, blocking part of Bay and Adelaide Streets.
A barricade divides protestors and police at the Trump International Hotel and Tower on Saturday.
Saturday’s second Anti-Trump protest in Toronto was just one of many, with thousands more taking part in similar demonstrations in Canada and around the world.
“So many people do care about this and are unwilling to accept this hateful rhetoric that Donald Trump’s campaign employed including misogyny, racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia,” said Perry. “Today, we took a stance that those views are not acceptable in Canadian politics and culture.”
All photos by author.