A rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Fox Theatre brought hundreds of people, mostly protesters, to the streets of Midtown Wednesday.
Police estimated about 400 people were outside throughout the event, according to the Atlanta Police Department’s Sgt. Warren Pickard.
The sidewalk across the street from the Fox Theatre was packed with people around noon, some of them carrying signs with slogans like “Dump Trump” and “Love Trumps Hate.”
Sharon Love, a resident of Midtown who was carrying one of those signs, said Trump’s comments on banning Muslims didn’t sit well with her.
“Because if today he’s speaking out against Muslims, what if Catholics make him angry tomorrow? What if Atheists make him angry tomorrow? What happens next? Who else do we ban? Who else do we come down on?” Love said.
State Democratic leaders held a press conference earlier in the day, denouncing Trump’s candidacy.
“Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to American security – he is temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief,” said DuBose Porter, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia.
About 3,500 people were inside the Fox Theatre, mostly in support of Trump, many wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.
Bryan Ottalini came to support Trump and said he agreed with his positions, including what Trump has said about banning Muslim immigration.
“The Democrats have allowed these people to come in and the American people are at the highest risk of danger. They want to take our guns away so we can’t protect ourselves – it just doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “Immigrant control. That’s what we need. Not gun control.”
At times, the atmosphere became tense outside with Trump supporters and opponents occasionally clashing on the sidewalk and exchanging sharp words. But heavy rains as the event inside concluded also dispersed some of the crowd outside.
Atlanta police say they arrested a total of five people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges, and the individuals were being held at the city jail.