Thousands of President Trump supporters convened near New York's Trump Tower, at the Washington Monument and in dozens of other cities around the country Saturday in what organizers billed as "March 4 Trump" demonstrations on behalf of the new president.
The rallies also intended to show unity in the face of what organizers call "a seditious fringe" aiming to sabotage Trump's vision for the country.According to the organizer's website, rallies were scheduled in some 50 cities, including Nashville, Phoenix, Boston, Denver, Miami, and St. Paul, and even Berkeley, Calif. In several cities, the rallies were met by counter-demonstrations and some arrests.
Photos: Trump Rally
In New York, a couple hundred supporters gathered near the president's Manhattan home, chanting "U-S-A." One held a sign reading: "I am not a Democrat anymore." Another read: "Yes he is our president."
In Columbus, a rally at the Ohio Statehouse turned into a clash of words when Trump protesters shouted, "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA" over the supporters' "U-S-A" chants.
'Simply false': Obama spokesman rejects Trump wiretapping claims
In Florida, near Mar-a-Lago, people on both sides exchanged profanity, the Palm Beach Post reported. Trump’s motorcade, heading back from a golf outing, briefly stopped so he could wave at supporters.
In Nashville, more than 1,000 people turned out for a Spirit of America rally to support the president at Legislative Plaza.
"We are all Americans, we need to come together," said Richard Saunders of Robertson County, a Trump supporter holding a sign that read "stop calling me a racist: You don't even know me."
"Anyone who disagrees with you, they throw this word around. Accusing someone of being a racist does not make them a racist."
An estimated 1,200-1,500 attended the rally. Most listened to the series of speakers that included state lawmakers, The Tennessean reports.
"If the intent is not peaceful this is not the event for you," said Mark Skoda on the stage.
A group of protesters gathered at the bottom of the plaza amid considerable police presence. Officers stopped a few attempts by some protesters to push their way into the pro-Trump rally, according to co-organizer Steve Gill.
In Phoenix, police said some 300 people turned out for the three-hour rally that included several state lawmakers. About a dozen counter-protesters were also on hand.
Lesa Antone, 48, was one of the rally organizers, along with March 4 Trump, Spirit of America and Riders USA. She wore a red T-shirt reading, "I voted for Trump. You're welcome." She said the goal of the event was to encourage the nation to unite behind the president.
"I think people don't understand when they say they want Trump to fail, it means America will fail," she said, according to The Arizona Republic.
In St. Paul, hundreds of supporters and counter-demonstrators turned out at the Minnesota State Capitol. Chanting reverberated through the Capitol rotunda during the dueling protests. There were some minor scuffles, but they were quickly diffused by other protesters and police. A Minnesota State Patrol Captain told KARE 11 that five people were arrested.