Local Democrats say they’re expecting one thousand plus protesters to line the sidewalks of Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City Monday in opposition to President Donald Trump’s rally.
Washington County Democratic Party Chair Kate Craig says the protest is set to start at 4:30pm and last until 7:30pm.
She says Democrats from Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina plan to occupy the sidewalk in front of Freedom Hall. They’ll also stretch down Pactolas Rd. and Liberty Bell Blvd.
Craig emphasizes that their intention isn’t to obstruct the rally but to engage in democracy. She says their goal tomorrow is to tell President Trump and voters in the area what they stand for, not just what they oppose: “We want folks to know exactly what we believe, what is our platform. We’re not just here to resist, we’re here to do something.”
Craig, acknowledging some may be concerned about safety, says she’s been working closely with Johnson City Police and assures there will be a heavy law enforcement presence. “We want to be respectful of what they’re doing and be in complete communication that if something were to happen that our job is not to go toe-to-toe but to report it.”
Craig says the tone Democrats set tomorrow will resonate long after this rally. She’s encouraging counter protesters to be conscious about the messages they’re spreading.
For more information about the counter protest, visit their Facebook event page.