Donald Trump blames media for 'unfair' protests against election victory as demonstrations continue across US

Protesters clash with police in Portland riot amid second night of protests across US

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The Independent US

Donald Trump has accused the media of “inciting” protests against his election victory as demonstrations continue days after the shock result.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities including New York, Chicago and Portland for two consecutive nights, with some rallies seeing clashes with armed police and arrests.

The President-elect took to Twitter to respond on Thursday night.

He said: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” 

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Protesters gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, the third night of protests over the results of the presidential election, on 10 November 2016. (AP)

As polls predicted an emphatic victory for Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the vote, Mr Trump repeatedly suggested he would contest the election result and accused the system of being “rigged”.

US President Barack Obama said the Republican candidate was “undermining democracy” with comments questioning its legitimacy “without a shred of evidence”.

Mr Trump previously called on Americans to “march on Washington” Mr Obama’s victory four years ago, calling for a revolution against the electoral system.

“We can't let this happen,” read a tweet posted on 7 November 2012. “We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!”

But he has not repeated the sentiment following his own election victory, when the Electoral College system he once called a “disaster for democracy” allowed him to beat Ms Clinton despite her winning more votes.

A second night of protests against the shock result saw violence break out in the city of Portland, Oregon, when police responded to riots with pepper spray and stun grenades.

Hundreds of people marched through the streets, chanting: “We reject the President-elect!” before a small groups started to vandalise shop windows, set fire to rubbish bins, smash car windows and set off firecrackers.

As clashes continued into the early hours of Friday morning, police warned that blocking motorways and roads amounted to unlawful assembly and would be met with force, ordering crowds to disperse.

“Police advising crowd there are gas and flares being prepared by protestors,” a statement said, adding that projectiles were being thrown at officers.

“After several orders to disperse, police have used less lethal munitions to effect arrests and move the crowd.”

Anarchist groups were being blamed for fuelling the violence, which concentrated on the upmarket Pearl district and its designer shops. A local television crew's camera was hit by a man who was then chased off by Black Lives Matter protesters, journalists said.

At least 26 people have been arrested in connection with the disorder.

In Denver, Colorado, protesters briefly shut down the Interstate 25 motorway, while in San Francisco students marched through the city centre chanting: “not my President” and holding up signs demanding Mr Trump be removed from office.

They waved LGBT rainbow banners and Mexican flags, as bystanders in the mostly Democratic city high-fived the marchers from the sidelines.

“As a white, queer person, we need unity with people of colour, we need to stand up,” said Claire Bye, a 15-year-old pupil. “I'm fighting for my rights as an LGBTQ person. I'm fighting for the rights of brown people, black people, Muslim people.” 

The Independent was at a rally in New York City, where a large group of demonstrators once again gathered outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, making speeches, chanting and waving placards bearing anti-Trump messages. 

“Our country is having a bad time and it’s probably going to get worse,” one man said. "But we'll stick together and it will get better. So keep the faith."

Protesters briefly shut down motorways in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, rallying outside Philadelphia’s City Hall.

Roughly 500 people turned out at a protest in Louisville, Kentucky and in Baltimore, hundreds of people marched to the stadium where the Ravens were playing a football game. 

Hundreds of protesters also demonstrated outside Trump Tower in Chicago and in Oakland, California, Dallas, Texas and elsewhere. 

More demonstrations were expected on Friday night in both Democrat and Republican-voting states, as Mr Trump’s team starts the transition to his new administration ahead of inauguration in January.

Additional reporting by agencies

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