TAMPA, Florida— From the streets of Ybor to downtown Tampa, a number of separate protests broke out across the city Thursday night all in opposition to Tuesday night’s election of Donald Trump as America’s 45th President.
Members of the Black Lives Matter movement teamed up with other organizations, at one point sitting down to chant and block traffic.
Tampa Police and State Troopers guarded the on ramps to I-275 in hope of preventing major traffic disruptions.
Downtown at the Federal Courthouse similar messages echoed through the streets as members of a student organization marched towards Curtis Hixon Park.
“A lot of people are frustrated,’ said protestor Brett Behers. “A lot of people have had it up to here with our system. We are not happy with Donald Trump as President. He needs to be removed. That’s what we’re out here to get.”
And while others acknowledge that’s unlikely to happen, many say they’re just out to send a message.
“My goal is to instill in people that love is love,” said Alayah Pacheco. “Trump can’t do anything about it.”
For many of the protestors, 2016 was their first time voting in an election. But Vietnam Veteran and former POW John Parsels who joined the group on their march through Tampa says he’s seen similar unrest in previous elections.
“I think its similar, but then it was about war, and now it’s about the presidency which is a lot bigger problem,” said Parsels.
And while the crowd did run into President-Elect Trump supporters who expressed their disagreement throughout the night. Others say they’re proud to see so many making sure their voices are heard.
“It’s really important for these young people whose future is far more vulnerable and at stake than ours to know that we support them,” said Patty O’Grady. “Not every Baby Boomer votes for Trump.”