Protesters, Trump supporters face off at Win With Love rally in Orlando

Trump to announce re-election bid at Amway Center

By Adrianna Iwasinski - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Protesters and supporters of President Donald Trump, who will officially announce his 2020 re-elcection bid Tuesday night in Orlando, interacted prior to the rally.

Trump will hold a huge rally at the Amway Center, which holds 20,000 people, with others watching outside. Lines to the event started forming at 2:30 a.m. Monday. Trump is expected to take the stage at 8 p.m.

A protest called Win With Love took place about a half-mile away at the Stonewall Bar on Church Street, where volunteers set up a bandstand with music and entertainment. Protesters also plan to have speakers talk about their concerns regarding Trump's potential re-election.

Some Trump supporters stopped by the protest.

"We have the right to be here," said Gary Snow, a Trump supporter who traveled from Fort Myers. "And I have the right to at least come over and have open dialogue  and say, 'Hey, I know there are hostiles on that side and, hopefully, there are no hostiles on this side.'"

Brandon Wolf, spokesman for the Win With Love rally, said all are welcome at the event.

"We're excited about creating a community space where everyone is welcome -- that includes Trump supporters -- and have fun and see if there is an alternative to the hate-mongering," Wolf said.

Orlando police officers and Osceola County sheriff's deputies were on hand to keep the peace and ensure road blocks are manned.

The "Baby Trump balloon" is expected to arrive at the protest sometime Tuesday. A GoFundMe fundraiser raised $3,900 in one day to bring the blimp out to the Win With Love rally. 

At the Win With Love rally, there were hundreds gathered to hear music and local entertainment from mariachi bands, drag queens and then several speakers also took the stage. Local politicians like representatives Anna Eskamani, Carlos Guillermo Smith, State Sen. Victor Torres, State Rep. Geraldine Thompson were on the list to speak. 

Also taking the bandstand to have their voices heard, Pulse survivors, Hurricane Maria survivors, March for Our Lives supporters, Equality for Florida, Organize Florida, Florida Democratic Party representatives, and Alianza for Progress – an alliance to mobilize Puerto Rican voters in Florida who came to represent those from Puerto Rico who felt Trump failed them during Hurricane Maria.

Several Trump supporters, including a group called the Proud Boys, showed up to provide a counter protest to the Win With Love Rally, and squared off with Trump protestors along Church Street.

Between them, a line of Orlando police officers and Orange County deputies formed a barrier between the two groups as they yelled and chanted back and forth at each other.

While some Trump protestors and Trump supporters got into some heated debates, there was no physical violence witnessed by News 6, and officers stayed close just in case fists started flying.

Eventually the Trump supporters dispersed, leaving the protestors to finish up their rally outside the Stonewall bar and along the two block area of West Church Street between South Parramore Avenue and South Westmoreland Drive.

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