Thousands protest against Donald Trump in Chicago

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CHICAGO -- Protests continued for a fourth straight day in downtown Chicago, as thousands marched through the streets of the Loop to voice their displeasure with the election of Donald Trump.

The protesters didn’t really get near Trump Tower Saturday, as Chicago police stood at barricades set up along Wacker Drive to prevent them from approaching the building.

But the protest march went through much of downtown. They know a demonstration won’t change the results of the election, but they say it will send a message to the president-elect.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered near Millennium Park Saturday morning and then marched through Chicago’s Loop for hours to voice their displeasure with the election of Donald Trump to the nation’s highest office.

“I’m out to protest the racism and hatred, that – I can’t even say the word – Trump represents,” said protester Barbara Welch. Welch says the results won’t change, but minds can, and she’s hoping the large demonstration will have an impact on the president-elect.

Many of those marching expressed concern that Trump's election will embolden people with racist and homophobic views. Chicagoan Addie Friedlander is a black gay woman, and she called Trump’s election a “double whammy.”

“It’s racism and homophobia being fought against me and for me, I fought for most of my life to exist, and I shouldn’t feel like i have to fight harder now,” Friedlander said

“My daughters are half Filipino, they need protection; there’s already been instances across the country of Asian women being verbally attacked and physically attacked,” said protester Joe Hiestand.

Wendi Grate and her twin 4-year-old daughters held signs that said “Girl Power” and “Love Trumps Hate.”

“We are pretty disappointed in the results of the election and i want them to feel that, as a city and a community we’re united in love and not hate, not discrimination,” Grate said.

Others simply say they want the country to once again feel united.

“I’m personally out here because I’m an American first.  I’m not a Republican or a Democrat. I love my country,” said protester Amando Cornaglia. I will fight for a Trump supporter to be able to have his opinion, as long as i can have mine. At the end of the day, this should be about love, not hate.”

The protests here in Chicago have been largely peaceful and have only caused minimal traffic problems. Organizers say they plan to be out again and again, so that their message doesn’t fade.

Mike Ewing November 12, 201611:59 AM

Demonstrators were seen carrying signs with messages including “Love Trumps Hate,” as well as “America was NEVER Great!” with URLs of the U.S. Communist Party’s website.

Mike Ewing November 12, 201612:01 PM

Posts from one of the people who organized the initial protest, according to DNAinfo, seem to show that they were surprised by the turnout. 

This Facebook event was one of the ways organizers got people to join the protest in Millennium Park:

Mike Ewing November 12, 201612:05 PM

Protesters first marched north on Michigan Ave. all the way to Chicago Ave., where they turned west and are now headed back South on Adams.

Mike Ewing November 12, 201612:40 PM

WGN’s Mike Lowe is on the scene as anti-Trump protests continue in downtown Chicago. 

Mike Ewing November 12, 201612:50 PM

Protesters have been circling the streets downtown, heading north from Millennium Park to Chicago Ave., turning west on Chicago, marching back South on State St. until Adams, where many protesters turned East again and marched over to Michigan Ave. and headed north again.

Mike Ewing November 12, 201612:52 PM

There are reports that some people are coming off the sidewalks to join the protest, while the messages of the demonstrators themselves seem to vary.

Mike Ewing November 12, 20161:25 PM

This time lapse video shows when protesters first crossed the river and headed into the street on Michigan Ave. 

Mike Ewing November 12, 20161:41 PM

The protesters are now heading southbound on Clark Street towards Ohio, according to police.