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Politics & Government

Demonstrations outside Clinton event reflect a mash-up of interests

Trump supporters at the Hillary Clinton speech in Warren.
Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio
Trump supporters at the Hillary Clinton speech in Warren.

Under the watchful eyes of several Warren police officers, about 40 Trump supporters gathered on one side of the street, near the building where Hillary Clinton gave a speech on her economic policies.

About 30 supporters of Clinton gathered on the other side.

“Lock her up!” chanted the Trump side. “Where’s your taxes?” chanted the Clinton side.

A Trump supporter at Hillary Clinton's speech on the economy in Warren.
Credit Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio
A Trump supporter at Hillary Clinton's speech on the economy in Warren.

On the Trump side, Lisa Mankiewicz of Shelby Township is a true believer. She is sure Donald Trump will create jobs, and Hillary Clinton won’t.

“I support Trump for  I could go on for days,” said Mankiewicz.  “I want a safe country for my kids, I want our jobs back, I want our police respected.”

Mankiewitcz says she’s not opposed to immigration, but “it has to be legal immigration. We have to know who you are.“

Then she adds, “Do you know Dearborn and Hamtramck are ‘no go’ zones?  You're not welcome unless you're Muslim!” Another woman chimes in, “There’s Sharia law there!” 

Another woman says, “They threw stones at Christians in Dearborn, but the media wouldn’t report it!”

Over on the other side of the street, Dolores Akins says she’s here “to support my girl Hillary Clinton!  She’s always been there for us.”

Akins says she’s worried about what Donald Trump might do in the White House.

“Because if he push a button, I'm quite sure they're gonna push one back.  So where would we be then? He's gonna be in the bunker – where will you and I be?  Under the bed.” She laughs, and then stops suddenly. “For real.”

Jeff Kowalkowski of Sterling Heights was one of three anti-war protestors against Clinton. He says given Clinton's frequent support of military force, he isn’t sure Trump would be a worse president.

“Sometimes I think you’ve got somebody like a Trump who might not know what he’s doing.  That might sometimes be a better situation than having somebody in who’s competent who’s starting wars.”

Three Bernie Sanders supporters also came to protest Clinton.

Credit Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio
Hillary Clinton showed up outside, too.

Brandon Strong thinks there’s still a sliver of hope. If Clinton has to withdraw from the race, he speculates, maybe Sanders could step in at the last minute.

Strong says both Trump and Clinton are part of the machinery of the oligarchy – moneyed groups including the media that choose the candidates and control the narrative, giving voters no real choices.

Strong is also displeased that Clinton did not support a Sanders-led effort to place removing marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act in the Democratic Party platform.

With only a few exceptions, there was no attempt at actual dialog between those with opposing views.

But people got plenty of exercise of their right to free speech.