Anti-Trump protesters march across Miami, shut down traffic

MIAMI (WSVN) - Thousands of protesters pounded the pavement of Miami, Friday, causing traffic tie-ups that shut down roadways in Downtown Miami and the MacArthur Causeway.

That march led to an incident in front of a high-rise condo, where at least two people sustained injuries after, witnesses said, someone threw bottles down from the building. However, the protest was entirely non-violent.

As nationwide protests over Donald Trump’s election stretched into a fourth straight day, protests sprung up across South Florida, Friday, including a demonstration at the University of Miami.

Throughout the afternoon, dozens of UM students joined together for a peaceful march across the campus in Coral Gables.

Some students said they were scared after hearing Trump’s promises during his campaign about topics such as health care and deportation.

“He ran on a platform of pandering to the worst common denominator. He ran on a platform of hate, of fear mongering,” said one protester. “He ran on the idea that anybody who doesn’t look like him is the other.”

At one point, a couple of students took a moment to recite poems and sing songs they had either written or selected to perform in light of the matter, according to multiple tweets posted by students.

“We are devastated by the results of the election and we, as people of color, women, LGBTQ, immigrants, minorities at this university, we’re standing up and making our voices heard,” another student said.

The entire protest, which lasted more than an hour, was peaceful and no damage was done.

Later in the day, protesters met at Bayfront Park Amphitheater, located at 301 Biscayne Blvd.

This protest, organized by the Facebook group “Dump Trump Miami March,” aimed to be peaceful and non-violent, as well, according to organizers.  A post on the event page reads, “Many people voted for Trump because of an anti-establishment feeling which we embrace. It is ‘him’ as a solution we resist.”

As of Friday morning, over 2,000 planned on attending the protest and nearly 5,000 people were interested in attending, according to the Facebook event post.

By 6 p.m., hundreds of protesters were at Bayfront Park to protest Trump.

“I think it’s important for people to come out and show that, although Trump may have won the election, we know that he didn’t win the popular vote in the United States,” said Javier Hernandez.

Melinda Murray came out despite having not voted at all.

“I did not vote. I am one of the 46 percent that is tired of the government. I know what’s going on, I’m not going to eat,” Murray said.

Asked whether voting would have been more effective, she said, “Because I want a different system.”

“We need people to know that we’re not satisfied with this and we’re going to do everything we can,” Melanie Balluais said.

Asked whether she was willing to give Trump a chance, she said, “I mean, based on the three presidential debates that I’ve seen, I’m not even thinking of wanting to give him a chance.”

By 6:20 p.m., protesters began marching north from Bayfront Park. At 6:30 p.m. Miami Police were in riot gear as protesters peacefully marched through Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast Ninth Street.

“I am a woman, a bisexual, and I strongly believe Donald Trump is not my president and not our president,” said one demonstrator. “Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and we will not have the year 2000 again.”

Just before 7 p.m., thousands of protesters marched on to the MacArthur Causeway and traffic was shut down in both directions. Some protesters stayed near the ramp they used to march on to the causeway, while others marched west.

Eventually, those protesters marched back to join together and exit the causeway, where they headed on to Biscayne Boulevard. Police said, at one point, the number of protesters reached about 2,000.

Once protesters returned to Biscayne Boulevard, someone appeared to throw multiple bottles down from the balcony of a high-rise condo building. One of them hit an 11-year-old girl and bruised her.

“They were throwing bottles down from that building and I got caught, and now I’m bleeding on my finger,” one protester hit by a bottle said.


“It just seemed like a bunch of glass circled me and my kids like all at once,” Maria Falconi said. “I heard my 11-year-old screaming and then I saw glass falling around the wagon, and then I grabbed my little one, who was in the wagon.”

“The altitude of where it dropped is what’s hurting her. It’s not cut, it’s bruised and swollen,” Falconi said. “The protesters have been peaceful and it’s just interesting that I’m with kids and we we’re in the back and they threw it directly down around us.”

Protesters made their way to Brickell, and then on to Interstate 95, where they shut down the highway in both directions for at least an hour.

Christopher Lorenzano, a delivery driver, said his work was inconvenienced by the protests.

“It’s horrible,” he said. “I mean, I obviously have to park my scooter and walk like one or two blocks over to get to the hotel and go on about the day and do more deliveries.”

There, protesters held up a banner across the interstate that read, “All oppression creates a state of war.”

They marched down I-95 to the MacArthur Causeway, back to Biscayne Boulevard and wound up back in front of Bayfront Park.

“I want to protest myself, but not on the bridge,” said a passenger in one car, “You know, blocking a bridge on a Friday night, it’s crazy.”

By the time the protesters returned to Bayfront Park, at around 10 p.m., the crowd had thinned from thousands of people to hundreds.

“I have been depressed all week. I am seriously devastated,” said one protester. “I have not felt this level of disillusionment since 9/11. I promise it has been really hard.”

Miami Police said the crowd grew to about 2,000 people at one point.

Biscayne Boulevard was shut down throughout the night, and the protest was a headache for drivers all night.

Anyone driving through downtown Miami or trying to get to Miami Beach faced major congestion.

“We should just wish him the best, you know, there’s nothing to lose,” Benjamin Perez, who was driving in the area, said. “The country is already in bad condition as it is.”

By 10:30 p.m., traffic in Downtown Miami and on the highways was back to normal.

A second protest was held in West Palm Beach. Approximately 300 people were expected to gather in front of the Trump Plaza, located at 525 South Flagler Drive.

The local protests are the latest in a string of nationwide gatherings.

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