Donald Trump: Hundreds of protesters insist tycoon would destroy 'the idea of America'

Activists and ordinary New Yorkers gathered outside a Republican party gala dinner to make their voices heard

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Friday 15 April 2016 00:01
Salwa Mozzed said it was important to fight against hatred
Salwa Mozzed said it was important to fight against hatred

They were loud, passionate and determined that Donald Trump should hear their message - we do not want you as our president.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a hotel in New York where Mr Trump was speaking to Republican party supporters on Thursday evening, bearing signs and banners and chanting songs. To a voice, they declared that the Republican frontrunner was danger to the country and could even spark a civil war if he was elected.

"Trumpism is a philosophy that people do not believe. He is so against immigrants. But all the people here are immigrants,” said Mino Jones, an actor and activist from the city’s Harlem neighborhood.

Masha Datz (left) said that 'everything he stands for, we are against' (Andrew Buncombe )

“But what does that mean? Does that mean he wants to get rid of his current wife, because she is an immigrant. Is he going to get rid of her?”

The protesters were gathered outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel as Mr Trump joined fellow candidates Ted Crux and John Kasich to speak at the Republican gala dinner, ahead of next week’s New York primary election. The latest polls put the tycoon considerably ahead of his rivals. But while Mr Trump may be the frontrunner, to those gathered outside the hotel located close to the city’s Grand Central station, he was little short of the devil.

“With everything that Trump says, it seems to bring racism out,” said Jean Bowdish, 65, a human resources worker.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the hotel where Donald Trump was speaking (Andrew Buncombe )

She said that some of Mr Trump’s supporters may believe he can solve their economic woes, but that others were attracted by the divisive comments he made. She said anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT groups and individuals felt emboldened by him.

“The fight against racism was never won,” she said, referring to the struggles of the civil rights era. “Anyone thinking we are living in a post-racial society because we have elected a black president is just talking bullsh*t.”

Michael Haire said he thought Mr Trump would oversee an authoritarian society (Andrew Buncombe )

Masha Datz said that “everything he stands for, we are against”. He is destroying the idea of what America stands for,” said the retired teacher.

One of her friends said she believed Mr Trump’s hot-headedness and lack of international experience might lead him to start an overseas war. Another friend said she believed Mr Trump’s election as president would start a war within the US.

Salwa Mozzed was not old enough to vote, but she knew that she had not time for Mr Trump.

'All the people here are immigrants,' said Mino Jones, (Andrew Buncombe )

“I think it’s important that we come out and fight against so much hatred,” said the 15-year-old student, from Brooklyn.

Leda Sabio, an immigrant from Honduras, had come with her family because she wanted to send a message to Mr Trump that “not all hispanics” love him.

“If he is elected he would start deporting all the undocumented people who have been here for years and have their families here,” said the social worker. “This is not what America is about. It’s a nation of immigrants.”

Michael Haire, a hospital worker, said the rise of Mr Trump, who announced his candidacy last June to some mockery within the media, had taken him by surprise. But he said that now Mr Trump was on the brink of securing the Republican nomination, he had to be confronted.

“My neighbour on my left is from Mexico. The neighbour on my right is from Pakistan," he said. "I think Trump would create an authoritarian society that we have not seen since the days of Joseph McCarthy. He will unleash the rabid, right-wing people.”

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