11.21.20 Trump Rally
I captured some photos at a Trump rally that I heard was taking place in downtown Atlanta at the capital. When I pulled up to find parking I saw big trucks driving down the street covered with American flags and Trump paraphernalia honking their loud horns as they rode by. I parallel parked my car on the street and immediately started for the rally. I wasn’t even a block from the event when I suddenly saw a crowd of black people holding signs walking towards me from a side street. They were Ethiopians marching to raise awareness of the Civil War that is currently taking place in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. They stopped at the corner of the main road and held up their signs at the same time shouting and chanting “Stop the War”. I pulled out my camera and snapped a few shots before running up to the Trump rally.
Cops were stationed at both ends of the street so that cars could not drive through the rally. I passed cops and vendors selling Trump paraphernalia to arrive at a large crowd listening to a man give a speech. The man was standing on a ladder with a megaphone in hand shouting into the crowd. Apparently, this rally was set up because the people believe that there was voter fraud due to the mail in ballots. Many of the speeches given expressed anger and frustration with the Biden campaign and Brian Kemp for tampering with the votes. As I pushed through the crowd I saw an array of interesting creative shirts and signs that I was not familiar with. I also noticed many men dressed in army gear holding large assault rifles and sporting some American and white power tattoos. When I asked them to take a photo they would in turn ask me who I was shooting for. Fake News. I realized that there were many fake news signs throughout the crowd and it dawned on me that these supporters hate news reporters. I told them I was just shooting for my portfolio, some posed for me but others refused.
I got tired of the crowd and walked over to another smaller crowd at the other end of the street. A temporary barrier fence was placed to block the rally in and behind the fence was a bunch of cops, some wearing riot gear. Another speech was being given to this crowd through a megaphone. As I pushed my way through this crowd I heard shouting behind me. A line of riot shield cops begin to run towards a street perpendicular to the Trump rally street. I soon learned Antifa was on that street and they were being blocked by another line of cops. Some Trump supporters were screaming cuss words and other political jargon at them but you could barely see them behind the cops. I quickly made my way all the way around the block to get some shots of the Antifa.
The Antifa folks were another interesting bunch. Some of them were heavily armed and wearing tactical gear, others were wearing plain clothes but held huge shields spray painted black for protection. When I approached I could quickly tell they did not want to be on camera. Some held their shields up to protect their face others would casually walk away when I held up my camera to shoot. They all seemed fairly young and some were quite nervous. After talking to some and making some little jokes I managed to get some of them to let their guard down and let me take some shots. There was not many of them out but they seemed a little organized. I’m not sure what there purpose was for the day but there presence succeeded in making some of the Trump supporters angry and I could tell the police did not like the Antifa at all. The Antifa were less aggressive then the Trump supporters but the cops were issuing more warnings to them and even threatened to arrest a few. There was an obvious bias.