More than a hundred demonstrators gathered in Downtown Albuquerque on Wednesday evening, marching up and down Central Avenue and briefly blocking traffic on the interstate to protest the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.
The protest mirrored similar demonstrations throughout the country as people took to the streets in New York, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, St. Paul and other cities, according to national news reports.
In Albuquerque, around 200 people gathered at First and Central around 5:30 p.m. for a peaceful demonstration with speakers urging those feeling disenfranchised by the election to organize and create positive change.
However, a couple protesters spray-painted anti-Trump slogans on the street and nearby walls.
The group, made up of mostly college-age students, waved signs that read, “Stand and Fight!,” “Not Our President” and “Fight War, Poverty and Racism,” as they chanted “(expletive) Trump” and “No Justice, No Peace.” Several wore the masks made popular by the activist group “Anonymous.”
About 150 protesters marched east on Central to the University of New Mexico before returning to Downtown and then heading back east again. The group swelled and shrank in size throughout the night.
Around 9 p.m., about half the protesters climbed up an embankment to block traffic on Interstate 25 at Central. Officers in riot gear from the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police formed a line on the freeway behind the protesters and dispersed the group.
APD issued an order to disperse, warning the protesters that they could be arrested if they continued to block traffic and create disruptions.
After getting off the interstate the protesters marched east again toward UNM, followed by riot police and SWAT vehicles.
Sydney Fry and her friends Ariana Thompson and Cheyenne Franklin said they came out to the protest because they are against everything Trump stands for.
“We’re part of the gay community and so our biggest thing is he’s totally against us,” Fry said. “And against immigrants, Muslims and others. Everyone deserves a life here.”
Thompson said in addition to worries about her life in America under a Trump presidency, she’s also worried about the possibility of getting into another war.
“He’s just going to cause more destruction,” she said.
The three said they will continue to make their presence known, spread the word and organize against Trump.
The protest ended shortly before 11 p.m. after a standoff between lingering protesters and officers in riot gear in front of UNM at Yale and Central.
The protest echoed an anti-Trump demonstration that took place in May after the then-presidential candidate held a campaign rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center. At that demonstration, protesters threw rocks and other items at police in Downtown streets, resulting in a couple arrests.
Trump’s Democratic Party opponent, Hillary Clinton, won New Mexico in Tuesday’s election.