Police estimate about one thousand demonstrators gathered in Center City Thursday evening after Donald Trump's first visit to Philadelphia as President.
The crowd gathered near Broad and Walnut around 5 p.m. then marched through the streets late into the night. One small group lit a flag on fire and there was some pusing and shoving with police at times, but police called it a massive, peaceful demonstration. [[411942346, C]]
Earlier, demonstrators gathered near Philadelphia’s City Hall then marched as President Trump addressed Republican lawmakers at the nearby Loews Hotel. Police estimated that crowd reached 3,000.
By noon Thursday, the crowds had swelled as peaceful demonstrators held signs calling on Trump and the GOP to protect health care and the environment. [[411876395, C]]
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The demonstrators began marching around City Hall around 12:30 p.m. Chanting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go" and "Love not hate, that's what makes America great," the throng made its way from just north of City Hall to the nearby Loews Hotel, where House and Senate GOP lawmakers are holding their annual policy retreat
The crowds, diverse in age and race, also included a group in wheelchairs.
Carrying signs reading "I've seen better cabinets at Ikea" and "Hands 2 small, can't build a wall" the group could only get a block from the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. That's because two large garbage trucks are blocking the intersection.[[411911476, C]]
Thursday's actions took place after a "Guerrilla Dance Party" outside the Loews Hotel Wednesday night that focused on LGBTQ issues.
Trump opened his remarks Thursday by speaking glowingly about winning Pennsylvania after decades of the state voting Democratic in presidential elections.
Despite a rocky start to his administration, many lawmakers are optimistic about delivering change in a new era of GOP control over Washington. They would like to see a Trump committed to their agenda and results, not a president who veers off course into conspiracy theories about voter fraud or who keeps litigating the size of his inaugural crowds.
Before Trump's appearance, House Speaker Paul Ryan sketched out an ambitious agenda to lawmakers that includes sending Trump a health care repeal bill by March and a rewrite of tax laws by summer's end. [[411418295, C]]