On a warm spring day in New York City, police barricades kept loud pro- and anti-Trump protesters apart in a small park near the courthouse where former President Donald Trump was arraigned, with NYPD officers standing in the middle as some demonstrators shouted insults and profanities at one another.
On the side filed with hundreds of supporters of the former president earlier this afternoon, a man strummed chords on a violin as he stood next to a protester holding a sign saying, “Trump didn’t start any wars!”
“Lock him up!” said a sign carried by one protester on the other side. “Trump is the definition of depravity,” read another sign.
The Naked Cowboy, a singing guitar player who usually poses with tourists in Times Square wearing only his briefs, stopped by to show his support for the former president. He took pictures with backers of the former president.
Denise Gumora, a 62-year-old fitness instructor from Manhattan, held up a small placard that had “45” written on it for the former president.
“Leave that man alone,” said Gumora, a lifelong Democrat and former Bernie Sanders supporter who turned to Trump after Sanders’ failed presidential bid.
“This should not be happening to any president,” she said. “Not Obama. Not Clinton. Not Trump. This is outrageous. He does not belong in that building.”
Another Trump backer, Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Republican who is running for Congress, said he traveled to New York for the protest, leaving his wife and their 16-day-old baby back in the Sunshine State.
Sabatini, who had called for the defunding of the FBI after the agency’s search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home, said he thinks the indictment actually helps Trump’s presidential bid.
“I think what the DA has done is put more of a focus on Donald Trump and his message, more than ever before,” he said. “They just amplified it probably tenfold.”
On the anti-Trump side of the barricades, one protester wore a Trump mask and a prison jumpsuit. Some banged cowbells and drums as marijuana smoke wafted in the air.
Community activist David Galarza Santa held up a roll of paper towels as a reminder of the day Trump visited Puerto Rico and hurled rolls of paper towels at survivors of Hurricane Maria.
“Now he can use it dry up his crocodile tears,” Galarza Santa said of Trump.