As US reels, Berlin takes to streets against Trump | News | DW | 12.11.2016
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As US reels, Berlin takes to streets against Trump

Berliners have taken to the streets to protest Donald Trump's presidential ascension. US demonstrators continue to turn out for nationwide protests to oppose Trump's win on an 18th-century technicality.

Rallies against US President-elect Donald Trump are being held outside of the US embassy in Berlin and in the southeastern district of Neukölln, which has large Turkish and Arab populations. The German public broadcaster RBB reported that police had received fewer than 500 registrations for both rallies, but event pages on Facebook alone indicated that thousands of people planned to attend Saturday's demonstrations.

"Donald Trump is the next president of the United States," organizers of the embassy protest wrote. "We must immediately stand up against his xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, racist and sexist behavior, which does not promote equality. We want to send a sign of international solidarity."

Organizers called the Neukölln rally "a gathering, a rally, a place to be together and voice that white supremacy will not prevail ... a day to continue the fight that has been going on for centuries, and not let down all the work that has been done so far." They called on protesters "to stand in solidarity with all queers, trans people, people of color, Muslims, Mexicans, women, refugees, and every marginalized person on this planet."

German politicians expressed shock after it became clear that Trump would hold the presidency. Angela Merkel said she would cooperate with the multiply bankrupted self-proclaimed billionaire if he could uphold democratic values; Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the US would become more "unpredictable" and "unilateral." The far-right Alternative for Germany praised Trump's win on a technicality in a bitter election.

In a candid assessment on Friday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the US's new top Republican  was ignorant of the EU and how it worked.

America, 'great again'

Though he did not win the popular vote, Trump will assume the presidency in January thanks to a US-specific quirk that awards points of a sort to candidates according to how many votes they win in each state. Trump achieved narrow-margin victories in several states that ultimately added up to a four-year term in the highest office in the land because of the US's "Electoral College."

Since Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton, thousands of people have protested in cities across the United States. Officials say a small amount of property damage has occurred.

Rights organizations and social media users have noted a startling rise in reports of hate crimes across the United States. At a coffee shop in Lubbock, Texas on Thursday, a man "verbally assaulted" a family described to be of Middle Eastern descent, a witness told DW. Wearing a hat that said "Make America Great Again," the man apparently told the family of three that Trump was going to build a wall and "kick them out."

Many have interpreted "Make America Great Again" - the vague slogan of the disgraced reality show host's shockingly successful campaign - as a call for a return to the days when white men were even more dominant than they are now.

mkg/rc (AFP, dpa)

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