Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Manhattan on Wednesday night and converged on Trump Tower in Midtown to protest the election of Donald J. Trump as president.
Similar protests happened in several cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, and at college campuses in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
In New York, the protests started in separate waves from Union Square and Columbus Circle and snaked their way through Midtown.
The protesters chanted “Not our president” and “New York hates Trump” and carried signs that said, among other things, “Dump Trump.” Restaurant workers in their uniforms briefly left their posts to cheer on the demonstrators.
The demonstrations, which appeared to be largely peaceful, forced streets to be closed, snarled traffic and drew a large police presence.
Protesters gathered outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue near 56th Street, where the president-elect lives. Loaded dump trucks lined Fifth Avenue for two blocks outside the tower as a form of protection.
Emanuel Perez, 25, of the Bronx, who works at a restaurant in Manhattan and grew up in Guerrero, Mexico, was among the many Latinos in the crowd.
“I came here because people came out to protest the racism that he’s promoting,” he said in Spanish, referring to Mr. Trump. “I’m not scared for myself personally. What I’m worried about is how many children are going to be separated from their families. It will not be just one. It will be thousands of families.”
Protesters with umbrellas beat a piñata of Mr. Trump, which quickly lost a leg, outside the building.
— Ash J (@AshAgony) November 10, 2016
The Police Department said on Wednesday night that 15 protesters had been arrested.
Bianca Rivera, 25, of East Harlem, described Mr. Trump’s election as something that was “not supposed to happen.”
“We’re living in a country that’s supposed to be united, a melting pot,” she said. “It’s exposing all these underground racists and sexists.”
Elsewhere in the country, college students gathered in spontaneous marches and asked university leaders to schedule meetings to reflect on the results.
After Mr. Trump’s victory speech, more than 2,000 students at the University of California, Los Angeles, marched through the streets of the campus’s Westwood neighborhood.
There were similar protests at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles; University of California campuses in Berkeley, San Diego and Santa Barbara; Temple University, in Philadelphia; and the University of Massachusetts.
Flag burning on 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower right now. pic.twitter.com/1LAGHCNjxL
— Patrick deHahn (@patrickdehahn) November 10, 2016
High school students also walked out of classes in protest in several cities.
As U.C.L.A. students made their way to classes on Wednesday, they talked about how to make sense of an outcome that had seemed impossible a day earlier.
“I’m more than a little nervous about the future,” said Blanca Torres, a sophomore anthropology major. “We all want to have conversations with each other, to figure out how to move forward. There’s a whole new reality out there for us now.”
Chuy Fernandez, a fifth-year economics student, said he was eager to air his unease with his peers.
“I’m feeling sad with this huge sense of uncertainty,” Mr. Fernandez said. The son of a Mexican immigrant, he said it was difficult not to take the outcome personally.
“We’re all just kind of waiting for a ticking time bomb, like looking around and thinking who will be deported,” he said. “That’s the exact opposite of what most of us thought would happen.”