Four people were arrested and one Washington state trooper was hospitalized Saturday during a rally supporting President Donald Trump and a protest against the rally at Olympia’s Heritage Park.
The four arrested were part of the anti-Trump protest that gathered at the park in response to the rally. Sgt. James Prouty of the Washington State Patrol said the suspects were booked into the Thurston County jail on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.
One trooper transported himself to a local hospital after a protester threw an unknown substance on him, Prouty said.
About 200 Trump supporters and 125 protesters gathered in the park Saturday, the patrol estimated. However, initial estimates were higher.
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The rally was one of several Spirit of America rallies nationwide Saturday.
A couple of the Trump supporters openly carried guns, but most carried signs, American flags and Trump flags. Dozens wore red “Make America Great Again” hats, and others wore Trump shirts.
Former state Rep. Graham Hunt emceed the event, praising Trump’s work as president.
“That man is working,” Hunt said. “He’s been working every single day, and he’s calling out lies.”
Hunt, an Orting Republican, resigned from the Legislature last year after allegations that he lied about his military service, including about being wounded in combat.
He also stumped for the Just One Privacy Campaign, an initiative that would “require schools to maintain separate facilities for boys and girls and allow businesses to manage private areas in the way they feel is best for them,” according to the initiative website.
“They don’t belong showering next to little girls,” Hunt said. “And if you agree, I need your name on one of these initiative papers.”
Another speaker, April Ferguson of Suquamish, said she felt like Trump was handing the government back to the American people.
As people took the stage and spoke, protesters shouted, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.” People from both sides began trading insults, and eventually a line of troopers dressed in riot gear lined up to separate the two groups.
Many protesters covered their faces with scarves, bandannas and masks and declined to talk to The Olympian.
Another group of demonstrators stood along Fifth Avenue, waving at cars and playing music. Logan Peaden, 16, was among them.
The Olympia High School student said he’s worried Trump will destabilize the United States’ relationship with other nations — particularly those in NATO and the European Union. His father serves in the Air Force and will likely deploy again to Afghanistan — so he worries about conflict there, too.
Peaden said he also worries about LGBTQ rights under Trump.
“His decisions about transgender bathrooms were the last straw, in my opinion,” Peaden said.
He encourages other people his age to get involved in politics to effect positive change.
“Protesting in the streets doesn’t help, in my opinion,” Peaden said.
The rally wrapped up at about 1:30 p.m., with Trump supporters singing “God Bless America” and the national anthem. Many of the protesters booed in response.
As the ralliers left, the protesters moved into downtown Olympia’s streets, marching up Fourth Avenue. Olympia police officers, who had been standing by with bicycles, followed them, closing the streets.
The protesters dispersed shortly after.