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Protests Against Trump's Election Continue Across The Country

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're more than a week past the moment when Trump became the president-elect, and the news is still bringing people out into the streets. NPR's Sam Sanders has been asking protesters what drives them.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: The protests continue more than a week since Donald Trump's win. At Temple University in Philadelphia last night, dozens of students chanted...

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: (Chanting) Not my president.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Not my president, not my president.

SANDERS: ...Over and over and over. Lady Torres was one of several students behind the megaphone near the bell tower at Temple. When I asked her exactly what she was protesting about Trump, she told me it was a feeling.

LADY TORRES: A lot of us are in fear for our own lives. And I don't think it's an exaggeration at all.

SANDERS: You fear for your life?

TORRES: I do.

SANDERS: How so?

TORRES: I just think that it is very obvious because of the color of my skin that...

SANDERS: Torres says Trump and his campaign have lots of Americans believe it's OK to harass people like her. Torres is Latina, a permanent resident of the U.S., originally from the Dominican Republic, so she couldn't even vote, but she says that doesn't diminish her right to protest.

TORRES: We will watch him very closely. And we are not going to just simply sit back.

SANDERS: Others involved in what people are calling the Trump resistance, they're challenging things bigger than Trump, like the Electoral College itself.

DANIEL BREZENOFF: My name's Daniel Brezenoff, and I live here in Southern California. I'm a social worker and a longtime political activist.

SANDERS: Brezenoff started a petition on the liberal website change.org.

BREZENOFF: Well, this is a petition asking the Electoral College to cast its ballots for the popular vote winner, Secretary Hillary Clinton.

SANDERS: It's got over 4 million signatures, and it got Brezenoff some threats on social media.

BREZENOFF: This guy should be dragged out and shot. Let him try this in this state. Let him - you know, if this works, we're going to have a war - things like that.

SANDERS: To be clear, it is highly unlikely that Brezenoff's petition will work. Even Brezenoff admits that. So there are other ways people are mobilizing. Since the election, the American Civil Liberties Union has raised a lot of money.

ANTHONY DAVID ROMERO: More than 7 - 7.2 - even higher now - million dollars from folks.

SANDERS: That's Anthony David Romero. He is the executive director of the ACLU. He says the outpouring of support his group has received this past week, it rivals the support they got in the direct aftermath of 9/11. That's when the group challenged many anti-terrorism policies. Romero says he expects the ACLU to be challenging the Trump administration as well.

ROMERO: Revocation of the protections for the DREAMers, creation of a deportation force, the banning of Muslims, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the stop and frisk as a national policy.

SANDERS: They've got a long list. In Philadelphia last night, there were actually at least two protests. People also gathered outside of Philly's police department headquarters. Many there said the tone of Trump's campaign and his language about law and order, they said all that encouraged bad police officers to be even worse. But Megan Malachi (ph) also pointed out that black people like her have been protesting the police for a while.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

MEGAN MALACHI: For years before Trump was elected into office, many of the people that you see standing here have been fighting. We've been getting arrested. We've been getting brutalized. We've been getting targeted. You should have been out here before.

SANDERS: Then she stopped and smiled and told the newcomers, quote, "we are happy you're here now."

Sam Sanders, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sam worked at Vermont Public Radio from October 1978 to September 2017 in various capacities – almost always involving audio engineering. He excels at sound engineering for live performances.
Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.

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