Saturday, June 22, 2019

Trump Counter Protest

With president Donald Trump invading Orlando to announce his run as the incumbent for President in 2020 locals decided to set up a counter protest for the rally set to happen at the Amway Center. The counter protest happened at Stonewall Bar several blocks West of the Amway Center.

The Baby Trump Balloon was brought to Orlando for the "Win with Love Rally." The balloon first appeared in London during Trump's visit there last month. It gained so much notice that money was raised to create six clones in the U.S. A GoFundMe campaign was started last week to raise funds for the helium needed to inflate the balloon in Orlando. The campaign was successful, going over its $3,500 goal. In addition to the helium canisters needed to inflate it, the balloon also came with more than a ton of gear and 12 volunteers, said activist Mark Offerman. Protest organizer Ida Eskamani said that, because the event is within a specific perimeter of the Trump event, the balloon would not be able to float but would have to stay on the ground. I don't get why a helium balloon was needed if it wouldn't be allowed to fly. Much smaller trump helium balloons were on sale for $10 each and these did often take flight.

When Pam and I arrived at the counter protest we noticed police moving towards the north. She suggested they must be going to some disturbance so we followed. About a dozen "Proud Boy" Trump supporters in red MAGA hats and bulletproof vests were standing off with police. The police presence was impressive with officers in full gear from multiple counties. When the Trump supporters turned away, I made my way over to sketch the baby Trump Balloon. The counter protest was crowded. I had to remove people from my sketch so I could see baby Trumps diaper and cell phone.

I could see the red hats making their way around the lake towards the southern roadblocked barricade to the counter protest. When they faced off a second time people in the protest faced them and raised their anti Trump signs. It gave the protestors a symbol of hate to confront. They shouted “Hey, hey, ho, ho. Donald Trump has got to go.”

After my sketch was done, Pam and I decided to make our way through the police lines to walk down to the Amway. At the same time  the "Proud Boy" thugs decided to follow us down. They were a bunch of bros bragging about their bravado and looking for a chance to get in front of cameras. Anyone wearing a bulletproof vest to a rally is looking for trouble. They paused at a club on Church street and I lost sight of them. Two men were arrested outside the Trump Rally for disorderly conduct. They have since been released on bond. At least at the counter protest, Hate was faced with peaceful protest and a message of love.

The grassy field outside the Arena was littered with garbage and lawn chairs. Some folks just left their tents crushed up on the sidewalks. There was no overflow crowd. Trumps claim that hundreds of thousands of people would be showing up to witness his bid for the candidacy proved false. He didn't even fill the arena. All  that remained outside were vendors trying to sell $5 Red MAGA Caps.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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