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“Not in our city”: Portraits from an anti-Trump protest in New York City

As the sun sank behind Grand Central Station on April 14, thousands of New Yorkers lined up with picket signs across the street from the Grand Hyatt hotel in Midtown Manhattan. They were there to tell Donald Trump he is not welcome in their city—the city the Republican primary frontrunner was born and raised in.

Republican primary candidates Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich were all invited to speak at the New York State Republican Party’s annual gala at the Hyatt, but the crowd of protesters singled out Trump as their target.

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A coalition of groups, including Black Lives Matter and the “Fight for $15”, an organization that advocates for higher wages for fast-food workers and other hourly employees, organized the protest. And while the protestors came from a multitude of backgrounds and boroughs, their message was the same: Discrimination has no place in New York City.

“It is time to stand on the shoulders of those who built our city, and come together as New Yorkers and say, ‘Mr. Trump—you do not speak for us; you do not represent us and we will not let your bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, racism and hatred go unanswered anymore,'” one of the organizing groups said on a Facebook page for the protest.

Trump has been accused of propagating racism, sexism, and even violence with his comments ever since he launched his campaign last year. Protestors succeeded in shutting down a Trump rally in Chicago in March this year, and clashes between protestors and Trump supporters has become the norm at the candidate’s rallies.

The protest at the Republican gala on April 14 was no exception. Trump supporters staged a counter protest on a street around the corner from the Trump protestors, and 31 people were arrested by police.

Here are some of the faces and voices of people who were present at the protest.

"I’m here because I'm disgusted that the New York Republican party invited Trump to speak at their gala, and I believe that this is an opportunity to hit back at the New York State Republican party, which are all a bunch of Trumps. They voted against immigrants, voted against women, voted against criminal justice reform, and enough is enough." — Linda Sarsour, 
executive director of the Arab American Association of New York
“I’m here because I’m disgusted that the New York Republican party invited Trump to speak at their gala, and I believe that this is an opportunity to hit back at the New York State Republican party, which are all a bunch of Trumps. They voted against immigrants, voted against women, voted against criminal justice reform, and enough is enough.” — Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York (Loubna Mrie)
Some protesters wore bandanas over their faces to conceal their identities. (Loubna Mrie)
“I’m really offended by the racism that has been coming out of the Republican campaigns and I want to stand up for equal rights. Muslim lives matter, Black lives matter, Mexican lives matter, LGBT lives matter, and it’s time that we saw ourselves as one and not as me versus the others.” — Betsy Malcolm, Manhattan resident. (Loubna Mrie)
A street vendor set up a table to sell anti-Trump gear at the protest.
A street vendor set up a table to sell anti-Trump gear at the protest. (Loubna Mrie)
Fast food workers came to the protest with the group “Fight for $15”. (Loubna Mrie)
The coalition of groups that organized the protest made picket signs for protestors to carry. (Loubna Mrie)
“We’re all here to send the message that white supremacist incitement to violence has no place here. Not in our city.” — Nabil Hussein, Millions March NYC (Loubna Mrie)
Some protestors said they do not support any candidate in the election this year. (Loubna Mrie)
Fascism was one of the many accusations leveled at Trump by protestors. (Loubna Mrie)
Tourists and pedestrians took photos of the protest as they hurried in and out of Grand Central Station. (Loubna Mrie)
“As veterans we’re very frustrated because often the really, really fascistic portion of the GOP uses veterans as props to support their hate speech and to make draconian policies, especially in reference to Muslims. And we don’t support that kind of hateful rhetoric. We’ve seen the implications of it firsthand.” — Jake Maier, Iraq Veterans Against the War (Loubna Mrie)
Policemen cordoned off a section of 42nd Street between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue for the protest. (Loubna Mrie)
A traveling salesman set up his table to sell Trump gear, despite the protest. (Loubna Mrie)
“I’m from Michigan, and I’ve been following Trump around for the past two months. I don’t think Trump is going to win in New York. There are a lot of people out here who are against him.” — Jeremy R, traveling campaign gear salesman (Loubna Mrie)
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