Fights break out as counter-protesters crash rally of Trump supporters

Trump supporters are in front, counter-protesters are up the stairway. Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka

Approximately 400 Trump supporters gathered inside the State Capitol in a nationwide rally at noon on March 4 in support of the current president. The rally started with the Lord’s Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the National Anthem and other patriotic songs sung by local musician Natalie Cromwell. Some speakers quoted the Bible while others pandered to the conservative platform.

Alley Waterbury, the main organizer of the event, told CCN, “We’re not about a party, we are about all people. We want to unite with the left and set an example for our children and the rest of the world that ours their [sic] hope in America.”

Not longer after the second speaker dove into her spiel, counter-protesters could be heard from within the Capitol rotunda. A group of about 50 chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA,” a chant that’s been heard at many recent marches, along with multiple other chants against Trump.

A few altercations broke out over the next hour but were usually quickly diffused by the security and police present at the Capitol.

Trump supporters were calling the counter-protesters “pussies” and telling some of them to “show their face” or chanting “Trump”. The counter-protesters were chanting and referring to the Trump protesters as racist. Signs were being torn from the hands of the opposing crowds as officers attempted to stand between them and create distance between the groups. A few physical scuffles inevitably broke out until mace was sprayed within the crowd and the clicking sounds of a taser echoed through the outer rotunda.

Eventually, counter-protesters were pushed to the top of the stairs while Trump supporters remained at the bottom, continuing to yell profanities and chanting back and forth at each other. Six arrests were made for rioting and disorderly conduct. No Trump supporters were arrested.

After the counter-protesters were pushed outside by police, Mike Anderson went to the podium and said, “When somebody is in your face, don’t punch them. Talk to them. You can’t fight their ignorance with punches. I got pepper sprayed, I got tazed, and they said ‘what are you gonna do?’ Well, I could’ve done something,” he patted a spot on his waist, obviously referring to the concealed gun he was carrying, “but there’s a time and a place for that, and this is not the time.”

The counter-protesters left at about 1:30 as they were being hand-picked and arrested out of the crowd.

A week before the event even took place, the March 4 Trump rally page dealt with what supporters called “infiltrators” and “disruptors” with the venue and times being changed, the original page being taken down and two of the hosts being taken out of the group. New organizers took over and repeatedly confirmed that the rally would still be happening at the State Capitol at the same time.

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