MANHATTAN (CN) — Despite his victory in the Electoral College, President-elect Donald Trump lost by wide margins in his hometown and by a sliver in the popular vote. The popular discontent in New York transformed into a call to action that promises to draw thousands to the streets on Wednesday night.
Before pulling off one of the most stunning upsets in U.S. presidential history, Trump ran an unprecedented campaign on a platform of deporting millions, pausing all Muslim immigration and promising to jail his political opponent.
He then performed a whiplash-inducing about-face moments after attaining victory, offering what seemed to be an olive branch to his erstwhile Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
After months of leading chants demanding her incarceration on the campaign trail, Trump told his supporters that they owe Clinton a "major debt of gratitude."
Clinton's rhetorical shift had been no less stunning, shifting quickly from characterizing her opponent as a serial sexual assailant, a rapacious robber baron, and an enemy of democracy, to wishing him success in the Oval Office.
"Donald Trump is going to be our president," she said. "We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead."
President Barack Obama joined his former Secretary of State in calling for a peaceful transition of power.
But thousands of New Yorkers rolled out a different sort of welcome mat for the new president-elect.
On Facebook, a call to action organized by a New York-based Socialist Group quickly drew more than 18,000 expressions of interest, with more than 11,000 planning to attend. They blamed Republicans and Democrats alike for Trump's election.
"The Democratic Party has proven they are incapable of stopping Trump," the organizers wrote. "The Democratic Party has failed. This is the result of the Democratic Party leadership backing Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders. It is time to build a new party of the 99 percent."
In addition to the election results, the demonstrations will support Black Lives Matter activists and oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline and the construction of a wall bordering Mexico, a key feature of Trump's campaign.
Protests are expected to begin at Union Square, a storied protest hub, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, before embarking on a two-hour march uptown to the Trump Tower in Midtown.
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