Protests against President-elect Donald Trump continued Wednesday, with marches, chants, and confrontations on the Main Line and in Center City.
Speaking out against Trump and racial profiling by police, about 40 students marched from Haverford College to Lower Merion Township police headquarters, where they were met by counter-demonstrators supporting Trump and the officers.
For about 15 minutes, the groups shouted and chanted over each other on the steps of the building in Ardmore. The students called on the police department to withdraw from the national Fraternal Order of Police, which endorsed Trump, and end racial profiling. Lower Merion's local Fraternal Order of Police chapter did not endorse a presidential candidate.
The students' chants included, "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go," and, "No justice, no peace, no racist police."
Julia Tanenbaum, a senior at Bryn Mawr College who grew up in California, said the Lower Merion Police Department was included in the protest because it has been accused of racial profiling.
"We are protesting the fascist movement that is coalescing around Donald Trump," she said. "This is a peaceful, respectful protest."
Counter-demonstrators, meanwhile, chanted "U.S.A." and "Trump." Some told the students to go home and study, and said their parents would be ashamed.
Among them was Ronald O'Connor, 50, of Lower Merion, who said he voted for Trump and supports the police.
"Being a lifelong resident, I do not recall one incident of police brutality or discrimination," he said. "We need law and order in this country."
Police officers stood between protesters and counter-demonstrators and escorted the students on their march down Lancaster Avenue. Thomas Walsh, a spokesman for the township, said they were committed to protecting the right to free speech.
Hours later in Center City, a protest by about 100 people outside Police Headquarters that turned into a march to Rittenhouse Square ended with two women being taken into police custody.
The gathering outside the building at Eighth and Race Streets began about 4 p.m. with the aim of protesting the FOP endorsement of Trump.
Around 5 p.m., the group stepped off, weaving through traffic along Market and South Broad Streets before arriving at 18th and Walnut Streets.
There, tensions ran high as the protesters chanted antipolice statements in the faces of police, including, "No good cops in a racist system," and "No Trump. No KKK. No fascist U.S.A."
Eventually, two women were taken away in police vehicles, one in handcuffs, after they tried to push through a wall of bike cops. The officers responded by pushing the protesters back with their bikes.
Lower Merion police have faced accusations from some residents that minorities are subjected to unfair treatment by officers.
Fliers circulated last week to promote the demonstration said that "police are the strong arm of white supremacy," and that Trump plans to protect police and suppress resistance. "The LMPD is our enemy," the flier stated.
Walsh said the Lower Merion Police and Community Relations Committee has been working to respond to such concerns.