Supporters, protesters make their way to Trump rally
Numerous supporters of President Donald Trump wave signs during Wednesday’s rally at Minges Coliseum in Greenville. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
GREENVILLE — President Donald Trump’s visit to Greenville brought out numerous supporters and protesters.
Inside Minges Coliseum, a capacity crowd of more than 8,000 packed the gym with hundreds more outside despite temperatures reaching 96 degrees. Among those who made it inside was Wilson resident Walt Gryczan, who said he received a notification after a previous rally in Eastern North Carolina.
“I got the notification for the event, so I went,” Gryczan said. “I remember the event in Craven County a few years ago and I had time off, so I wanted to make it out and show my support as he looks to win in 2020.”
Lenoir County resident Jonathan Davis said he wanted to show his support because he believes Trump has done great things for the nation.
“He’s helped bring jobs here,” Davis said. “We’ve got the lowest unemployment rate in more than 70 years and he’s putting people back to work. Love him or hate him for some of the things he’s said, he’s got this country going in the right direction and he cares about America. I think he’ll continue to do great things for the nation and hope he can win the nomination in 2020.
“He’s said things people don’t like, but one of the reasons why his base is so strong is because he says what they’re thinking.”
Outside of Minges Coliseum, there were hundreds who withstood the heat to protest the rally with numerous signs, including Greenville resident Amy Bright, who helped organize one large contingent.
“One of the reasons we’re protesting is because of the treatment of migrants at the border,” Bright said. “They’re being kept in concentration camp-like conditions and it’s against international law to deny people the opportunity to seek asylum. They’re denying people speeding hearings and the ones who aren’t kept in Mexico are being kept in cages here.
“It’s not acceptable to anybody with a moral conscience.”
June Wollett, who resides in Halifax County, felt the environment needed to be addressed.
“The Trump administration is the most corrupt, ever,” Wollett said. “My concern is about climate change — Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Republicans don’t care about saving the environment.”