One of the largest protests in recent Denver history took place last night — and the target was president-elect Donald Trump.
A crowd estimated in the thousands marched along the 16th Street Mall, as well as the areas on and near the grounds of the State Capitol and beyond.
Multiple street closures took place throughout the evening as a result of the enormous throng. Most notably, Interstate 25 was shut down at 6th Avenue for around half an hour.
At this writing, the Denver Police Department (update) says the protest generated no arrests and prompted only "very isolated" use of pepper balls. For the most part, the rally appears to have been raucous and passionate yet peaceful.
The Facebook event page for the rally titled it "Denver Unites for Better Than Trump."
The introduction to the page reads:
#StillWeRise #UnitedWeStand #HearMeHearUs #PeacefulWarriors #LoveTrumpsHateThe response to this online call was enormous. Here's the first DPD tweet about the gathering and its possible repercussions:
Many of us are heart-broken, filled with fear, and ready to create change. With Trump's miraculous win last night, we now have to stand up to an administration filled with bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, and a complete lack of compassion.
We don't know what is coming next, but let's show them our presence and make them hear our voice. Let all the oppressed communities and cultures come together and actually stand for a change. Let's support each other, spark some hope, and makes plans for a better tomorrow.
This is a peaceful movement. A safe place for us to express ourselves and find hope in each other.
MEETING SPOT: I plan to be at the park on Colfax between Lincoln and Broadway. Let's assemble here and then march!
ROUTE: We will meet at the Capitol building. I will post my location once I'm there, but I will be in an orange dashiki and should stand out. Our route will be Colfax, to Broadway, to 16th Street Mall, to Wynkoop, to 17th, to Wazee, to 16th, back down the Mall to the Capitol.
Much love and peace to you all.
— Will this go later than 7:30? That's completely up to us.
— Will you be able to find us if you come late? Yes, our route will be up and down 16th Street Mall and back to the capitol for people to return to their cars.
— Will we be preached at? No, we will get marching as soon as the tone and mood of peace and love are set.
— Will it be safe to bring children? I cannot say for certain, but I will make a place for children in the center of the group near the front so they are visible and protected by us.
— Will media be there? According to several of you, there will be plenty of media there.
— What can I do to help? Make extra signs, take photos/videos and post them to the event, keep people updated with our location, GoLive on facebook, keep each other calm, and protect each other.
— What do we do next? After getting the support in numbers that we all need, we will plan other meetings and events to come up with our vision of change. And then we will create it.
#Traffic: Expect traffic delays around 16th St Mall as large group of demonstrators march through the area and back to Capitol.— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) November 11, 2016
The crowd gathered at the State Capitol around 5:30 p.m. last night — Thursday, November 10 — and headed toward the 16th Street Mall before returning to the area of the Capitol and the City and County building just over two hours later.
But demonstrators didn't dissipate at that point. Rather, they continued to make their displeasure at Trump's election known deeper into the night as they spilled into traffic areas. The closure of I-25 was announced in this DPD tweet from 10:01 p.m.
The department announced that the roadway was open to traffic again 32 minutes later.
#Traffic update: NB I-25 closed at 6th Ave due to demonstrators on highway. SB closed at 23rd St.— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) November 11, 2016
In the meantime, plenty of protesters documented the events, including Vicki Steve Trujillo, who shared numerous videos on Facebook.
Here's one example....
...and a second....
...and a third:
The Denver rally didn't take place in a vacuum. Protests of Trump's election have taken place in communities around the country, including Portland, Oregon, where police declared the demonstration there to be a riot.
The collective expressions of displeasure have gotten the attention of Trump, who hasn't given up his Twitter habit despite having won the election.
At 7:19 p.m., around the time downtown Denver streets were filling with his critics, Trump tweeted the following.
He subsequently tweeted a compliment to those taking part in counter-rallies:
Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
Unity may be hard to come by. At a pro-Trump rally in Eugene, Oregon, a pair of students reportedly told some Hispanics to "pack your bags — you're leaving tomorrow."
Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
Look below to see two more videos of the rally, as well as a link to additional clips that were streamed live.