Donald Trump may have been born in Queens, but thousands of residents of the “World’s Borough” wanted to let the president-elect know that he doesn’t represent their values.
With tensions still high after one of the most divisive presidential elections in the country’s history — with incidents of hatred and violence being reported on both sides of the political spectrum — Queens residents joined together near Queensboro Plaza in Long Island City, in a show of unity at a march over the Queensboro Bridge to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, opposing the views of Trump.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer invited residents from across the borough to come together to show the president-elect that the rhetoric he used during his presidential campaign were not the values of the city he calls home, at the “Queens Responds with Queens Values” march.
“Donald Trump may have been raised in Queens, but he is not from here anymore,” Van Bramer shouted through a megaphone. “And the Queens that he grew up in, it is not the Queens that we love. Queens is about diversity. Queens is about love and equality. Queens is proud to be the most diverse county in the United States of America.”
Supporters cheered in response to the lawmaker as they held their signs denouncing Trump.
One man holding a “#QueensValues” poster hoped that the march would show that the people of Queens will not stand by as people’s rights are being threatened.
“I want to put pressure on President-elect Trump,” said Osman Chowdhury, a resident of Sunnyside. “His policy is not properly handling immigrants or the LBGTQ community. Queens values means that we are all one nation, not divided.”
The feeling spread further than just Queens as John Peterson came from Westfield, New Jersey, to join in the march and show that bigotry will not be tolerated.
“I’m here to stand up and speak out against bigotry,” he said. “As awful as [Trump] is, using racism to win, the big problem is the 60 million bigots out there. “When you condone bigotry, you are a bigot.”
People of all ages, faiths, backgrounds and sexual orientations marched the 2.5 miles from Queens right to Trump’s front door, chanting things like, “We reject the president-elect,” “Love trumps hate,” and “Hey, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”
Joining Van Bramer at the rally and march were Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and other elected officials.
Van Bramer and his colleagues presented the difference between the future president’s views and those held by the residents of Queens, stating that Queens rejects racism, misogyny and hatred against immigrants, the LBGTQ community, Muslims and others.
“We don’t just tolerate diversity,” Van Bramer said. “We live it, and appreciate it and celebrate it every day in Queens County.”