“I don’t hate you, either,” replied the twenty-something protester.
The two shook hands, and the protester and her partner, Dwight Greaves, continued down the line, speaking to Trump supporters. Greaves held a sign, which read, “Dump the Chump” on one side and “A vote 4 Trump is a vote 4 hate” on the reverse. As Greaves walked down the line, he held his sign up for the Trump supporters. A woman began chanting, “We love Trump” in response. A few minutes after noon, the doors to the Blue Ribbon Pavilion were opened, and those in line began to make their way through security.
Among the crowd of Trump supporters was Jessie Reed of Noblesville.
“I’m just ready for something different,” Reed said. “I’m just tired of the politicians and lies … I’m just ready for a change. I love the way he’s just brutally honest.”
Annette Gross of Carmel was one of the first protesters to arrive outside of the pavilion. She wore a “Pence Must Go” t-shirt, and was one of the organizers of the April 9 Rally for Women’s Rights at the Statehouse.
“I’m not too happy with Donald Trump,” she said. “He’s meeting with Pence, and we’re against Pence’s policies … and Trump is just like Pence regarding immigration, regarding women, regarding LGBT rights, so we’re just here to lend our voice so people know how we feel.”
Although Gross said she was not expecting many protesters to turn out, at least seven groups of protesters, Indy Star reports that at least 400 protesters turned out by the end of the day, and at least seven groups of protesters were escorted from Trump’s speech.
Inside the pavilion, concessions were served as seats filled up and more people came in. Some came to support Trump, some came to protest Trump and some came to listen to what he had to say.
Andrew Quella of Indianapolis led the group in a chant of Trump’s name.
“I didn’t think it would actually take off but it did,” he said. “I was just joking but it worked.”
Although still undecided, Quella said he came out to hear what Trump had to say.
Logan and Timea, two Indianapolis residents who did not give last names, were also undecided.
“I’ve never seen a presidential candidate before,” Logan said. “I’ve never had the chance.”
Timea said she felt the same way, and wanted to experience what the environment was like at a political rally. Logan said that he was not a fan of Donald Trump “so far,” but he was trying to have an open mind.
Maggie Johnson and Jenna Woestman came to protest. Woestman wore a “never Trump” shirt, and Johnson wore one reading “Love God & Serve Others.”
Woestman said they were there to remind people that alternatives to Donald Trump exist, and that she was “pleasantly surprised” by the laid-back atmosphere at the rally. She was also happy that no one had confronted her in a hostile way about her shirt.
Before the rally, Trump met with Gov. Pence. The subject of their meeting is currently unknown. At around a quarter past three, Trump arrived. The crowd by this time had grown to over 1,000 people.
Trump’s hour-long speech discussed Carrier’s move from Indiana, and how they should have to pay a 35 percent tariff when exporting to the United States.
This was greeted with cheers, and Trump asked if anyone in the crowd worked for Carrier. Two people raised their hands, and Trump promised that he would impose the tax on Carrier.
Trump also created a hypothetical situation involving ISIS, saying that if Douglas MacArthur or George Patton were still alive, ISIS would have been defeated by now.
Throughout his time speaking, seven different groups of protestors were escorted out.
As Trump’s speech ended, the crowds began filing out. However, by the reporter’s pen stood three young people and an older woman. One of the young men wore a “Bernie” shirt, while one of his friends wore a homemade shirt that read “Love Trumps Hate.”
The three young men and the older woman spoke peacefully, and eventually all left together.
“I don’t hate you,” said the middle-aged man in line for the Trump rally.