Protesters and ANTIFA swelled all of 1st Avenue outside Target Center and attendees inside could already feel the tension as the rally wrapped up – images on social media showed angry protestors awaiting their prey right outside the venue.
Inside Target Center, many could see out the windows down below to angry mobs below on the streets. Smoke rose from a fire set on Trump hats and flags – police were quick to put it out.
Attendees began filing out before President Trump even finished – many anxious to avoid the unruly group waiting outside. Police Officers and Secret Service worked together to guide most attendees out through the skyways to the Northside, opposite of the mob’s location.
Outside, the scene was cold and wet – the hate nearly palpable. ANTIFA was out in full presence, dark clothed, with their flags and covered faces. Several street signs were graffitied with the anarchist symbol. Trump supporters were the target and attacked for merely walking the streets in their attempt to reach their vehicles and go home.
Several large groups broke apart and different scenes took place with multiple skirmishes and attacks. The scene was chaotic – a stark contrast to the peaceful, loving atmosphere that had just taken place inside with The President.
Police donned full riot gear and mounted horses while agitators and ANTIFA screamed, spat, and even danced in their faces – taunting them with explicit language. One protestor’s sign read, “Blue Lives Don’t Matter.”
Officers in yellow used their heavy mountain bikes to physically push back agitators to barricade them off at opposite ends of the streets. The aggressors pushed back on the bicycles, throwing whatever items they could find – the police released pepper spray and the crowd would scatter wildly.
Police primarily acted as barricades and did not engage anyone in the mob as they attempted to riot – in the middle of the dark streets, ANTIFA thugs and agitators, out for blood, watched the sidewalks for Trump supporters and isolated attacks took place. The mob would swarm across the street to any lone individuals they could find.
The aggressors snatched Trump hats off heads and tossed them among the mob before setting them on fire. The innocent bystanders were pushed, taunted, and screamed at in their faces, slapped and shoved to get a reaction – and reactions they did get. Many punches and fistfights broke out as outnumbered Trump supporters tried to defend themselves.
One man, about 65 years-old in a blue jacket, was spotted by a protestor who yelled, “There’s a Nazi over here!”
He was alone and quickly swarmed by the mob, slapped and sucker-punched several times – a gash bled on his forehead – the mob pushed him aggressively through the streets, along the sidewalks, throwing more punches until he was able to escape to the other side of a police barrier. This isolated incident was frequent and not unique – You were a target if you wore a Trump hat or Patriotic clothing – no matter your age or race.
Another group harassed drivers exiting a pay-parking lot – throwing large heavy parking cones, broken pieces of concrete, aluminum water bottles, and screamed at them, “Our streets!”, and “Go home Nazi!” Police in yellow eventually came to push back the mob physically with their heavy mountain bikes – the vehicles that had been stuck for nearly 30 minutes were finally able to pull out.
By 10:30 PM cold rain began to fall and the mobs thinned out. Perhaps Mayor Frey should be footing the bill to ANTIFA; the mobs should bear the brunt of security costs in their attempts to riot and cause chaos in the city.
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