Alex Scott/ABC News(NEW YORK) — On this Presidents’ Day, which celebrates the achievements of America’s past leaders, thousands of protesters rallied to send a message of defiance to the current president.
“Not My President’s Day” protests took place in dozens of cities across the country. Demonstrators gathered to oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda on a number of issues ranging from immigration to LGBTQ rights to the environment.
“Donald Trump does not represent our values, and therefore we refuse to honor him on President’s Day,” organizers of the Chicago rally wrote in their event description. “Instead, we will honor the principles of democracy for which our previous Presidents fought valiantly: the right to assemble, and the right to fight for those of our brothers and sisters who have not yet been included in the word ‘equal.'”
In New York City, thousands took to the streets in front of Trump International Hotel, according to ABC station WABC-TV.
“I’m not Muslim, I’m not an immigrant, I’m not undocumented,” one speaker said. “But I am heartbroken when I see the fear in friends who are those things, and it’s empathy. I came out to say that I’m with you.”
Hundreds more reportedly gathered in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.
The rally in the nation’s capital drew several hundred protesters to Dupont Circle.
“I am here to stand up for what’s right, to stand up against what’s wrong,” one protester, Miriam Bowden, said. “And what’s wrong is Donald Trump and all of his cronies who are infecting Washington, D.C.”
Following the rally, the protesters took their message directly to the White House, marching through the streets with chants of “This is what democracy looks like!” and “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here!”
The protests were largely peaceful. However, protesters and police reportedly clashed in Portland, Oregon, and several arrests were made.
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