Monday, September 27, 2021

Protesters gather at Trump hotel in Washington on opening day

A protester dressed as a caricature of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rallies in front of the new Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, USA, 12 September 2016. The Trump International Hotel opens today, with its grand opening ceremonies scheduled for 24 October 2016. EPA/SHAWN THEW

A protester dressed as a caricature of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rallies in front of the new Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, USA, 12 September 2016. The Trump International Hotel opens today, with its grand opening ceremonies scheduled for 24 October 2016. EPA/SHAWN THEW

Washington, Sep 12 (EFE).- About 30 people gathered Monday in downtown Washington to protest the opening of the new hotel bearing the name of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, located just one kilometer (about 0.6 mile) from the White House.

“No to Trump, no to the KKK (Ku Klux Klan), no to a racist United States!” chanted the demonstrators, who began gathering at 7 a.m. with the aim of remaining until Monday evening in front of the luxury hotel that opened its doors for business on Pennsylvania Ave.

Trump made a quick visit to the hotel avoiding the protesters and the media, and he posted a photo on his Twitter account in which he appears surrounded by dozens of workers at the new hotel.
“Stopped by @TrumpDC to thank all of the tremendous men & women for their hard work!” said the mogul in his tweet.

Although the hotel’s official opening ceremony is not scheduled until October, the protesters wanted to make their mark on the first day of the company’s operations and denounce what they say is Trump’s racist rhetoric.

Anybody who needs to go into Trump’s new hotel on Monday will know that there are angry demonstrators outside, Brian Becker, the national director of the Answer Coalition, a peaceful civil organization that lobbies against racism and which sponsored the protest, told EFE.

Trump in 2012 landed a contract to restore the old headquarters of the post office, a majestic late-19th century building, and convert it into a luxury hotel, a task that has required $200 million and which was completed two years ahead of schedule.

Hotel security in front of the new Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, USA, 12 September 2016. The Trump International Hotel opens today, with its grand opening ceremonies scheduled for 24 October 2016. EPA/SHAWN THEW

Hotel security in front of the new Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, USA, 12 September 2016. The Trump International Hotel opens today, with its grand opening ceremonies scheduled for 24 October 2016. EPA/SHAWN THEW

During the presidential campaign, an enormous sign has been set up on Pennsylvania Ave. – which runs between the U.S. Capitol and the White House – with the name of the Republican candidate.

The project has been surrounded by controversy, especially because of the refusal of Spanish chef Jose Andres to manage a restaurant in the new hotel because of Trump’s campaign rhetoric, and now the magnate has sued him for breach of contract.

The aim of the protest was to build a “human wall” against racism, against intolerance and in defense and support of immigrants and the Muslim community, Becker said.

Holding a sign saying “Tacos si, Trump no,” Indian immigrant Suhail Shafi expressed his solidarity with Mexican immigrants, who have been verbally attacked by Trump during his presidential campaign.

If Trump is attacking Mexicans today, tomorrow he will try to attack another group of people and that will create a more dangerous country for all, Shafi told EFE.