EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Hundreds of protesters marched against Donald Trump on Thursday outside Evansville Memorial Baptist Church as Trump was ready to campaign for his immigration and energy emission policies.
The peace rally was organized and sponsored by local organizations, and fliers handed out said the protest promoted environmental protection, democracy, fair economy and equality.
Almost everyone at the gathering brought handmade signs with slogans such as “Love is Love,” “America is for Everyone,” and “Dump the Trump.”
Sydney Fritchley, a protester at the rally and producer with Channel 14 News, held a blue foam puzzle mat that read, “Not Usually A Sign Guy But Geez.”
He said he took a day off his job as a producer with Evansville’s broadcast 14 News to be a participant in a protest instead of a camera guy filming one.
Fritchely said Trump supporters seem to live in their own world and don’t bother to challenge different ideas. He thinks instead, people should stop living in their bubbles and think independently.
“They never give a really base of what their argument is or really why it is,” he said. “They’re followers, and their ideas are popular right now. So they validate their opinions even more.”
Perry Heights Middle School seventh-grader Carter Joest came to the rally with his grandma Deana Outlaw, who bedazzled Joest's “America Is For Everyone” sign with glitter, sparkly butterflies and seashells.
Joest said he thinks Trump is terrible, especially for the zero-tolerance policy that has separated immigrant from their families after crossing the border illegally.
He said he felt smart being involved in a political event and expressing his own opinion. His classmates, who were also disgusted by Trump, wanted him to go to the protest.
Skylar Julian, 20, gave a speech at the gathering in front of the church about his experience as a transgender man in Evansville. He had a bright red Mohawk and a circle-A anarchy symbol tattooed on the side of his head.
Julian said he been alienated by his hometown since coming out as transgender in 2015. He has lived with depression and a fear of death threats.
He said that the country has been glorified as land of the free and home of the brave, but the reputation has been compromised by harsh immigration policies and racism.
“It’s time for our friends of color, our foreign neighbors, to pray and meditate next to our Muslim allies, and pee next to out trans brother and sisters,” Julian said. “It’s time to make America for everyone.”
Cheers broke out among the spectators.