Detractors, supporters of President Trump clash in Grand Rapids

Posted at 8:53 PM, Mar 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-04 22:11:08-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Protesters taking to the streets of downtown Grand Rapids Saturday afternoon were met by a large group of supporters of President Donald Trump.

Supporters of President Trump gathered at Calder Plaza while protesters against the president met at Rosa Parks Circle.

Saturday's pro-Trump rallies in West Michigan and across the country marked the first wide-spread organized showing of support for the president since the election.

Trump supporters say it's almost become taboo to show support for the president and they wanted to have this event to show that it's okay to stand behind him.

"We're excited to show the world that we support our President and we support each other," said Audra Lemons, who helped organize the event. "I think it's become almost a taboo thing to be a Trump supporter. We're just tired of seeing it. We're tired of the disrespect for our President and for his voters."

Those gathering in support of President Trump said the rally was in direct response to the protests regularly happening against him since the election

"It's a rally in support of our new President Donald Trump just to show solidarity that we're behind him 100 percent," said supporter Robert Reminga. "The left or the opposition are sore losers and some of the things that they're saying and doing in the media, this is just a direct response to that."

"[Trump] doesn't have a lot of backing it seems like and obviously there are a lot of people that are behind him," said supporter Bob Morsink. "We're just rallying to show support."

Just a few blocks away, protesters met at Rosa Parks Circle to express their continued opposition to President Trump and his policies.  Some of them voiced frustration over Russia's alleged involvement in the outcome of the Presidential election.

"My friend made this Moscow mule, which is a symbol of our concern about the truth and about the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia," said a man who wished to remain anonymous.

"I find it very concerning and it could be damaging to the core of our democracy. This is all about the need for Congressional Republicans to appoint a special prosecutor that'll look into this situation so we can get to the bottom of it and clear the air and move America forward."

Both sides promised Saturday's rallies would not be the last.

"It's important because all we see is negativity about our President," Lemons said. "We want to show that that's not all true. We do still support our President. I know a lot of the media was saying that Trump supporters were regretful of voting for him and that's not true at all. I think even more now we must stand behind his decisions to keep our country safe."

Both rallies remained peaceful despite a few brief contentious moments between each side.