VANCOUVER – Hundreds of protesters snaked their way through downtown Vancouver on Thursday, pumping their fists in the air and chanting “Love trumps hate,” as they rallied against the outcome of the United States presidential election.
Dozens of placards bobbed above the crowd with various slogans disparaging president-elect Donald Trump, ranging from “Build kindness, not walls” and “Proud supporter of love,” to “Make America safe again,” and “Prejudice kills.”
The Republican ended a divisive election campaign on Tuesday by pulling off a widely unexpected upset, defeating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the race to the White House.
Steve Cucuzza, a New Yorker who opted to visit Canada to escape the election-night chaos, attended the Vancouver rally. He said he wasn’t expecting an anti-Trump gathering so far from home but added that he wasn’t surprised.
“I think the global community has every reason to be fearful of him,” Cucuzza said, describing Trump as likely the most divisive politician in American history.
“The fact that he literally has his hands on the nuclear codes should have everybody across the globe gravely concerned. He has a tendency to lash out and act out when he doesn’t get his way.”
Still, he said he wants to keep an open mind and give Trump a chance.
“I’ve heard people chanting ”Love trumps hate,“ and I think that’s the proper approach,” Cucuzza said.
“Holding him accountable is what I’d ask everyone to do, but also give him a chance, give him a fair chance to govern.”
One man, who gave his name only as Brendan, arrived to the protest early wearing a red T-shirt with the words “Trump is my president.”
He said he showed up to represent the silent majority that supports the controversial billionaire.
“I just thought I’d come and be the other side of the story,” he said, expressing admiration for Trump’s tough-on-immigration policies.
“He won the election so he can’t be that unpopular, right?”
The protest was staged in front of Trump Tower, which attracted criticism and played host to another demonstration earlier this year thanks to its controversial namesake.
The oversized letters spelling out the Trump name immediately above the building’s front doors had been covered in blue sheets and a fence surrounded the entrance.