ST. GEORGE — Local political activists hosted a Make America Great Again Rally in St. George on Saturday, showing their disdain for the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
Dixie Republican Forum Chairman Larry Meyers organized the event at Vernon Worthen Park alongside congressional candidate Mary Burkett and St. George City Council candidate Greg Aldred after Southern Utah Pride had 30 banners advertising the annual Pride event hung on St. George Boulevard in September.
“We decided to make it strongly in support of President Trump because the Democrats are trying to impeach him, and we want to show our support for the president,” Meyers said.
Meyers told St. George News he went to the city council to get his own banners put up almost immediately but was told he needed to have an event in order to have them hung. Meyers, Burkett and Aldred began organizing the event, applying for the banners.
However, Meyers said, as they submitted the application, the city council told organizers they were working to amend city ordinances to prohibit political groups from posting banners and would not hang theirs.
“I don’t like to see the city being used by different political groups,” Meyers said. “I think the city should represent all of the citizens. When one particular political group gets to put up its banners and another doesn’t, I don’t think that’s fair.”
Meyers said the group decided to have the event anyway, joining countless other protests across the nation to voice disdain for the House of Representative’s investigation against Trump.
Meyers said he expected less than 100 people to attend, stating that event organizers didn’t have a lot of time or the budget to advertise. Despite the relatively small number of attendees, Meyers said there was a “good and lively crowd” with a fantastic turn out.
The rally included a number of guest speakers, including local politicians. Attendees were also able to gather information about upcoming local and national elections as well as what they can do to be politically involved. Patriotic signs and attire were encouraged but not required, and the only rule was to respect everyone in attendance.
Participants were asked to refrain from bringing offensive signs or wearing derogatory clothing, adding that although the event respects freedom of speech and expression, the park is considered a family environment.
“We are celebrating what makes America great,” Meyers said. “We’re celebrating God, family, country. We’re celebrating freedom.”
A small group of counter-protesters gathered on the outside corner of the park before making their way through the group of attendees. Like many of the rally participants, the protestors learned about the rally days or hours in advance with little time to plan. All three protestors said they attended the rally to provide “the much-needed counter-argument.”
Joseph Platt, one of the protesters, said he does not support the president because of his actions when it comes to children at the border, pulling troops from Turkey and actions he takes in his personal life. He doesn’t see the president as a role model for young men and wouldn’t want young women to aspire to have husbands like him.
“We can’t just stand by,” Platt said. “It’s one thing to just sort of grumble about one thing after another that Trump does, but at some point, you have to do what little you can.”
Meyers doesn’t mind seeing protestors at rallies, he said, as long as they are respectful.
“We anticipated that there might be some people who wanted to protest, and that’s fine as long as they don’t interrupt our program,” Meyers said. “If people want to come and hold signs or talk to people before or after the program, that’s fine. But during our program we would expect people to be respectful and orderly.”
Meyers rounded out the rally by announcing the top 10 reasons he supports the president, including Trump’s support of the troops, his ability to create tax cuts and how the president stands up for himself and his country.
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