Philly activists say "No" to Trump

Protesters march down Market Street during an anti-Trump protest in Philadelphia on January 20, 2017.

Chanting "Not my president," a line of anti-Trump protesters headed down Broad Street from Temple University on Friday afternoon, two hours after the 45th president took the oath of office.

"I think it's important to demonstrate that the people in the United States are not going to go quietly," said Bonny Wells, 27, a second-year Temple graduate student in political science, who worries about abuse of power in the Trump administration.

The peaceful trek began with speeches at Temple's Bell Tower and began what planners called "Philadelphians Inaugurate Resistance Against Trump."

Organized by a large number of groups, including Socialist Alternative Philadelphia and the Temple Feminist Majority, dozens of activists marched toward City Hall in the rain amid a sea of bobbing umbrellas, placards and banners.

Police officers in marked cars accompanied the marchers and halted traffic so they could cross intersections. A line of officers on bicycles rode behind.

Participants said they were speaking out and demonstrating against what they viewed as President Trump's agenda of "bigotry, hate and division" that would trample the rights of immigrants, women and the working class.

"Poverty Is Violence," "Only Weak Men Fear Strong Women" and "Trump Loves Hate" were some of the messages that marchers had written on their hand-made signs.

"I'm here to show that just because a right-wing racist and sexist individual gets elected president, it doesn't mean we're going to put up with it," said Philip Gregory, 20, a junior English major from Chestnut Hill.

Gregory, who also advocates for a $15-minimum wage, said he was marching in hopes of raising political awareness so something like Trump's election does not happen again.

The demonstrators made a detour down Spring Garden Street so that students from Community College of Philadelphia could swell the ranks. And a revved-up group of more than 40 members of the Democratic Socialists joined the stream at Callowhill Street.

"Trump! Trump! Trump!" a worker in a hard hat mocked the group as they passed the construction site of the Hanover North Broad apartment complex.

"Aren't you a working person?" one of the demonstrators called to him.

The hours-long event included rallies at Thomas Paine Cronin Plaza and another at Sixth and Market Streets, where the crowd grew to several hundred.

From under the protective overhang of the Municipal Services Building, Nadya Day, 56, listened to the speakers exhorting the crowd on the sodden plaza.

A space planner and interior designer at CCP, she had left her job at 2 p.m. so she could attend the rally. Day's mother had taken her to her first protest in Washington when she was 12, and demonstrating was one way she should voice her objection to what was happening there now.

"It's hard to know what to do," Day said.

And no, she had not watched President Trump taking the oath of office earlier Friday. "I didn't have the stomach for it," she said.

martha.woodall@phillynews.com 215-854-2789 @marwooda