As Donald Trump returns to Trump Tower Monday for his first time since Inauguration Day, he’ll be greeted by thousands of protesters, angered by his refusal to denounce white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements in the wake of deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.
As many as 16,000 protestors could line Fifth Avenue for Trump’s return, according to a Facebook event, impassioned by the president’s vague remarks after a 32-year-old woman was killed and 20 others injured when a demonstrator marching with the “Unite the Right” rally plowed his car into a group of anti-racist counter-protesters on Saturday, bringing a tragic end to a weekend of racially-motivated violence in Charlottesville.
Rather than condemn the hatred and violence, President Trump denounced “violence on many sides.”
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Trump’s indecisive remarks earned him harsh criticism from the media and the public and on Monday afternoon he stopped by the White House for a brief press conference to clarify his comments, finally condemning the hate groups who incited violence in Virginia.
"Racism is evil -- and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," Trump said, reading from prepared remarks. He didn’t take any questions from reporters.
Trump, who is in the midst of a 17-day vacation at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort, was expected in New York much earlier Monday, but made the last minute White House detour.
It’s unclear when the president plans to show up, but protestors were already lining Fifth Avenue by mid-afternoon, armed with signs saying things like “Resist” and “Violence is not from ‘many sides.’”
Here's how to get involved in an NYC Trump protest:
Trump Rat: Find the 15-foot tall “Trump Rat” at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South Monday. The rat, complete with a yellow comb-over and confederate flag cuff links bares Trump’s resemblance.
Protest Donald Trump Rally: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday at Trump Tower, 725 5th Avenue, New York. Protestors will meet at 54th and 5th Avenue for a nonviolent protest.
Funeral Procession: A coalition of activist have also organized a "funeral procession" to welcome Trump outside of Trump Tower from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday. Participants are encouraged to wear black, and to "bring candles, pictures, and symbols of the people, beings, and things Trump is killing." The group will assemble at 59th Street and 5th Avenue.
Stand Against Trump: A third rally, scheduled to take place outside Trump Tower between 4:30 p.m and 8 p.m, focuses on the president's "irresponsible statements about war." More than 1,600 people have shown interest on Facebook.
Pro-Trump rally: A rally called “Stand With President Trump” is planned for outside Trump Tower from 6 to 9 p.m. Ralliers want to “greet our hometown hero” at 57th and 5th Avenue from 6 to 9 p.m., according to Facebook.