AUSTIN - Austin police had to create a barrier using patrol bicycles between Trump protestors and Trump supporters as several groups rallied at Austin City Hall on Saturday. The event -- Trump/Pence Regime Must Go -- is demanding President Donald Trump to step down.
Rally organizers were calling for the community to take a stand to focus on issues impacting women, people of color, the LGBT community, healthcare and the environment, saying Trump and his administration are not fit for the role.
APD said they amped up security, saying they knew the groups involved would likely participate in open carry. With the help of the Department of Public Safety, they were able to bring in roughly 160 members in uniform to monitor the event.
Special Response Team Commander Michael Eveleth said the key to safety is communication between all parties involved. He believes this is what helps them stay ahead and keeps them in better shape for the unexpected.
"Yes, because if you just let everybody show up, then you don't have plan, then that's when things can go south,” Eveleth said.
Safe Streets Project Director Ivan Throne said he and his staff were at the rally to help keep the peace. His organization is known for using a “violent solutions technology engine that allows individuals to quickly, securely, and privately identify and flag violent street rioters for prosecution.”
"The cultural war between the right and the left in the United States is heating up, and it's going to continue to heat up, sitting on the sidelines and eventually you may not be interested in the cultural war, but the cultural war is interested in you,” Throne said.
"Law enforcement here, we certainly appreciate the sacrifice they make," he said. "They put their lives on the line for all of us, including those who don't appreciate them"
The rally moved from Austin City Hall down to Fourth street, where it later ended.
It will be one year since President Trump was elected into office on Nov. 8. The same group protesting Saturday will host another rally on the anniversary.
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