Protesters flooded downtown Denver Thursday night in opposition to President-elect Donald Trump. A diverse group that numbered in the thousands started at the Colorado State Capitol around 5:30 p.m. and wound their way through central Denver for several hours.
They held signs that read, “Not my president,” and “Immigrants are welcome here.”
The main march returned to the Capitol by 8:30 p.m., but a smaller group, perhaps 500 people, marched back down Auraria Parkway toward I-25, eventually marching onto the highway and briefly blocking it.
The protest had been largely peaceful, but things got a bit chaotic at this point. Police pushed protesters off the highway and onto the other side of barriers. There were reports of pepper balls being fired.
Anna Stein, 22, of Denver said she was standing near some young men who started cursing at police and was hit three times with a hard projectile that left welts on her ribs.
“You can’t fight hate with hate,” said Stein. “It’s not progressive. It’s not what we need. We need people fighting with love and kindness.”
Stein, who is Indian by birth but adopted as an infant, said that in the two days since Trump’s election, already one person has told her on social media to “go back to your country.”
Ted Marker, 25, one of the protest organizers, said the highway closure was not connected to the main protest.
“It took a turn we felt was off message,” he said. “The crowd was leading itself.”
Late Thursday, a small band of protesters continued to march through downtown Denver.
This man with a Confederate flag flying from his pickup truck told Channel 7 he was chased by protesters.
“I don’t know what their problem was honestly,” he said. “I’m not 100 percent sure.”