It was meant to be a holiday, but one young Australian couldn’t have witnessed a more volatile side of America.
Justin Palmieri, 24, pushed through the overflowing streets of New York City as thousands surged in protest of the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.
“The night before we were at a bar watching the election, and you could feel the despair in the air as it looked more and more like Trump would win,” he said.
“Everyone’s heads were in their hands and tears were pouring. As someone who isn’t even American, to be around my American friends as it happened was somewhat traumatising.”
The Melbourne man was forced to link hands with his friends as they were sucked into the depths of the chanting crowd.
“There were thousands of passionate people screaming facing the tower. It’s so monolithic in structure and knowing that Trump was the new President-elect made it look really ominous,” he said.
Palmieri described how even in the absence of authority, protesters would police others to ensure a sense of peace in the rage.
“We walked passed some people who were chanting on top of cars stuck in the traffic and then a protestor told them to ‘get off these cars because we’re better than this’,” he said.
The 24-year-old described standing at the front felt like being in a “sea of people” with “no end in sight.”