Dozens of protesters gathered July 9 at the Old Post Office Pavilion, the site slated to become the Trump Hotel next year, to join forces against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
At the same time, a smaller group of Trump supporters also showed up near the protestors.
Led by local elected officials and activists of community groups, the crowd voiced anger towards Trump’s recent comments in which he degraded Latinos and Mexican immigrants, referring to them as “criminals” and “rapists.”
At the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street NW, shadow Sen. Paul Strauss (D) of the District of Columbia rallied the crowd, saying, “This building is on the people’s land, and it is the American people’s building. The Trump name stands for nothing but intolerance and hate.”
Strauss cited recent racial victories, including the passage of a bill to take down the Confederate flag from the statehouse in South Carolina and the court ruling to cancel the Washington Redskins trademark registrations over concerns that they convey a derogatory image of Native Americans, to provoke passion from the crowd.
Latino presence was strong at the protest, with participants vigorously chanting Spanish phrases, such as “Si se puede” –translated to English as “Yes, we can.”
Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D) called upon the Republican Party and its constituents to recognize Trump’s controversial comments. He also urged citizens of Maryland, D.C. and Virginia to “boycott Trump hotels, boycott Trump casinos and boycott Trump politics.”
The protest comes just one day after celebrity chef Jose Andres, a Spanish immigrant, backed out of plans to head a restaurant in the upcoming Trump Hotel.
Trump has faced plenty of backlash for his discriminatory comments, as NBC, Univision and Macy’s have all cut their corporate ties with the business mogul.