Trump supporters and protesters trade barbs outside Elkhart rally
ELKHART, Ind. -- Outside President Donald Trump’s rally in Elkhart on Thursday ended up being just as lively as inside, as those for and against the president came together to make their voices heard.
“Build that wall! Build that wall!”
“No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!”
Those were just two of the chants exchanged between Trump supporters and protesters on Thursday as the president and Vice President Mike Pence rolled into town by motorcade.
“I’m just a big fan,” said Kelly Kelley, a Trump supporter from Michigan. “He says it like it is.”
“The message I would like to say is there is the other side, and I’d like to get that message out, so that’s why I’m here,” said Jim Barnes, a protester.
A small group of about two dozen demonstrators that assembled near North Side Middle School on Thursday afternoon grew into several hundred by the evening.
They clashed with Trump supporters who didn’t make it inside for the president’s 7 p.m. speech.
Thousands of the president’s fans showed up in Elkhart for the campaign rally.
Many echoed the same message.
“People try to push him into a corner and he’s punching his way out,” said Steven Coleman, a Trump supporter from Elkhart.
While hundreds who couldn’t fit inside listened to the rally outside, one of the organizers of the protest said the goal was not to outnumber the president’s supporters, but to make a statement they hope will have an impact in the long run.
“I don’t want to support a president that makes fun of minorities, makes fun of people with disabilities, makes fun of women,” said Sarah Knowlton. “That’s just not how a president talks and I feel like that kind of keeps us going – that we know we’re on the right side of history.”
One of the few unifying moments of the day was when the presidential motorcade came down Cassopolis Street and turned into North Side Middle School.
Hundreds of people lined both sides of the road to welcome President Trump.
One mom was overheard telling her two young kids to pay close attention because it’s not known when they’ll get to experience something like this again.