Today, the Trump Train rolled into Waycross. Even though the man himself wasn’t in attendance, a group of supporters along with a few speakers set up shop at the fair grounds for a rally. The event was officially called “The South Georgia Make American Great Again Rally,” or something like that.
The event had been widely publicized for over a month. There was a speaker from the Georgia Senate and one from the Faith and Freedom Coalition. There were also a few speakers from various right wing groups. I’m a member of a local progressive grassroots movement. As a group activity, we thought we’d show up and protest, which is exactly what we did.
Given the fact that the event was billed as a regional event and that it had been so widely publicized, we assumed the crowd would be massive. After all, they had rented out the entire fairgrounds. We knew we would be outnumbered. We usually have about 25 or 30 at a meeting and figured we would have about 20 at the protest, which is about what we had. I was expecting a relatively large crowd to attend the event, perhaps 500 or so. However, when the event got going, we were able to count each person in the crowd. There were 120. Yes. There were only 120 people at the Make America Great Again rally. That was a good sign.
Of course, we were determined to have a peaceful demonstration, which is exactly what we had. We all held signs about something we care about – education, healthcare, illegal communications with Russia, racism, and immigration. We even had someone there with a giant rainbow flag.
The response from passers by was overwhelmingly positive. We had far more thumbs up than middle fingers. It was heartening to say the least. A few of the attendees from the rally came over and tried to engage us. However, the group was entirely non-confrontational. We didn’t give them what they wanted. We refused to engage in a negative way.
It was somewhat difficult to hear the speakers. However, the speaker from the Faith and Freedom Coalition was loud. She began her speech by bashing the LGBT community (of course). She went on to say that the protestors (us) weren’t her enemy. She said that Satan was her enemy and that they should pray for us. Basically she was saying that we were hell bound. I’ll take that as a badge of honor coming from a self-righteous holy roller like her.
After she completed her bashing of the LGBT community, she began talking about a bill that would allow casinos in Georgia. Of course, she was against it. The irony was lost on her. She constantly praised Donald Trump. However, it didn’t strike her as the least bit hypocritical to be crusading against casinos and gambling while praising the king of casinos on the East Coast. The ignorance and contradictions in her statements was absolutely baffling.
Overall, it was a good day. It was my first protest and I think it was a good one. We made our point. We showed our community that we weren’t all on the Trump Train and complacent to crash and burn along with it. I see more protests in my future should the opportunity present itself. And rest assured that the next time the Trump Train comes to town, I’ll be there.