Supporters gather for ‘March 4 Trump’ rallies around US

Women bow their heads when an opening prayer is given at the start of the event. Many waving American flags and holding hand-made signs expressing pleasure with the new president, supporters of Donald Trump attended a rally Saturday, March 4, 2017, on the south plaza of the state Capitol in Oklahoma City to express their solidarity with him, his administration and his policies. (Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) – From Colorado’s state Capitol to Trump Tower in New York and the Washington Monument, groups of hundreds of people rallied for President Trump Saturday, waving “Deplorables for Trump,” signs and even carrying a life-size cutout of the president.

The March 4 Trump demonstrations were planned around the country, and supporters clashed with generally smaller groups of counter protesters. Six people protesting the rally in St. Paul, Minnesota, were arrested on felony riot charges after they lit fireworks inside the Minnesota State Capitol and fled, police said. About 400 people attended the St. Paul event, and about 50 showed up to protest it. Some other minor scuffles between the dueling demonstrators were quickly defused.

Near Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach Post reported that people on both sides exchanged profanity. Trump’s motorcade briefly stopped so he could wave at supporters.

In Ohio, Trump supporter Margaret Howe, 57, of Pataskala, said she increasingly fears civil war.

“We did not want to have something like this happen,” she said, adding, “We came out today because Trump deserves to see he still has people for him. It’s just all sad.”

Outside the state Capitol in Denver, hundreds gathered, listening to speakers including former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo on the West Steps facing the mountains. Many in the crowd held American flags or wore red, white and blue and held signs with messages like “Veterans before Refugees.”

Chelsea Thomas, an accountant from Thornton, Colorado, brought her family to the rally — and a life-size cardboard cutout of Trump. She said the family has taken it with them on camping trips, boat rides and a country music festival.

“It’s nice to be surrounded by people who share your morals and opinions,” said Thomas, as her son walked back and forth across the grass with a Trump flag. A group of counter protesters gathered nearby, separated from the rally by police tape. They chanted “No Trump. No KKK. No fascist USA” and held signs with messages like “Your vote was a hate crime.”

In Augusta Maine, more than 100 people turned out for the event that was supposed to last three hours, but ended early because of freezing temperatures. In Miami, supporters continued a rally while sipping espressos outside a Cuban restaurant, the Miami Herald reported.

At a North Carolina rally, speakers said the dishonest media and left wing politicians were bordering on sedition in their opposition to the Republican president. Some men were seen walking through the Raleigh crowd carrying a Trump flag as well as a Confederate flag. Gathered just behind the rally was a handful of protesters, some of whom blew air horns in an attempt to disrupt the event.

“We’re gonna take our country back and we’re gonna establish borders and have legal immigration and law and order,” said Cherie Francis, of Cary, North Carolina. “And if you’re against all that, then you should be afraid. ‘Cause we’re going to take the country in the direction it should be going, instead of the direction it has been going for at least the last 16 years.”

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