Crowds march in downtown San Diego, protesting inauguration of Donald Trump
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Braving blustery weather conditions, chanting slogans and led by a Mexican flag, about 150 opponents of Donald Trump marched from City College to downtown San Diego to protest the inauguration of the billionaire real estate magnate as the 45th president of the United States.
The demonstration led by the San Diego Alliance for Justice proceeded along Broadway and, for a while, blocked Front Street in front of the Federal Building.
A large number of police motorcycle officers cleared traffic and escorted the protesters along their route, which was scheduled to end at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan.
A speaker representing the Green Party noted that Trump lost the popular vote and received the backing of less than one-third of Californians who cast ballots in the November general election.
"We have to galvanize and unify that energy” to oppose Trumps policies,” the speaker said. One bystander chanted his support for the new president, but was largely ignored by the crowd.
Another group led by Answer San Diego rallied in Balboa Park and also marched into downtown.
A third rally was set for 5 p.m. at Chicano Park, led by Union del Barrio.
Thad Kousser, a UC San Diego political scientist, said it remains to be seen if the antipathy to the incoming president can be translated into an effective political movement.
"Groups on the left aren’t giving Donald Trump a long chance to prove that he can be a centrist, but I think what he did in his campaign and what he’s done in his transition are probably grounds enough for the left to say, `yeah, so we don’t like him,’ ” Kousser said. "The question will be whether the left will have the patience and persistence, and be willing to engage in the politics that it takes to turn his politics around.”
Trump became a polarizing figure in the presidential campaign, did little to change his image during his transition and is unlikely to change his behavior in office, he said.
"The question is whether Washington, D.C., constrains him,” Kousser said. "Whether it’s moving from the head of a private corporation where he’s clearly the boss to someone who has to work alongside others where everything is shown.”
He said that struggle might not change who Trump is, but could impact what he’s able to accomplish as president. However, people have been underestimating Trump for a year and a half and have been wrong the entire time, he said.