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Anti-Trump protests continue; opponents call them hypocrites

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Trump protests

Protesters march through Library Mall from UW-Madison's Bascom Hall to the state Capitol, protesting against President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday. 

Demonstrators in Madison and across the country took to the streets Thursday to express their outrage over Donald Trump's unexpected presidential win, while Trump supporters took to social media and denounced demonstrators as hypocrites or worse for not accepting defeat in a democratic process.

A crowd of hundreds of UW-Madison students and others who gathered Thursday night at the top of Bascom Hill swelled to around 2,500 by the time it reached the steps of the state Capitol.

Demonstrators also hit the streets in San Francisco and gathered in a New York City park.

As the Madison rally picked up new protesters along its route, the crowd chanted slogans including, "Not my president," "Black lives matter" and "This is what democracy looks like." Many carried signs stating "Love trumps hate," a slogan used by Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Ginger Baier, 66, who is transgender, came to the protest to "send a message that some of the ideas Mr. Trump has are not acceptable in this country."

Trump's campaign garnered widespread criticism throughout the nomination and election process as he called for the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico boarder, expressed fear of Muslim immigrants and refugees and made demeaning comments about women.

"It's devastating how much progress is going to be turned back in the next four years," Baier said.

[President Donald Trump inspires fear among Latino students]

Some demonstrators called for members of the Electoral College to vote in opposition to their state's popular vote and put Clinton in office. Others joined the rally to show solidarity with members of the various groups of people that protesters said Trump has ostracized.

"(Trump) threatened so many communities in the United States," said Heide Knoppke-Wetzel, 19.

Knoppke-Wetzel's parents came from what she calls areas "ruled by fear." Her father grew up in Europe after World War II, and her mother was raised in Chile during the political uprising there.

Ginny Hesness, 27, said she signed a petition for the Electoral College to change its vote. To her, Trump's campaign was too volatile.

"I don't think he's ever going to recognize the hate that he spreads," Hesness said.

Baier said that while a Trump candidacy is "terrifying," it shows that people are too concerned about the current "political machine."

Elsewhere, high-spirited high school students marched through San Francisco's downtown, chanting and holding signs urging a Donald Trump eviction. They waved rainbow banners and Mexican flags, as bystanders in the heavily Democratic city high-fived the marchers from the sidelines.

In New York City, about a hundred protesters gathered at Union Square in Manhattan to protest a Trump presidency. They held signs that read "Divided States of America" and "Not My President" and "Let the New Generation Speak!!"

At a subway station along 14th Street, New Yorkers expressed their thoughts — "Time to Fight Back" and "Keep the Faith! Our work is just beginning!" — along the walls of a walkway using sticky notes.

On Twitter, Trump supporters accused protesters of not respecting the process because it didn't work out in their favor.

"You're literally protesting against free democratic elections. Go live in North Korea, you absolute trash," one wrote.

Some protesters in Madison who called for Trump's removal said they were willing to disrupt the country's legacy of a peaceful transition of power because of their fear of Trump's presidency.

"I'm not upset because my candidate lost," said Amir Mohamadi, 32. "This isn't about the conservative-liberal spectrum. This is about things that are more universal." He said the protest was a call to end racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.

Since Tuesday night, thousands have demonstrated around the country. Flames lit up the night sky in California cities as protesters burned a giant papier-mache Trump head in Los Angeles and started fires in Oakland intersections.

Marchers protesting Trump's election chanted and carried signs in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and gathered outside Trump Tower in Chicago, chanting "Not my president!"


Deepti Hajela of The Associated Press and State Journal reporter Shelley K. Mesch contributed to this report.

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