Hundreds of protesters gathered on Kok Road on Saturday, May 7, to protest Donald Trump’s appearance even as thousands waited for hours under a hot sun for a chance to see the Republican presidential candidate.
The face-offs — the opposing sides were mainly across the street from each other — were peaceful overall though they did get heated.
Law enforcement, including those from Seattle, Bellevue and other agencies pulled in as crowd control, stood down the middle of Kok Road when emotions were high.
Tax breaks for the rich. Poverty for the poor.
Trump protester sign
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As Trump supporters spilled out of the rally Saturday afternoon at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, yelling between the two sides escalated.
There were repeated calls to “build the wall” while one man yelled “defend our border,” and protesters chanted “shame on you.”
The Dashiells, of Bellingham, were among the protesters.
“We are Democrats. We support liberal progressive values,” said Dennis Dashiell, 48. “We’re for respect.”
Madalyn Dashiell, 18, said she was at the protest because she wanted “to make a difference.”
“I care about our future. I don’t stand for racism,” she said.
Ferndale resident Bree Robinson, 19, said: “I stand for equality where Trump does not stand for equality and the people of this country.”
She said someone flipped her off and called her the n-word.
Don’t be a chump, vote for Trump.
Trump supporter sign
“When it comes down to it there’s no need for racial slurs and putting other people down,” Robinson said, before adding that the primary message from protesters was “love trumps hate.”
Both sides held signs.
“Tax breaks for the rich. Poverty for the poor,” one read. Another stated: “I wouldn’t trust Donald Trump to sell me a used car. Why trust him as president?”
A supporter wore a T-shirt that read “Don’t be a chump, vote for Trump.” A group of women from Pierce County, who were waiting to get inside, were holding up a sign that read, “Women 4 Trump.”
“He’s our last chance to bring back the America we’ve known, the strong America,” said Allie Tramill, who said the group drove four hours to get to the rally.
Deming residents Brittany Schindler, 25, and Ariona King, 21, were standing in line, wearing “Gays for Trump” shirts.
“We’re here to support the conservative party and what’s right for the country,” Schindler said.
Sara Johnson, a 29-year-old Tacoma resident, was near the front of the line. She got there at 6 a.m.
Johnson said she wanted to see a presidential candidate speak, adding that she wanted her 9-year old daughter to have the experience as well.
“I like his honesty. He’s not paid by Wall Street,” Johnson said.
Shoreline resident Lisa Domingo, 56, also brought up family when talking about why she was protesting. She said her husband brought her to Bellingham as a gift.
“It’s what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day,” Domingo said.
She wanted her great-great grandkids to know that “I didn’t stay home and watch it happen.”
“It just makes me sad that someone running for the highest office in the land has said such hateful things,” Domingo said.
PROTESTERS TRY TO BLOCK GUIDE
A handful of protestors with a Mijente Seattle group, shouting “We are with the blockers,” chained themselves together on Guide Meridian south of Lynden in an attempt to block Trump’s motorcade. It didn’t work, as Trump arrived safely via another route.
Three protesters were arrested by law enforcement at the scene. They were cited for disorderly conduct and released, Bellingham Police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht said.
“As someone who has grown up in Washington ... I am putting my body on the line to stop fascism from taking over our country,” said Josefina Mora, 18, one of the participants in the protest, in a prepared statement. “The residents of Lynden today have a chance to stand with us and reject hate.”