© 2022 90.5 WESA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Protests Erupt Against Trump's Election In Many U.S. Cities


Demonstrators marched in protest against Donald Trump's election in several cities last night. In Los Angeles, protesters burned a trump effigy and shut down a section of Highway 101. In New York, they gathered at Trump Tower and chanted, not our president. Here in Washington, D.C., hundreds of people, most of them young, gathered outside the White House for a candlelight vigil.

Yong Jung Cho founded the organization All of Us 2016. It's made up of mostly millennials. And she organized that vigil.

YONG JUNG CHO: This election has been long and painful and really hard. And it was really powerful to see 2,000 people outside of the White House crying to show the American people that we're going to be a people who stands together.

CORNISH: Help us understand your political background. Did you vote in this election, and if so, who did you vote for for president?

CHO: Yes, I voted in this election. I was actually in Pennsylvania doing some door-knocking before I came down here. And I voted for Hillary Clinton to stop Donald Trump. My parents are immigrants. I'm a woman. And I know what was at stake during this election.

CORNISH: You noted that you were in Pennsylvania. You were actually out there doing some work for the candidate. But there are Democrats out there wondering, you know, where was this energy on Election Day or the months before? Like, when they look at the protests and they say, hey, we could have used that 48 hours ago, I mean what's your response to that?

CHO: I actually think that was there. There were tons of people knocking on doors and showing each other what was at stake during this election.

CORNISH: But you also have - you had fewer millennials turning out for this election. While Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, she lost the Electoral College. And you know, there is a critique that says that you voted for Clinton but for against Trump. That's not the same as being for Clinton, right?

CHO: Yes.

CORNISH: And in some of what we're seeing out there at the protests - kind of, like, frustration with your own choice as Democrats.

CHO: Yeah, I think the majority of the country was really disillusioned with the two choices on the ballot. But in terms of a generational story, I think millennials and young people have been doing the most in our country to move us forward in terms of social change.

You know, our generation are the people who occupied Wall Street, confronted the fossil fuel industry, showed the world that black lives matter.

CORNISH: So I'm reading conservatives today who are saying, look; when Barack Obama won election in 2012, we were upset; we were depressed; we did not protest his very election. And so what's your response? You know, if Donald Trump hasn't done anything yet, why be out in the streets?

CHO: Donald Trump has promised many things during his presidential run that puts millions of Americans' lives at risk of violence and deportation. And I think that that is not a risk that millions of people can take. And that's why we're protesting in the streets.

CORNISH: What now? Where do you think the focus should be for people who are upset enough to protest in the street? Would you like to see them working for the Democratic Party? Would you like to see them - obviously you have your own organization, but what would be the focus - right? - midterm elections, like, inauguration? Where do you go from here?

CHO: I think there is a need for both protest in the streets. And I also think that we need to transform the Democratic Party. And I am hopeful and encouraged and want thousands of young people in particular to run for office on their own. And I hope that the American people will support each other in doing that and take over the Democratic Party.

CORNISH: Yong Jung Cho is an organizer of All of Us 2016. Thank you so much for speaking with us.

CHO: Thank you so much for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

WESA will be surveying Pennsylvania candidates for federal and state office for the 2022 general election — tell us which issues are most important to you.