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Several hundred rally downtown against Trump

Hundreds marched through the Loop to demonstrate against President Donald Trump and his policies Sunday afternoon. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Several hundred protesters gathered across the river from Trump International Hotel and Tower on Sunday afternoon, the latest in a series of Loop demonstrations against President Donald J. Trump.

Chants included: “Hey Hey Ho Ho, Donald Trump has got to go!” and “From Palestine to Mexico, boarder walls have got to go!”

Colleen Rockelmann and her son, Colin, 11, of Vernon Hills, attended to support immigrant students and teachers at the dual-language school Colin attends.

“I came here because I wanted to make a difference, and I want to say that it’s not OK to force people out of the country. And we should let immigrants in,” Colin said.

Colleen and Colin Rockelmann

Colleen and Colin Rockelmann | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Between chants, protesters listened to Sousaphones Against Hate and Baritones Resisting Aggression, two brass bands that teamed up for the occasion.

They played “The Imperial March” – the Star Wars song associated with Darth Vader — as well as Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” tweaking the lyrics to sing “Hey, Donald, leave us alone!”

Police blocked the sidewalk on the east side of the Wabash Avenue Bridge that leads to Trump’s hotel. And protesters temporarily blocked traffic as they marched in the street to Federal Plaza, where they held a rally denouncing Trump’s policy agenda.

“I think his plan was to divide everybody and I think his plan kind of reversed on him,” said North Side resident Haleema Saleh, 25. “All over the country people are standing with each other, you see so many blacks, whites, Muslims, gays, Jews standing and supporting each other.”

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Aneesa Muthana, 47, knelt in Federal Plaza with a group of other Muslims of Yemeni descent and prayed toward Mecca in the midst of the rally.

“There are a lot of people who are against injustice, who are standing with the Muslims and the Mexicans and against Trump,” Muthana said.

For Jan Belzer, a retired elementary school teacher from northwest suburban Island Lake, protesting is the new normal.

“I’m here because this is the worst administration I think in America’s history, and I think we need to get this president out of office. Period. So I’m just going to keep coming until that happens. It’s my new part-time job,” Belzer said.

Police made no arrests at the demonstration Sunday.

Another protest was scheduled to take place Monday — Presidents Day — outside of Trump’s River North hotel. Organizers dubbed the gathering a “Not My President Day” rally.

The demonstrations come weeks after hundreds of anti-Trump protesters marched through the Loop on Jan. 20 — the day Trump was inaugurated. Though mostly peaceful, Chicago police arrested 16 protesters on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to aggravated battery.

Less than 24 hours later, on Jan. 21, more than 200,000 protesters attended the Women’s March and took aim at Trump as they peacefully filled the Loop.

The latest round of demonstrations also come almost a year after Trump canceled a campaign rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where national headlines were made when protesters and Trump supporters clashed, some violently.

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