Trump supporters eager, detractors frustrated at Richmond rally

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, March 2, 2024, drawing a large crowd of supporters and several protesters. Here is a brief summary of some of the events in preparation for the rally and how supporters and protestors are feeling ahead of Trump's arrival.

Supporters have been waiting outside the Convention Center since early morning. One couple, Lilly and Derek Doland, said they were excited to see Trump and other Republican speakers, like Congressman Matt Gaetz, in person, as they watched his rallies on television and felt that being in the same building was an exciting experience.

There were still thousands of people waiting to get in, even after Trump's motorcade arrived. Event staff confirmed that there was still space for people, but that they were no longer letting people in 45 minutes after Trump started speaking.

There were also protests from Trump detractors, one woman, Erica Mazzella, said she held a sign that read "Abort Trump" in protest of what she called Trump's lack of adherence to American values. She also didn't support President Joe Biden, but would vote for him if he were running against Trump.

Among the supporters was a group of three people, Joseph Dameron, McKenzie Dyles, and Carlie Floyd, who were lounging on the porch of an apartment complex. They saw the crowd and felt that the crowd flow was poorly organized. They were unsure if they'd get inside, but were enjoying the atmosphere and the people. They were concerned, however, about what might happen once the event ended and attendees left.

Another supporter, Elden Ross, an 82-year-old veteran who identified as a lifelong Republican voter, said he was excited to see Trump, dressed in a shirt that said "Trump 2024." He said he was most excited to hear Trump, whom he saw as a true patriot, talk about making the country grow. He was worried, however, about the divide between the two major political parties.

Another supporter, Astrid Gamez, who had emigrated from Caracas, Venezuela, to the United States 30 years ago, said she supported Trump because of his focus on border security and immigration law enforcement. She said she wanted the border to be closed and for immigration to be legal.

Another supporter, Cameron Hibbler, 17, traveled from Yorktown to hear Trump speak. He was most looking forward to hearing Trump talk about the border. He said that Trump was handling the issue well in 2020, and that he was confident that Trump would do so again in 2024.

Lastly, Brandon Eng, a 24-year-old self-identified conservative, said he was most looking forward to Trump talking about the economy. He said he was confident that Trump would be able to bring the economy back and that his money was worth more when Trump was president.

The rally drew several protestors, including Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who released a statement on social media saying that Trump's

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