Actors Jodie Foster and Michael J. Fox have led an anti-Trump protest two days before the Oscars in Beverly Hills.
The United Voices rally was staged by Hollywood’s United Talent Agency instead of its usual pre-Oscars party.
Jodie Foster said she rarely spoke out in public but that it was now “time to show up”.
Michael J. Fox told the crowd “we are the lucky ones” and that he wanted to “share a bit of that luck” with refugees who want to enter the United States.
The Canadian-born star, who became a US citizen two decades ago, showed only relatively small signs of the Parkinson’s Disease he has lived with since 1991.
Michael J. Fox added that he believed “in the power of the arts to change not just our hearts but the world”.
Jodie Foster, who has won Oscars for The Silence of the Lambs and The Accused, said the rally was “exactly the way to celebrate our industry, to celebrate all of you, to celebrate artistic expression and our commitment to humanities on screen and off”.
Image source Wikimedia
The actress did not air her views in public often, she told the crowd during her impassioned speech.
“I’m not somebody who’s very comfortable using my public face for activism.
“And so in my life I’ve found the small ways, much like most of you, to serve and to show up and to give somebody a lift at the bottom of the hill when they’re going to the top.
“But this year is a very different year and it’s time to show up. It’s a singular time in history. It’s time to engage.”
The rally comes ahead of an Academy Awards ceremony that is likely to be highly politically charged.
President Donald Trump has previously been dismissive of celebrity protests and of stars who have criticized him, such as Meryl Streep.
The rally was also shown a video message from Oscar-nominated Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi, who has said he is staying away from February 26 ceremony following President Trump’s attempt to ban travel from Iran and six other mainly Muslim countries.
Also on February 24, all the nominees for best foreign language film – including Asghar Farhadi – issued a joint statement denouncing the current “climate of fanaticism and nationalism”.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of several cities to protest against the election of Donald Trump.
Many of them shouted the slogan “Not my president”. Others burned orange-haired effigies of the businessman.
Donald Trump will become the 45th president after securing a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.
The president-elect is due to meet current White House incumbent Barack Obama for talks aimed at ensuring a smooth transition.
President Barack Obama – who had branded Donald Trump “unfit” for office and campaigned against him – urged all Americans to accept the result of Tuesday’s election.
“We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” he said.
Image source Getty Images
Hillary Clinton also told supporters Donald Trump had to be given a “chance to lead”.
Despite their calls, protesters gathered in several cities across the country.
In New York, thousands marched on Trump Tower, attacking Donald Trump’s policies on immigration, gay rights and reproductive rights. Fifteen people were arrested, the New York Times reported.
Protests were largely peaceful but in Oakland, California, some demonstrators smashed shop windows and threw missiles at riot police, who reportedly responded with tear gas.
A mass anti-Trump rally shut down the key 101 freeway in Los Angeles.
In Chicago, crowds blocked the entrance to Trump Tower, chanting: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascists USA”.
In Portland, Oregon, demonstrators temporarily closed an interstate highway.
In Washington DC, protesters held a candlelit vigil. Organizer Ben Wikler told the crowd: “We are here because in these darkest moments, we are not alone.”
Demonstrations also took place in Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, among other cities.
In his victory speech, Donald Trump vowed to “bind the wounds of division”, after an acrimonious election contest, and to be “president for all Americans”.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest has insisted Barack Obama will be sincere about ensuring a smooth handover when he meets Donald Trump, although he added: “I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy meeting.”
Donald Trump will be accompanied to the White House by his wife, Melania, who will have a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House residence.
The president-elect’s transition team for the 10-week period until inauguration will be led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Donald Trump, who has never held elected office, has said his immediate priorities will be restoring the country’s infrastructure and doubling its economic growth.
Donald Trump’s speech in Burlingame, California, has been delayed after hundreds of protesters broke through barricades and threw eggs at police outside a hotel where the GOP front-runner was due to address the state’s Republican convention.
Because of the protest, Donald Trump had to enter the hotel via a rear entrance.
His rallies have been dogged by violence.
On April 28, a police car had its windows smashed as Donald Trump spoke inside a hall in the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Some 20 arrests were made.
The Trump campaign had to cancel several rallies in March after hundreds of protesters threatened to disrupt events in Chicago and St Louis.
Before his speech on April 29, news helicopters showed Donald Trump and his security detail crossing a motorway before entering the hotel via a side door.
On stage, Donald Trump joked about the protesters, saying “that was not the easiest entrance I ever made.”
“I felt like I was crossing the border,” he said, and that he walked through “dirt and mud” to get to the building outside of San Francisco.
Many of the protesters outside Donald Trump’s speech were arguing against his positions on immigration. The billionaire has advocated building a border wall with Mexico which he says Mexico would pay for.
Donald Trump has also referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and criminals responsible for bringing illegal drugs into the US.
The New York businessman is extremely unpopular among Latino voters and California has a large Mexican-American population.
Protests are expected to continue until the California primary is held on June 7.
Donald Trump has called himself the Republican “presumptive nominee” after a string of primary wins.
In terms of delegate support, Donald Trump is far ahead of his nearest rivals, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and John Kasich, the governor of Ohio.
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