U.S. Northeast braces for late winter blizzard

A woman is seen through a snow soaked car window walking in the snow at Cunningham Park in the borough of Queens in New York, U.S.

By Chris Michaud and Daniel Trotta

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Forecasters put the U.S. East Coast from New York City to Boston on a blizzard watch starting as early as Monday night, with authorities warning residents to prepare for the possibility of widespread power outages, road closures and flight disruptions.

Weather experts predicted the region could see 12 to 18 inches of wind-blasted snow from Monday to early Wednesday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced preparations for the so-called Nor’easter storm, activating the state Emergency Operations Center as of Monday night while also directing state agencies to be on heightened alert.

“I encourage all New Yorkers in affected regions to plan ahead and avoid any unnecessary travel as the storm progresses,” Cuomo said in a statement, adding that commuters should expect road closures, delays and cancellations.

The storm also raised the potential for power outages with damaging winds across eastern Long Island and southeastern Connecticut, the National Weather Service said.

Significant disruption to air travel in the region was also anticipated with the storm.

Blowing snow and strong winds could lead to whiteout conditions with visibility as poor as a quarter mile, the service said. Sub-freezing temperatures were forecast in the upper 20s Fahrenheit.

New York City issued a snow alert for Monday night into Tuesday, expecting snowfall rates of up to 2 to 4 inches per hour Tuesday morning and afternoon, with gusts of up to 50 mph.

Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers that “besides the snow, it will be cold,” while officials recommended that people avoid driving and use mass transit when possible.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was installing hundreds of pieces of snow equipment at the three New York area airports. Thousands of tons of salt and sand were prepared for airport roads, parking lots, bridges and tunnels.

As some 50 million people along the Eastern Seaboard came under storm or blizzard watches, Washington, D.C., which often bogs down with even low levels of snow, was expecting 5 inches and twice that in outlying areas.

The storm comes near the end of an unusually mild winter along much of the East Coast, with below-normal snowfalls in some areas, including New York City and Washington. It was the warmest February on record in nearly the entire area, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Last week in New York, temperatures hovered near 70 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Accuweather.com, hitting 60 or higher on six days in February.

Meanwhile, in the western United States, the weather service forecast potentially record-setting heat in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, where temperatures were expected into the 90s in some places.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud and Daniel Trotta; Editing by Randy Fabi)

More than 100,000 customers without power in upstate New York

(Reuters) – More than 100,000 customers remained without power in upstate New York on Friday and were told that some outages could last for days after fierce winds toppled power lines and damaged homes and businesses.

Utilities companies reported that nearly 127,000 customers were without power as of 1 a.m. local time as crews continued to access the damage, remove trees and repair power lines after 70 mph (110 kph) wind gusts blew through the area on Wednesday.

“Due to the considerable damage, the companies continue to advise customers to plan for outages extending past the next 24 hours and in some areas may last for multiple days,” power companies NYSEG and RG&E said in a statement.

Homes and business owners throughout the area spent the day on Thursday cleaning up debris and assessing the damage to their structures while crews cleared downed trees and power lines that made some roads impassable.

“I’m alive, my daughter is alive … so I’m happy. Just pick up the pieces and start all over again, that is all I can do,” Twanna Lister said to TWC News in Rochester after a tree smashed through a home she was renting.

The Rochester City School District canceled classes on Friday for its 28,000 students in the hopes that classes will resume on Monday.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Michael Perry)

Eleven arrested during protest against conservative comedian at NYU

NYU sweatshirt

(Reuters) – Eleven people have been arrested outside New York University during a heated protest against a conservative comedian who gave a speech at the school, police said on Friday.

A group that organized the protest against Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes said he was known for using incendiary language, according to local media.

McInnes said on Twitter he had been sprayed with pepper spray, but “being called a Nazi burned way more.”

The protesters face charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and criminal mischief after they were taken into custody during a demonstration against McInnes, who made an appearance at the university late on Thursday, a New York City Police Department spokesman said.

Protesters scuffled with police officers and McInnes supporters outside the university’s student center in New York City, where he was invited to speak by NYU College Republicans, local media reported.

The arrests came a day after protesters smashed windows and set fires at University of California at Berkeley during a demonstration against the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News, the right-wing website formerly headed by presidential adviser Steve Bannon.

NYU College Republicans on Facebook described McInnes as a Canadian writer, actor and comedian who has appeared on Fox News and The Blaze.

“Our intention was not to advocate for McInnes’s views, in fact many of us differ with him when it comes to certain ideas,” the group said in a statement posted on social media. “The purpose of this event was to promote free speech and not to promote certain ideas.”

Student Tamara Fine said to an NBC affiliate: “I’m dumbfounded that NYU would invite somebody who is a hate speaker.”

McInnes’ speech was cut short when protesters rushed into the room where he was speaking and began interrupting him, NYU spokesman John Beckman told News 4 New York, a NBC affiliate reported.

Early on Friday, President Donald Trump appeared to weigh in on recent protests, tweeting: “Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Eric Walsh in Washington; Editing by Ralph Boulton and Bernadette Baum)

New York governor calls for amending state constitution for abortion rights

Andrew Cuomo Governor of New York discusses abortion rights

By David Ingram

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday he would seek to ensure that women have access to late-term abortions in the state even if conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court remove federal legal guarantees in place since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

Cuomo, a Democrat who is considered a potential candidate for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination, proposed an amendment to the New York Constitution that he said would preserve the status quo regardless of future Supreme Court rulings.

President Donald Trump, the Republican who took office on Jan. 20, plans to announce a nominee to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. That person, if confirmed, is expected to restore the court’s conservative majority after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

The high court ruled four decades ago that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of a woman to have an abortion until the point of viability.

The court defined that as when the fetus “has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb,” generally at about 24 weeks into pregnancy.

The court also recognized a right to abortion after viability if necessary to protect the woman’s life or health.

If the Supreme Court were to overrule Roe v. Wade, as abortion opponents have long hoped, the procedure would remain legal only where state laws allow it.

In New York, a state law that dates to 1970 legalized abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and afterward only if the woman’s life is at stake, with no exception for health. The law is not enforced but could be if Roe v. Wade were overruled, abortion advocates say.

The state’s law was “revolutionary back in the day because it legalized abortion before Roe v. Wade, but is now unchanged,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in an interview this month. “The state law is not as protective as Roe,” she said.

Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, which opposes abortion, predicted that Cuomo’s proposal would fail.

“How many abortions are enough?” he said in a statement, noting New York’s high rate of abortions. “No one can credibly claim that access to abortion is under any threat in New York.”

There were 29.6 abortions per 1,000 women in New York in 2014, compared to 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women nationally, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group that supports abortion rights.

Cuomo told a Planned Parenthood rally in Albany, New York, on Monday that women’s rights were under attack in Washington.

“As they threaten this nation with a possible Supreme Court nominee who will reverse Roe v. Wade,” Cuomo said, according to a transcript provided by his office. “We’re going to protect Roe v. Wade in the State of New York.”

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a legal opinion in September making clear that federal court rulings supersede the state’s 1970 law.

For a constitutional amendment to succeed in New York, majorities in the legislature must approve it twice, in successive terms, and voters must approve it.

Republicans control the New York Senate, although it is possible some Republicans might support such an amendment if pressured by constituents who favor abortion rights, said Costas Panagopoulos, a political scientist at New York’s Fordham University.

Opposition to Trump may galvanize liberals into being aggressive, Panagopoulos said.

“People are scared, and that might compel them to action in a way that different circumstances might have them sitting on the sidelines,” he said.

For years, states have planned for a day when the Supreme Court might overrule Roe v. Wade. Some 19 states have laws that could restrict abortion in that event, while seven have laws that would still guarantee the right to an abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Frank McGurty and David Gregorio)

Washington braces for anti-Trump protests, New Yorkers march

protests

By Ian Simpson and Joseph Ax

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Washington turned into a virtual fortress on Thursday ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, while thousands of people took to the streets of New York and Washington to express their displeasure with his coming administration.

Some 900,000 people, both Trump backers and opponents, are expected to flood Washington for Friday’s inauguration ceremony, according to organizers’ estimates. Events include the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and a parade to the White House along streets thronged with spectators.

The number of planned protests and rallies this year is far above what has been typical at recent presidential inaugurations, with some 30 permits granted in Washington for anti-Trump rallies and sympathy protests planned in cities from Boston to Los Angeles, and outside the U.S. in cities including London and Sydney.

The night before the inauguration, thousands of people turned out in New York for a rally at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, and then marched a few blocks from the Trump Tower where the businessman lives.

The rally featured a lineup of politicians, activists and celebrities including Mayor Bill de Blasio and actor Alec Baldwin, who trotted out the Trump parody he performs on “Saturday Night Live.”

“Donald Trump may control Washington, but we control our destiny as Americans,” de Blasio said. “We don’t fear the future. We think the future is bright, if the people’s voices are heard.”

In Washington, a group made up of hundreds of protesters clashed with police clad in riot gear who used pepper spray against some of the crowd on Thursday night, according to footage on social media.

The confrontation occurred outside the National Press Club building, where inside a so-called “DeploraBall” event was being held in support of Trump, the footage showed.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said police aimed to keep groups separate, using tactics similar to those employed during last year’s political conventions.

“The concern is some of these groups are pro-Trump, some of them are con-Trump, and they may not play well together in the same space,” Johnson said on MSNBC.

Trump opponents have been angered by his comments during the campaign about women, illegal immigrants and Muslims and his pledges to scrap the Obamacare health reform and build a wall on the Mexican border.

The Republican’s supporters admire his experience in business, including as a real estate developer and reality television star, and view him as an outsider who will take a fresh approach to politics.

Bikers for Trump, a group that designated itself as security backup during last summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, is ready to step in if protesters block access to the inauguration, said Dennis Egbert, one of the group’s organizers.

“We’re going to be backing up law enforcement. We’re on the same page,” Egbert, 63, a retired electrician from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

SECURITY CORDON

About 28,000 security personnel, miles of fencing, roadblocks, street barricades and dump trucks laden with sand are part of the security cordon around 3 square miles (8 square km) of central Washington.

A protest group known as Disrupt J20 has vowed to stage demonstrations at each of 12 security checkpoints and block access to the festivities on the grassy National Mall.

Police and security officials have pledged repeatedly to guarantee protesters’ constitutional rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.

Aaron Hyman, fellow at the National Gallery of Art, said he could feel tension in the streets ahead of Trump’s swearing-in and the heightened security was part of it.

“People are watching each other like, ‘You must be a Trump supporter,’ and ‘You must be one of those liberals’,” said Hyman, 32, who supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election.

Friday’s crowds are expected to fall well short of the 2 million people who attended Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, and be in line with the 1 million who were at his second in 2013.

Forecast rain may also dampen the turnout, though security officials lifted an earlier ban on umbrellas, saying small umbrellas would be permitted.

(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu in Washigton, Curtis Skinner in San Francisco, and Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Scott Malone, James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker)

New York protesters camp out at Goldman Sachs to oppose Trump

Protesters in NYC

By Elizabeth Dilts

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dozens of protesters gathered outside of Goldman Sachs Group Inc headquarters on Tuesday to rally against President-elect Donald Trump’s picking several former executives of the Wall Street bank for top jobs in his administration.

Some of the 50 or so protesters wore swamp-monster masks in reference to Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” that he said Washington has become and get rid of special interests. About 20 of them brought sleeping bags, intending to camp outside 200 West Street until Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

Goldman Sachs security guards sent employees and guests to entrances on the north side of the building on the rainy evening as protesters unrolled green sleeping bags on the southwest corner.

In an emailed statement, Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin said the bank respects “every individual’s rights to assembly and free speech.”

She declined to comment on the protesters’ objections to Trump’s nominations of ex-Goldman employees including Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Treasury Department. Others include Gary Cohn, who had been chief operating officer before becoming Trump’s economic adviser, and Dina Powell, who left her position as Goldman’s head of philanthropic investing to do the same.

Goldman Sachs had long been viewed as Wall Street’s most prestigious and profitable bank with so many executives leaving for high-profile government positions it earned the nickname “Government Sachs.” But in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Goldman instead found itself blamed by politicians and activists for profiting from the implosion of the mortgage market.

In response, the bank embarked on a public relations campaign to clean up its image and launched initiatives to help small businesses, prisoners and female entrepreneurs. But the string of Trump appointments has renewed some of public contempt it received during the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011. (http://reut.rs/pJKyQX)

Nelini Stamp, 29, an organizer with a group called Working Families, said she also participated in that movement and Trump’s appointments drove her to come back.

“We’re here to make sure that people realize that Goldman Sachs is running our government,” Stamp said.

Holding a sign with the image of a swamp monster biting down on a gold bar emblazoned with #GovernmentSachs and “foreclosures,” Ethan Cantor, 25, said it was his first time at a protest.

The New Jersey native said Trump’s embrace of Goldman Sachs contradicted criticism the president-elect had leveled against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for speaking fees she received from the bank.

“He used Goldman as a dig against Hillary,” said Cantor, who said he reluctantly voted for Democratic candidates in the last election. “One good thing about (Trump’s) campaign was that it was populist. Now he’s lying to his own voters.”

(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Cynthia Osterman)

New York man gets 13 years prison for trying to join al Qaeda

New York high school senior trying to join al Qaeda

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York man was sentenced on Tuesday to 13 years in prison for trying to join the Islamic militant group al Qaeda when he was a high school senior.

Justin Kaliebe, now 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley in Central Islip, New York, after pleading guilty in February 2013 to having attempted to provide material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Kaliebe had been arrested a month earlier at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where prosecutors said he planned to board a flight to Muscat, Oman, as part of his plot to eventually travel to Yemen.

The defendant was also sentenced to 20 years of supervised release.

“I am disappointed and feel that a lesser sentence was warranted,” Kaliebe’s lawyer Anthony LaPinta said in an email.

“Justin is a harmless young man who had many psychological, medical and personal issues that contributed to his criminal conduct,” LaPinta continued. “Justin will make the best of his time in prison. I am certain that he will emerge as a rehabilitated, productive and respected member of society.”

Federal authorities have estimated that 80 percent of Americans linked to activities supporting militant Islamic movements have radicalized themselves with information from the internet.

Prosecutors said Kaliebe, a resident of Babylon, New York, began his plot in 2011, and told an undercover law enforcement operative the following year that he was “doing the J word,” or violent “jihad.”

In June 2012, Kaliebe was recorded as saying that upon arriving in Yemen, he expected to fight “those who are fighting against the Sharia of Allah,” be it the Yemeni army or U.S. forces, prosecutors said.

Kaliebe received support from Marcos Alonso Zea, another Long Island resident who according to prosecutors attempted to fly to Yemen in January 2012 but was intercepted by British customs officials and returned to the United States.

Zea, 28, was arrested in October 2013 and sentenced in April 2015 to 25 years in prison, after pleading guilty to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Tom Brown)

Accused New York bomber due in court to face charges

Suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi appears via video in a New Jersey state courtroom from his hospital bed, where he is recovering from gunshot wounds suffered during his arrest, in Elizabeth, New Jersey

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A man accused of injuring 30 people in September when he set off a homemade bomb on a crowded New York street, as well as planting other explosive devices around the region, is due in federal court on Thursday to face charges.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi, 28, is scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court to be arraigned on the charges, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction, which could result in a mandatory life sentence.

Prosecutors have accused the Afghan-born U.S. citizen of setting off an explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood on Sept. 17, which did not kill anyone but hurt 30 people.

The attack came hours after authorities say another pipe bomb planted by Rahimi went off along the course of a charity road race in New Jersey, though that detonation did not injure anyone.

Federal prosecutors also say Rahimi left another bomb in Chelsea that did not go off and several explosive devices in a bag at a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

He was captured after a manhunt that ended with a shootout with police officers who discovered him sleeping in the doorway of a bar in Linden, New Jersey. The confrontation left him with severe injuries, delaying the filing of federal charges.

He has also been charged by federal and state prosecutors in New Jersey.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)

More anti-Trump protests planned across United States

riots in Oakland

By Timothy Mclaughlin and Alexander Besant

CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Demonstrators marched in cities across the United States on Wednesday to protest against Republican Donald Trump’s surprise presidential election win, blasting his campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and other groups.

In New York, thousands filled streets in midtown Manhattan as they made their way to Trump Tower, Trump’s gilded home on Fifth Avenue. Hundreds of others gathered at a Manhattan park and shouted “Not my president.”

In Los Angeles, protesters sat on the 110 and 101 highway interchange, blocking traffic on one of the city’s main arteries as police in riot gear tried to clear them. Some 13 protesters were arrested, a local CBS affiliate reported.

An earlier rally and march in Los Angeles drew more than 5,000 people, many of them high school and college students, local media reported.

A demonstration of more than 6,000 people blocked traffic in Oakland, California, police said. Protesters threw objects at police in riot gear, burned trash in the middle of an intersection, set off fireworks and smashed store front windows.

Police responded by throwing chemical irritants at the protesters, according to a Reuters witness.

Two officers were injured in Oakland and two police squad cars were damaged, Johnna Watson, spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department told CNN.

In downtown Chicago, an estimated 1,800 people gathered outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower, chanting phrases like “No Trump! No KKK! No racist USA.”

Chicago police closed roads in the area, impeding the demonstrators’ path. There were no immediate reports of arrests or violence there.

“I’m just really terrified about what is happening in this country,” said 22-year-old Adriana Rizzo in Chicago, who was holding a sign that read: “Enjoy your rights while you can.”

In Seattle, police responded to a shooting with multiple victims near the scene of anti-Trump protests. Police said it was unrelated to the demonstrations.

Protesters railed against Trump’s campaign pledge to build a wall along the border with Mexico to keep immigrants from entering the United States illegally.

Hundreds also gathered in Philadelphia, Boston and Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday evening. In Austin, the Texas capital, about 400 people marched through the streets, police said.

A representative of the Trump campaign did not respond immediately to requests for comment on the protests. Trump said in his victory speech he would be president for all Americans, saying: “It is time for us to come together as one united people.”

Earlier this month, his campaign rejected the support of a Ku Klux Klan newspaper and said that “Mr. Trump and his campaign denounces hate in any form.”

“DREAMERS” FEAR DEPORTATION

Earlier on Wednesday, some 1,500 students and teachers rallied in the courtyard of Berkeley High School, in a San Francisco Bay Area city known for its liberal politics, before marching toward the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

Hundreds of high school and college students also walked out in protest in Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles and three other Bay Area cities – Oakland, Richmond and El Cerrito.

A predominantly Latino group of about 300 high school students walked out of classes on Wednesday in Los Angeles and marched to the steps of City Hall, where they held a brief but boisterous rally.

Chanting in Spanish “the people united will never be defeated,” the group held signs with slogans such as “Not Supporting Racism, Not My President” and “Immigrants Make America Great.”

Many of those students were members of the “Dreamers” generation, children whose parents entered the United States with them illegally, school officials said, and who fear deportation under a Trump administration.

“A child should not live in fear that they will be deported,” said Stephanie Hipolito, one of the student organizers of the walkout. She said her parents were U.S. citizens.

There were no immediate reports of arrests or violence.

Wednesday’s demonstrations followed a night of protests in the San Francisco area and elsewhere in the country in response to Trump’s victory against heavily favoured Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

(Reporting by Noah Berger and Stephen Lam in Oakland, Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago, Alexander Besant in New York, Curtis Skinner in Berkeley, California, Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler, Peter Cooney and Paul Tait)

Protesters take to streets for a second day to decry Trump election

Protesters of Trump as President

By Gina Cherelus and Ian Simpson

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Police put up security fences around U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s new Washington hotel on Thursday and a line of concrete blocks shielded New York’s Trump Tower as students around the country staged a second day of protests over his election.

A day after thousands of people took to the streets in at least 10 U.S. cities from Boston to Berkeley, California, chanting “not my president” and “no Trump,” fresh protests were held in Texas to San Francisco.

A Trump campaign representative did not respond to requests for comment on the protests but Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and a high-profile Trump supporter, called the demonstrators “a bunch of spoiled cry-babies.”

“If you’re looking at the real left-wing loonies on the campus, it’s the professors not the students,” Giuliani said on Fox News on Thursday. “Calm down, things are not as bad as you think.”

The protesters blasted Trump for campaign rhetoric critical of immigrants, Muslims and allegations of sexual abuse of women. More than 20 people were arrested for blocking or attempting to block highways in Los Angeles and Richmond, Virginia, early Thursday morning.

White House spokesman Joshua Earnest said Obama supported the demonstrators’ right to express themselves peacefully.

“We’ve got a carefully, constitutionally protected right to free speech,” Earnest told reporters. “The president believes that that is a right that should be protected. It is a right that should be exercised without violence.”

In San Francisco, more than 1,000 students walked out of classes on Thursday morning and marched through the city’s financial district carrying rainbow flags representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, Mexican flags and signs decrying the president-elect.

Several hundred students at Texas State University in San Marcos took to the campus to protest Trump’s election, with many students saying they fear he will infringe the civil rights of minorities and the LGBT community.

“NOT MY PRESIDENT”

In New York’s Washington Square park, several hundred people gathered to protest Trump’s election. Three miles (5 km) to the north at the gilt Trump Tower, where Trump lives, 29-year-old Alex Conway stood holding a sign that read “not my president.”

“This sign is not to say he isn’t the president of the United States, but for two days I can use my emotion to be against this outcome and to express that he’s not mine,” said Conway, who works in the film industry. “The only thing I can hope for is that in four years I’m proved wrong.”

In Washington, a jogger shouted an expletive about Trump as he passed the Trump International Hotel on Thursday, just blocks from the White House, where the former reality TV star had his first meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss transition plans.

More anti-Trump demonstrations are planned heading into the weekend, according to organizers’ online posts. One urged protesters to rally in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.

Supporters of Trump, who surprised many in the political and media establishment with Tuesday’s win, urged calm and recommended that Americans wait to see how he performed as president.

The United States has seen waves of large-scale, sometimes violent protests in the past few years. Cities from Ferguson, Missouri, to Berkeley have been rocked by demonstrations following high-profile police killings of unarmed black men and teens. Those followed a wave of large-scale protest encampments, starting with the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York in 2011.

Trump said in his victory speech, which was delivered in a far calmer manner than he displayed in many campaign appearances, that he would be president for all Americans. Some of his most controversial campaign proposals, including the call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, had been removed from his campaign website by Thursday.

A spate of isolated attacks on women and members of minority groups by people wearing Trump hats or saying his name were reported by police and U.S. media.

A hijab-wearing female student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was assaulted on Wednesday morning by a man wearing a white “Trump” hat, who knocked her to the ground and took her head scarf and wallet, university police said in a statement.

Reports also showed other cases in which Trump opponents lashed out violently against people carrying signs indicating they supported him.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York, Ian Simpson in Washington, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas, and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Trott)