Protesters burn Trump hats outside Minneapolis rally

Trump uses rally to describe state’s congresswoman Ilhan Omar as ‘America hating socialist’

Vincent Wood
Friday 11 October 2019 13:00 BST
Protesters burn MAGA hats outside Donald Trump rally in Minneapolis

Trump flags and ‘Make America Great Again’ hats were set alight at protests outside the president’s rally in Minneapolis last night as the president decried the democrats attempting to impeach him and focussed the rage of his audience on the Somalian migrants who have called the state home.

Thousands marched outside the Target Center arena in the city’s downtown region to oppose Donald Trump – calling attention to his policies on immigration and reproductive rights while demanding his impeachment.

Inside the president tore into his democratic rivals in a rally that electrified his supporters, while declaring 2020 candidate Joe Biden “was only a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass”. He also hit out at congresswoman Ilhan Omar in her home town, calling her a "disgrace" to the country.

On the fringes of the action the president’s supporters clashed with protestors – who could be seen setting fire to a Trump campaign flag meters away from the president’s backers, who beat their chests at them while chanting “USA”.

In another incident a small bonfire was built for the burning of the Make America Great Again hats that have become a symbol of Mr Trump’s support.

However both the president’s backers and detractors were, for the most part, kept separate. Minneapolis police, who had said in a statement before the action that they wanted to facilitate both the rally and the peaceful protest, deployed officers on horseback and on bikes to disrupt the crowds and put out fires.

On the arrival of the police protestors could be seen jeering and hurling projectiles at officers, who in turn let loose pepper spray onto the crowd.

A city with a strong heritage of political action and left wing support, Minneapolis has not seen a republican mayor since the early 1970s – with voters often opting for the Democrat aligned DFL party.

The state is also home to some of the president’s most vocal critics – including Amy Klobuchar who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination, and Ilhan Omar, who has been the subject of derision from Mr Trump and his supporters as one of a group of four congresswoman with strong left wing views referred to as ‘The Squad’.

Originally from Somalia, Ms Omar was repeatedly targeted by the president during his rally – calling her an “America hating socialist”. He also took aim at her home country, pausing to allow his crowd to boo after mentioning its name.

“As you know for many years leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impacts on schools and communities and taxpayers”, he said, adding “We will always protect American families first”.

Minnesota is home to one of the largest concentrations of Somali Americans in the country, with many entering the country with the support of voluntary agencies contracted by the state department and making up around 1 per cent of the state’s population.

Shortly after the rally, Ms Omar wrote on Twitter: “Trump called me an ‘America-hating socialist’ and a ‘disgrace’” He shouted xenophobic conspiracy theories about me. He scolded my district for voting for me. His hate is no match for our movement.”

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