Trump supporters hold rally in Vancouver park, counter-protesters arrested
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Supporters of Donald Trump clashed with protesters speaking out against the president's administration Sunday afternoon during a “Rally for Trump and Freedom" at Esther Short Park in Vancouver.
Vancouver Police Lieutenant Tom Ryan told KATU officers "made a handful of arrests," for fighting and throwing smoke bombs into crowds. He did not know exactly how many were arrested.
Supporters and demonstrators alike started arriving at the park around noon. The rally got underway at 1 p.m. with speeches from supporters of the Freedom Movement, local Republican representatives, and live music. More than 150 people planned on attending, based on a Facebook event for the rally.
The group initially planned to march to the Interstate 5 overpass on Evergreen Boulevard to wave flags in "support of the 45th," however they decided against it for safety reasons.
Cheryl Bowen, secretary for the Multnomah County Republicans, says she was not deterred by the counter-protesters and did not want it to distract her from the rally.
"I'm a big Trump supporter," Bowen told KATU. "I've been a Trump supporter since the very beginning. I think he wants to 'Make America Great Again' and I just want to be a part of that."
Bowen says approximately 20-30 members of the "Three-Percenters" group helped with security. Private medical staff was on hand in case the chaos spilled over.
Police say organizers received a permit for the rally.
Ryan says the department was in "communication with organizers" and went over the "parameters of behavior that was acceptable" prior to the event.
Ryan says the majority of those arrested appeared to be counter-protesters.