- The Washington Times
Thursday, July 9, 2015

Local elected officials plan to lead a protest Thursday against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outside a historic D.C. building he is renovating into a luxury hotel.

The protest comes amid a backlash against the real estate mogul over his comments during his campaign kickoff speech, in which Mr. Trump said that illegal immigrants from Mexico bring drugs and crime to the United States, and that some are rapists.

The protest will show solidarity with immigrant workers at the hotel construction site and “that we don’t want Mr. Trump and his business here,” said Simi Abrol, a spokeswoman for D.C. shadow senator Paul Strauss.

The scheduled protest is an about-face from a year ago, when D.C. Council members and the city’s former and current mayors welcomed Mr. Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, at a groundbreaking ceremony for the $200 million renovation of the Old U.S. Post Office Building.

Other local leaders joining Mr. Strauss in the protest: D.C. shadow senator Michael D. Brown, D.C. shadow representative Franklin Garcia, Maryland state Delegates Ana Sol Gutiérrez and Joseline Peña‐Melnyk, and Arlington County Board member J. Walter Tejada — all Democrats, except Mr. Brown, who is an independent.

Protesters plan to assemble at Freedom Plaza at 1:15 p.m. Thursday and then march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the site of the planned Trump International Hotel.

The protest comes a day after celebrity chef Jose Andres announced that he will back out of a plan to open a flagship restaurant in the Trump hotel. Mr. Andres, a Spanish immigrant, said Mr. Trump’s statements “disparaging immigrants” were the reason he chose to cancel his plans for the restaurant.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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