Protestors against Trump rallied in downtown San Luis Obispo Thursday night and Saturday afternoon | Christa Lam/Mustang News

What would have been a regular Saturday afternoon downtown was interrupted by a growing police presence as the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department prepared for an anti-Trump protest at the San Luis Obispo Government Center.

The event was created on Facebook and urged residents of the Central Coast to come out and protest the election of President-elect Donald Trump. The event began at 3 p.m. and lasted until 5:30 p.m. as protesters marched through the streets of downtown San Luis Obispo.

The protest remained peaceful. Before the event began, a small group of people had gathered, some with “Trump/Pence” signs. San Luis Obispo resident Michael McAvoy said that he was there to explain his support of Trump to protesters.

“Sixty million people voted, not to oppress people, but we voted to get rid of corruption and support the dying middle class,” McAvoy said. “I want people to know that Trump supporters are not evil.”

At approximately 2:30 p.m., the first of the protesters began to arrive, along with the first of the signs — a bright green sign with “Dump Trump” written in red.

During that time, a protester started a conversation between Trump supporters and Trump protesters, each side discussing their motives for why they were there. Soon, as more protesters showed up, the Trump supporters were outnumbered.

By 2:45 p.m., the sidewalk in front of the courthouse was full of people with signs. One protester waved a large rainbow flag with “Peace” written on it. Another played “Imagine” on her portable speaker. Some Trump supporters stood to the side with an American flag and had conversations with protesters.

Video by Chloe Carlson

Morro Bay resident Patricia Gordon said her reason for protesting was to develop “a plan of action to protect the rights that we have worked so hard for for decades and decades.”

“We have a tipping point in the Supreme Court that has me concerned as an African-American woman,” Gordon said.

At 3 p.m., San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) Chief of Police Deanna Cantrell addressed the crowd, asking protesters to remain peaceful and assuring them that the police presence was to ensure their safety. Her message was met with applause and cheers from the crowd.

After Cantrell finished delivering her message, a few protesters took her place to speak. They expressed their concerns about a Trump presidency. One speaker even held his U.S. passport over his head and challenged Trump to deport him.

After a short while, the march began. Protesters marched down Monterey Street chanting “We reject the President-elect,” “Not my president” and “Love trumps hate.”

The crowd marched through downtown, eventually arriving at Marsh Street. Their movement demanded SLOPD officers to redirect traffic. People lined the sidewalks on either side of the street watching the protesters, many of them with their phones out, recording the march. They looked through windows of business, some laughing, others applauding and a few even crying.

Cantrell said she was happy with the protesters.

“They’ve been incredibly respectful of us and the city and people’s property,” Cantrell said. “I think their message will be positively received.”

As the protest went on, the crowd diminished. Some protesters took to sitting on the lawn in front of the courthouse while the remainder kept marching. They marched around downtown until about 5 p.m. when the group stopped at the courthouse.

The protesters marched once more, this time stopping in the middle of the intersection of Higuera Street and Osos Street where they blocked surrounding traffic. They sat and chanted as SLOPD officers worked to divert traffic.

The protesters then marched down Higuera Street, pushing through lines of law enforcement who were urging them to go another direction. The protesters came to rest again at the intersection of Higuera Street and Nipomo Street. After a short while, they did one final march back to the courthouse.

The protesters gathered on the steps of the courthouse one last time, holding a banner that said “Shut it down” and chanting “Love trumps hate.”A masked protester then addressed the crowd one last time with a megaphone. You can listen to the audio below.

Correction: A previous version of this article quoted Michael McAvoy as saying, “Sixty million people voted, not to impress people, but we voted to get rid of corruption and support the dying middle class. I want people to know that Trump supporters are not evil.” We’ve corrected the quote to say: “Sixty million people voted, not to oppress people, but we voted to get rid of corruption and support the dying middle class I want people to know that Trump supporters are not evil.”

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