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As Trump Transition Continues, Protesters March Again Through Downtown Columbus

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Esther Honig
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Anti-Donald Trump protesters marched along High Street in downtown Columbus on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016.

Temperatures on Monday evening dropped to a frigid 30 degrees outside the Ohio Statehouse, but some 200 people gathered to protest President-elect Donald Trump in the latest post-election rally. 

"People don’t have the luxury anymore to be complacent," said April Sunami, who took part in the protest. "I think a lot more people are going to be more civically engaged than they have been."

Amid chanting and drums, Sunami said that might be the silver lining to Trump’s election.

Protests have sprung up across the country, and in Columbus, almost continually since the election two weeks ago. While some critics wonder what will this accomplish, protesters at Monday's rally say they’re in this for the long haul.

Sunami, who said she paid a babysitter to watch her young daughter so she could protest, says she’s not willing to give Trump a chance to prove himself as president. Though his inauguration is two months away, Sunami says his cabinet appointments and his campaign leading up to the election influenced her opinion.

"That shows us exactly who he is and what he wants to do, what his agenda is," Sunami said. "So I feel like no, we don’t ever want to give that a chance. I don’t ever want to let that get a chance."

Another mother, Ashley Taylor, actually brought her 6-year-old daughter Lilly to the rally.

Taylor said she knows the election’s over and Trump will be president, but that doesn’t mean elected officials can stop listening to people like her.

Taylor said she has been calling Ohio representatives to tell them she supports the Affordable Care Act. She also plans to attend a larger protest in Washington, D.C., the Million Woman's March.

"I mean this is what I’m left with. I can’t cast another vote," Taylor said. "I’m trying to be as active as I can in different groups that are trying to make a change."

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Credit Esther Honig
Lilly Taylor, 6, came with her mother Ashley to the protest. Lilly made her own sign and said Trump is mean to people for being different.

As the night went on, the protestors left the steps of the capital and marched south down High Street. Along the way, drivers honked their horn in support. Others yelled "Trump!" from their windows.

The group passed by bus stops, where people leaving work watched from a distance. One of the onlookers, Dawn Wilson, said he didn’t vote for Trump but he thinks it’s time to accept what can’t be changed.

"Yeah, he is the president elect, so let it go," Wilson said. "Yeah I don’t like him, but he’s here."

The protestors entered into the Short North neighborhood, where John Krenzolock stood smoking outside a local steakhouse. “Go to Canada,” he yelled at them. 

Krensolock, who voted for Trump, said he didn’t vote for Obama in the last elections but he got behind the president regardless.

"We have to support him and hope that he does the best for all of us instead of protesting, because this doesn’t help anything or anybody," Krenzolock said.

Protestors remained fairly peaceful throughout the night, but at three points along the way they crowded High Street in an attempt to block oncoming traffic.

Columbus Police officers were there with several squad cars, brandishing pepper spray, though they never used it. Eventually, two protestors were arrested, which prompted the group to make their way back to the Statehouse. A mounted patrol followed them from a distance.

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Credit Esther Honig
Despite the cold, some 200 protesters gathered on the steps of the Statehouse in downtown Columbus and march down High Street.

Michelle Golden, an organizer for the protest, said funds would be gathered to get their friends out of jail on bail.

"Because that’s the last thing that we wanted to happen and we’re very disappointed that it did," Golden said.

Back at the capital steps, the group organized for their next protest, one next week that they hope will be even bigger.