SunshineStateNews – Over the last few weeks, protesters against President Donald Trump have been showing up at local Republican rallies in Northeast Florida.
In Jacksonville, the Duval County GOP held a “Spirit of America” rally supporting Trump at the Jacksonville Landing. Two hundred Trump supporters appeared along with a handful of protesters who held up “Impeach Trump” signs. Talking with Sunshine State News, several of them identified themselves as being fans of former presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Duval County GOP Chair Karyn Morton says she wasn’t fazed by the protesters. “We expected them to show up, but it didn’t stop our message,” Morton said.
While the Trump protest in Jacksonville was small, just down the road in St. Johns County, traditionally a strong Republican area, their numbers were much larger.
Recently, the St. Johns County GOP held a pro-Trump rally in downtown St. Augustine. While there were around 300 Trump supporters, there were also some 50 protesters.
Indivisible America, the group organizing some of the protests on the First Coast, claims to be non-partisan, but its website hosts a guide to “resist the Trump agenda.”
Some of the protesters told Sunshine State News they hit Trump on a number of fronts, including accusing him of wanting to dismantle Planned Parenthood. They also took shots at Florida Gov. Rick Scott, blaming him for all the environmental problems in Florida.
Trump supporters have been quick to dismiss groups like Indivisible America as “fake protesters” who are being bused in from outside the area to cause problems. But Nell Toensmann, the chairwoman of the St. Johns Democratic Party says that’s not the case.
“No one is bused in from another county for any of these meetings or events and none of them are paid to organize these organizations,” she told SSN. “They are all doing this voluntarily. Nor is anyone in the local Democratic Party in a paid position. We are all volunteers.”