More than 100 protesters and supporters stood outside an oil refinery during President Trump’s speech at the Andeavor Oil Refinery in Mandan. Some arrived hours before the event at the refinery entrance, waiting for the president’s motorcade.
“I just wanted to show our support and figured we can’t get enough of it in this country right now,” Luke Tweeten from Washburn said. “We all need to be more unified.”
Other bystanders like Charles Tuttle said it was important to show support for the president.
“He has no ulterior motive to what he’s doing,” Tuttle said. “Why give up a billionaire lifestyle, to be ridiculed and slandered and all the things that are being said about him, other than he wants to make America great again? So that’s why.”
Meanwhile, protesters gathered on the opposite side of the road with signs reading “Impeach Trump” and “Love Trumps Hate.”
“I want to be an example to people that North Dakota may traditionally be Republican,” Loralyn Hegland said. “But deep down inside, I don’t think that everyone is on board with this extremely nationalist, white supremacist, anti-immigration, people of color, anti-LGBTQ that seems to be really rampant in supporters.”
For other protesters like Elizabeth Anderson, it was important to be along the motorcade route to voice their opinion.
“I think it’s important to practice what is called corporal politics,” Anderson said. “Which is getting out from behind the computer. Not just making hashtags, showing up in person. Obama used to call it ‘shoe leather.’ So I’m throwing a little show leather on today.”
Police intentionally kept both sides apart in order avoid any fighting. No arrests were made outside the refinery.