The Trump protest rally for in Duluth, MN, gathered several hundred people out in the hot sun at the steps of City Hall. The early gathers congregated in patches of shade along 1st Street waiting for the rally to begin.
All age groups were in attendance from the very young to the very old. There were a couple of vendors walking around selling stickers, buttons or t-shirts with anti-Trump messages. One young boy was passing out bottles of water for free. Youth Service America was also present to register people to vote.
I didn’t see any police or Trump supporters in the area as music kicked off the rally at 4:30pm. This was followed by First Nations tribal drumming, poetry and several speakers. Speakers passed along personal stories about how Trump policies or bigotry has affected them. The main message was on migration and unity.
Later, the Trump protesters marched from the Civic Center with chants of, “We are one”. The march route took them down South 6th Avenue W to Michigan Street and eventually across to Railroad Street. The plan was to be there when President Trump arrived at Amsoil Arena. Many people went on to meet others for a peace rally in Leif Erikson Park.
I should have re-read how to cover a protest before starting out because it was my first time photographing event like this one. There was a lot to see as people continued to gather on the Civic Center area. One of the challenges was shooting in bright sunlight with people sitting in deep shade. I remembered to put on sunscreen before leaving the house but forgot to bring water. Both the temperature and the humidity were fairly high. It was another challenge to get any sense of scale of the crowd size until the march began.
Once the Trump protest march began, keeping in position seemed to be a “run-and-gun” situation. Being 52 years old and out of shape didn’t help. I primarily use a 50mm prime lens on a APC crop sensor Canon 80D. These are times, I think, where a super zoom lens like the Tamron 18mm-400mm f5.3-6.3 Di II VC HLD might really come in handy.
Local law enforcement had streets blocked to through traffic in front of the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) where the President was to speak. I’m told the eight thousand seat Amsoil Arena was packed to capacity and at least an additional two thousand people showed up that did not get in. No acts of violence or arrests were reported.
Additional protests against the administration are scheduled for June 30th in cities across the country. Stay tuned for our coverage.