SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – On bikes, scooters, skateboards and on foot, thousands of San Francisco high school students staged a citywide walkout and shutdown San Francisco’s Market Street before marching along the waterfront in a mass demonstration Thursday, protesting the presidential election Republican Donald Trump.
More than 2,000 students walked out of several schools Thursday morning and headed toward Civic Center Plaza, according to the San Francisco Unified School District.
From there, many of the students walked down Market Street, through downtown and along the Embarcadero.
As students from other city high schools streamed out of the Muni metro subway stations, the crowd swelled. Traffic on the busy Embarcadero grounded to a halt as the students marched toward Fisherman’s Wharf.
The group eventually returned to Civic Center Plaza and gathered on the steps outside City Hall, taking turns with a megaphone to talk about Trump.
“We are just protesting for women’s rights and we don’t think Donald Trump should be president,” said student Blanca Castillo. “We are fighting for our freedom I guess; our country. We want to make things right.”
“A man like this should not be President of the United States,” said student Carmen Conteras. “The person who represents the United States is a person who respects women equally, Latinos and people of color equally and doesn’t talk bad about them.”
Nate, a freshman at Bay School of San Francisco, said, “It’s nice to have a voice, even if we can’t vote.”
He said if underage teen students were able to vote, “that probably would have changed things” in the narrow race between Trump and Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“A man like this should not be President of the United States,” said Carmen Conteras. “The person who represents the United States is a person who respects women equally, Latinos and people of color equally, and doesn’t talk bad about them.”
Perry Cox, a 15-year-old Lincoln High School student who was at the protest with her mother, said, “I don’t want Trump as my president for the rest of my teen years.”
Cox said she hoped the San Francisco students’ protest, one of several taking place around the Bay Area Wednesday and Thursday about the election of Trump, “will draw attention to the fact that he shouldn’t be our president.”
Students from the Bay School of San Francisco were there with the permission of their parents and teachers.
SFUSD officials said while they supported the students’ right to free speech, the walkout from the public schools “was not authorized by SFUSD staff” and families will be notified through the district’s attendance system about their unexcused absence, per standard protocol.
Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh was at the rally and said he has “mixed feelings” about the walkout because of concerns for the students’ safety, but said “We’re proud of these young people, we’re proud of the actions they’re taking to channel their emotions and we want them to know we stand with them.”
The crowd was beginning to disperse as of shortly before 2 p.m.
In Oakland, students walked out of classes and interrupted a press conference by Mayor Libby Schaaf.
A group of between 200 and 400 Pittsburg High School students marched with their principal from their school to Antioch. According to Antioch police, the protestors headed through Century Plaza in Pittsburg and into Antioch on Auto Center Way and Sycamore Drive, causing significant hazard and traffic delays in the area.
The group proceeded to the Antioch High School campus in an apparent effort to involve students there. Antioch High was placed on lockdown, but the Pittsburg High students still entered the campus and damaged school property, knocking down fences and kicking over trash cans.
The group then left that campus and headed to Antioch Middle School, which was also placed on lockdown, as was Live Oak High School and nearby Fremont Elementary School, though the protest never made it that far.
According to Antioch police, the Pittsburg High protesters continued to cause havoc on Antioch campuses and in the surrounding neighborhoods for more than two hours. 15 Antioch officers were involved in policing the protest, causing a strain on department resources.
During the course of the protest, three juveniles were arrested. One teen was arrested for throwing a dangerous object at a police car, trespassing on school grounds and being a disruptive presence at school. A second was arrested for inciting a fight with an area resident, trespassing on school grounds and resisting a police officer. The third was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
Elsewhere, between 400 and 500 students from Napa, New Tech, Vintage and Valley Oak high schools participated in the march that started around 9 a.m.
and ended at Memorial Stadium about a block north of Napa High School, Napa Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Elizabeth Emmett said.
School officials said the students organized the march and rally through social media Wednesday and those who participated will be charged with an unexcused absence.
“I was really impressed with their message. It was one of unity and support. There was no profanity or fighting. It was very respectful,” Emmett said.
In San Jose, Mount Pleasant High students walked as did students In Castro Valley, several high schools in Hayward and California High students in San Ramon.
The Bay Area has been the scene of several demonstrations since Trump’s victory was announced early Wednesday morning.
Most have been peaceful, but a demonstration in Oakland turned violent Wednesday night.
Oakland police arrested 30 protesters and cited 11 others alleged crimes includinf assault on an officer, vandalism, unlawful assembly, failure to disperse and firearm possession.
Three officers suffered injuring during the protest.
Police deployed tear gas several times throughout the night to keep members of the crowd from throwing rocks, bottles, fireworks, M-80s and Molotov cocktails at officers.
Twelve other law enforcement agencies were called in to assist Oakland police, including police from San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Alameda, Livermore, Newark, Pleasanton, Berkeley and the University of California at Berkeley.