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Anti-Trump protest marches through Santa Barbara

Hundreds of Santa Barbara residents joined nationwide protests Saturday to voice their concerns about the election of Donald Trump.

Organizers say trump has emboldened hate groups in the country.

The Santa Barbara organization People Organized for the Defense & Equal Rights of SB Youth , or PODER, organized the event.

“Hate crimes against people of color and LGBTQ people and women have spiked all over the country.” PODER member Candice Perez said. “We’ve had people assaulted verbally and physically.”

They organization said they are galvanizing for what may lie ahead.

“People organizing within their families their communities always has been essential, but now more than ever,” Perez said.

Santa Barbara resident Mark Soler attended the rally and march.

“The more people that speak up the better. We need to stay vigilant, we need to let government know we are not happy and we are watching,” Soler said. “The more protests the better, let’s keep them peaceful but loud.”

A small group of Trump supporters showed up and defended the President-elect.

“Originally, he was not the messenger that I hoped for or expected,” one Trump supporter said. “But I realized it did take someone like Donald Trump to get this message across in the way that he did.”

The man, who only wanted to be identified as “Andrew”, said all of the protests and demonstrations won’t bring about change.

“In reality the major inroads are engaging with people who disagree, not just walking down the street with people who agree with you,” Andrew said.

Andrew also said he too was a victim of violence on election night at the hands of Hillary Clinton supporters.

“I was spit on, pushed, I had water bottles and signs thrown at me, I was punched in the face.”

After gathering in De La Guerra Plaza, the crowd marched down State Street holding signs and chanting. Police escorted the protestors and some streets were temporarily blocked off.

The protests were part of a national weekend of unrest including marches in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.

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