Trump train travels through Anna, Ill., draws counter-protesters
“Somebody different, just somebody with testicular fortitude,” Young said. “I’ve been a voter for 42 years and it’s the same thing over and over, but he was something different, something new, something fresh I figured I’d give him a try and I’m glad I did.”
October 10, 2020
The Union County Republican Central Committee hosted a Trump rally and convoy in Anna, Ill. on Saturday.
Vehicles began arriving at 11:00 a.m., many of which flew Trump 2020, Don’t Tread on Me, and Confederate flags/stickers, along with American flags.
The pro-Trump convoy had 82 vehicles total, holding at least two people per car. The route started and ended at South Transcraft Drive in Anna.
The convoy drove through Union County for about two hours and passed through Lick Creek, Saratoga, Cobden, Alto Pass, Wolf Lake, Ware, Jonesboro, Mill Creek, and Dongola.
The Trump train took place at the same time as Anna’s second Black Lives Matter protest, which was also supposed to be a convoy. There were more than 200 Trump supporters at the rally and five Black Lives Matter protesters met them at the rally to counterprotest.
Most of the Trump supporters said they supported the president because of his pro-life views, while the Black Lives Matter protesters said they were there to protest racism.
Takiyah Coleman and a group of organized Black Lives Matter Protesters attended the Trump Train Rally in Anna, Ill. on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, where Coleman confronted and argued with a Trump supporter who refused to give their name. @dailyegyptian pic.twitter.com/XZoy2ZFCgY
— Leah Sutton (@LeahSutton_) October 11, 2020
Maria Lingle, a 27-year-old resident of Jonesboro, said she considers herself to be a “diehard” fan of Trump.
“Trump brings a lot of jobs to this country,” Lingle said. “He’s a very good guy, I think.”
Later in the day the rally was met by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who were responding to the gathering.
Lingle said she believes racism is not supposed to be allowed in America because it is a free country.
Lingle and her husband attended the rally in a truck with stickers which read “ALL LIVES SPLATTER / NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR PROTEST’ and ‘BLM BECAUSE LOOTING MATTERS.”
Takiyah Coleman, 19 years old, of Anna, organized a small Black Lives Matter protest that coincided with the Trump rally.
Anna has long been regarded as a “sundown town” in southern Illinois and held their very first Black Lives Matter demonstration this summer.
(See more: Gallery: Hope for Change- Anna Illinois).
Coleman, Jessica Moore and Luke Herron-Titdus, Black Lives Matter protesters from Olin, Ill., and Jackson County, confronted protesters and said they were racist for supporting Trump.
A protester, who refused to give her name, accused the Black Lives Matter protesters of starting problems with the Trump supporters.
“You think everyone is racist and we’re not,” the protester said to Coleman.
Coleman said she knows plenty of people who aren’t racist but driving with ‘All Lives Matter’ and Trump and Vice President Mike Pence endorsement stickers is racist.
“You might think that all lives don’t matter, but they do,” the protester said. “Be an American.”
Coleman said living in Anna has been a very big obstacle for her as a Black woman because of racism.
“I want acknowledgment,” she said. “The first step is acknowledging we have a big problem here.”
Moore said the racism in Anna is old and it’s always been a problem there.
“This one incident I was at the gas station not too long ago, it was after the Anna protest here, and somebody yelled out the n-word through the window at me,” Moore said.
Herron-Titdus said Anna needs Black Lives Matter protests to show anti-racist people in racist communities their voice matters.
“All lives can’t matter until Black lives do,” Herron-Titus said.
Chip Young, of Anna, Ill., said he supports Trump because he is pro-gun, pro-life, pro-God and pro-America. He said he didn’t understand how former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden could be a devout Catholic and still support abortion.
However, a slight majority of Catholics in America support abortion rights, according to the Pew research center.
(See more: Views about abortion among Catholics).
Young said he feels Trump is just like everyday people because he is not a politician.
“Somebody different, just somebody with testicular fortitude,” Young said. “I’ve been a voter for 42 years and it’s the same thing over and over, but he was something different, something new, something fresh. I figured I’d give him a try and I’m glad I did.”
Chairman of Union County Stan Hunter, said the reason he supports Trump is because he is a constitutionalist, and believes despite his “antics and policies” is a strong leader.
“If we don’t stand up and keep the constitution and the Supreme Court and keep someone who’s striving to make America great, make us the constitutional government we are, it’s all over,” Hunter said.
Hunter said he helped organize the rally to show the county holds conservative values and the Republican Party is what has given them the freedoms it has.
Staff reporter George Wiebe can be reached at [email protected]
Staff reporter Keaton Yates can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @keatsians.
Staff reporter Jamilah Lewis can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @jamilahlewis.
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