A New Orleans appearance from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on March 4 inspired dozens of New Orleanians to march against his event in true New Orleans fashion: with a brass band. Several dozen people joined a parade and protest outside the New Orleans Lakefront Airport, where Trump was set to appear in advance of Louisiana's primaries on Saturday, March 5.
Protestors gathered in a gas station parking lot on Downman Road, made signs and grabbed drinks (and a few pounds of crawfish). Signs ranged from the straight-forward ("Trump is a threat to the foundation of democracy") to the topical ("Damn Donald, back at it again with the white supremacy"). The protest — organized through Facebook and named "Trumpets Trump Drumpf," after comedian John Oliver's appeal on his HBO series — marched from the Speed Racer parking lot, up Downman Road and on the neutral ground and sidewalks in front of the airport, where protestors flashed anti-Trump slogans and Black Lives Matter and LOVE signs while chanting "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA."
Protestors first gathered earlier that afternoon in the parking lot down the road from the airport, where vendors — sort of the concert tour merch reps of presidential campaigns, traveling from state to state and rally to rally, regardless of political party (some visit both Trump and Bernie Sanders campaigns, with different merch for each candidate) — sold Trump wares, from bedazzled hats to Star Wars
spoofs, soccer scarves, and shirts featuring a cartoon Trump holding a gun saying, "Go ahead, ISIS, make my day."
Inside the airport hangar, Trump was greeted by several hundred supporters waving Trump placards and wearing his signature "Make America Great Again" hats (on sale for $20 or two for $35 in the parking lot). More than 20 people were forced or pushed out of the rally to wild chanting from Trump supporters as he encouraged Secret Service, police and security to "Get them out of here." Trump relished, several times, in how entertaining the protests were, at one point saying his rallies were better than going to the movies. He also suggested one protestor was going to call his mom and dad to pick him up. "The guys with the biggest mouths are the most fragile," Trump said.
One group of protestors raised their fists and chanted "Black lives matter" for several minutes, holding their ground as several Trump supporters leaned against them to push them out towards the door. Several people chanted "all lives matter" back at them, while another man did a "Who Dat" chant — replacing "dem Saints" with "Donald Trump."
Another man, standing on a chair and holding a "TRUMP/DUKE" and "KKK 4 TRUMP" sign, also was removed. Several other people waving anti-Trump signs, which were ripped from their hands, also were pulled out of the rally.
Trump's hourlong stump speech — frequently interrupted by protests — was as sound bite-filled as ever, calling out Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton ("We're going to win against Hillary, so easily"), the press ("the most dishonest group of people I've ever met"), and new foe Mitt Romney, who earlier this week delivered a scathing Trump takedown. "He choked so badly," Trump said of Romney's 2012 campaign. "That election could've been won so easily. He begged me for support. He was driving me crazy."
Trump's loudest cheers came near the end of his rally, calling for support for veterans, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the building of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and the end of Common Core.
"I love you," Trump said during his goodbye. "This was so much fun."
The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" played on the P.A. as the crowd shuffled out.