The marked political divide in the nation was underscored in the Coachella Valley on Wednesday as the Valley, a cluster of nine desert communities, became a microcosm of a deeply divided country. The pronounced divide took center stage as President Trump jetted in to Palm Springs International Airport aboard Air Force One for a private fundraiser in Rancho Mirage.
Under a heavy police presence, hundreds of Trump supporters gathered before 9 a.m. at the intersection of Ramon Road and Kirk Douglas Way eagerly awaiting the President’s arrival. Their signs spoke for them.
One woman shouted toward the sky, “I love you, President Trump.
A short 12 miles away in Rancho Mirage, protesters gathered by the hundreds. Some chanted, “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Donald Trump has got to go.”
Protesters lined Highway 111 as Air Force One flew overhead. Some booed.
Signs on each side said it all. They minced no words.
What they did not say with signs, they said with hats, socks, pins, costumes, and Trump Baby balloons.
Trump was in the Coachella Valley Feb. 19 for a private campaign fundraising event at Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison’s California estate. The event was scheduled to include a golf outing at Ellison’s home, according to CNBC. Supporters will have to pay $100,000 for the golf outing and to have their photo taken with the president. Supporters could pay $250,000 for a photo, golf outing, plus participation in a round table with the president.
A coalition of activists organized by the Coachella Valley Grassroots Progressives under the name Coachella Valley United were first to spearhead a protest. Organizers included Bill Holzhauer, Lynne O’Neill, and Yasmin Espinosa Other Democratic groups quickly followed their lead.
Joy Miedecke, president of East Valley Republican Women Federated, led the rally for Trump. East Valley Republican Women Federated, which has more than 300 members and is the largest of its kind in the state.
Trump is no stranger to protests.
President Donald Trump’s return to Phoenix today, Feb. 19, is expected to draw a crowd of roughly 20,000, protests, and a large police presence, according to the Phoenix New Times. It’s his second time back in the Valley since the August 2017 visit that ended with tear gas, pepper bullets, a hefty price tag for the city, and ongoing lawsuits against the Phoenix Police Department, according to the newspaper.
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