Protesting the president

President Donald Trump takes on Minneapolis while protesters take on his arrival.


Sabrina Merritt

Nightclub First Avenue, which stands across from the Target Center, promotes an inclusive voting message to the crowds below, with signs stating “VOTE 2020” spelled out in rainbow letters and numbers.

Dylan Stage, Reporter

President Donald Trump traveled to Minnesota to host one of his reelection campaign rallies recently, attracting more than 100,000 people from across the Midwest.

Meanwhile, protesters filled the streets outside Target Center to oppose Trump’s visit.

The rally took place on Oct. 10 in Target Center and was originally put into effect with hopes of flipping Minnesota from blue to red, which would help Trump score a second term in the White House. Minnesota has not voted Republican since 1972 when Richard Nixon was elected president.

The gloomy weather did not stop Trump from making an appearance. His supporters rapidly filed into Target Center for the rally.

Hamline first-year Savannah Lyytinen was fortunate enough to attend, but getting inside was more complex than she thought.

“My friends were waiting [in line] since 12 p.m.,” Lyytinen said. “They told people coming [after 5 p.m.] that there was a slim chance of getting in.”

The event started at 7 p.m., and crew members had to resort to closing the entrances earlier than expected, due to the packed house that came hours before the event started.

Protests started around 5:30 p.m., with hundreds of people showing up to pack the streets.

“I’m just here because I’m so wary of Donald Trump,” protester Beth Torgerson said. “I think he’s a criminal on so many levels. There are so many crimes that he’s committed and it’s just time for it to come to an end.”

Torgerson wandered around the protest sheltering people from the rain under her umbrella and showed tremendous pride in being a part of the protest.

“Being here to speak out is one of the most important things a person can do for themselves and others they care about,” Torgerson said.

Although the protests seemed peaceful, there was some violence in the aftermath.

Police officers began using pepper spray on aggressive protesters. Police also used bicycles as barricades to push the large crowd of protesters away once Trump’s rally was completed.

Before occurrences such as these, protesters created a miniature fire on the streets and used it to burn Trump gear, all while filling the sky with protest signs.

Select signs read “Minnesota nice trumps hate” and “You’re fired.”

“I always am fearful for how protests will turn out,” Torgerson said. “I have already begun planning when I should leave, maybe around 8 p.m. That way, I can protest and get the experience, but I can also avoid any troubles that are bound to happen.”

Torgerson has attended several political rallies in the Twin Cities.

“I know this from experience of course,” Torgerson said.

Trump’s rally, alongside the fierce protests, demonstrated democracy in Minnesota and represented the political passion that is pulsing throughout Minnesotans.