Fresh off his defense of the white supremacists and violent racists who gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump is returning to Phoenix tomorrow.
Trump’s opponents, however, are ready for him. A broad swath of groups have pledged to protest his return trip to the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday evening, from Puente to the Democratic Socialists of Phoenix to the First Congregational United Church of Christ.
Searching through social media shows at least 10 events will protest Trump's return to the Valley. U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva will be at the convention center, and several other elected officials will rally at the Capitol. A couple of groups will come out in support of Trump, too.
What Trump will say inside the convention center is still a mystery, though a potential pardon for former sheriff and recently convicted criminal Joe Arpaio is on the table. Regardless, there should be plenty of activity outside of the convention hall.
Puente Human Rights Movement
Puente, a longstanding organization that fights for undocumented immigrants and was instrumental in the campaign against Joe Arpaio, will host an event, “White Supremacy Will Not be Pardoned," at 6 p.m. The organization said activists won't stand by while Trump floats the possibility of a presidential pardon for Arpaio.
"We want to send a very clear message that we will not pardon white supremacy the way he has done so with #Charlottesville and now with Joe #Arpaio," the group wrote on Facebook. "Show up and tell him he is not welcome" and that we will never pardon white supremacy! they added.
Never Again: Jews and Allies Against Hate Rally
On Tuesday afternoon, several politicians and organizations will rally against hate and intolerance at the Capitol building. David Schapira, a Tempe City Council Member and candidate for state superintendent of public instruction, and Robert Meza, a state senator, will be there. Organizations including the Anti-Defamation League of Arizona, Arizona Jews for Justice, and the Arizona Jewish Historical Society also say they will attend.
"In the hours before the Trump rally in Phoenix, we will make clear that we will not accept the false equivalency between neo-Nazis and peaceful protesters who oppose hate. We will not stand by as Nazism makes a resurgence in America. Never again can the people of this country or this state allow hate to become fashionable," says the event's description.
While many other groups are convening at the hall where Trump will hold the rally, this event will take place at the State Capitol building from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Unity March Against Hate and Bigotry
Organized by the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Phoenix, the combined vigil and march will start with a 6 p.m. gathering at the church, located at 1407 North Second Street. Some attendees will process to St. Mary's Basilica Courtyard from First Church UCC; others will gather directly at the convention center. Those at the convention center plan to march to the State Capitol at 8:30 p.m.
The organization, formed in solidarity with the Sioux Nation of Standing Rock, North Dakota, will march from the Tonatierra Community Development Institute on North Seventh Street to the convention center at 7 p.m. The event listing says, "We would like to encourage our Indigenous peoples to wear their Traditional clothes and jewelry! Our goal is to be peaceful and prayerful with drums and positive vibes!"
Anti-Fascist Action (Antifa)
Arizonans aligned with the controversial leftist anti-fascist action organization will be at the convention center at 6 p.m., according to their website, which tells supporters to look for the black flags.
"We will converge, in the spirit of solidarity and hostility to the current order, and as a physical body ready to act in self-defense and mutual protection of each other from cops, fascists, and liberal/radical 'peace police,'" their website states.
Recently, Antifa has attracted significant media attention for their black-bloc outfits and willingness to clash physically with white supremacists. They've also become a boogeyman for right-wing outlets, with many equating Antifa to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, much in the way that Trump did last week. But Antifa argues that their response to the fascists and white supremacists in our midst is the appropriate one:
"They want to build a white ethno-state in the US," their website says. "Indigenous people, immigrants, anarchists, and other have fought white nationalists, neo-nazis, and anti-immigrant zealots in the streets for years in Arizona."
Cosplayers Against Hate
Costume and superhero enthusiasts aim to inject some levity into the protest outside of the convention hall. Their goals? According to the event page: "1. Protest peacefully. 2. Empower people with positive imagery. 3. Keep the energy up, nothing beats Captain [America] standing on your side against Nazis!" Can't argue with that.
The cosplayers plan to join the First Church UCC's march and vigil.
Democratic Socialists of America - Phoenix
Phoenix's DSA chapter members will join in solidarity with Puente's event, starting at 6 p.m, according to the chapter leadership.
The anti-Trump umbrella organization which coordinates manifold events, including protests and phone banks, aims to "greet the Don with empty seats & protest filled streets." They plan to have members at Puente's event, and are encouraging people to sign up for tickets in order to deny Trump the audience he so dearly craves.
The post-election action group Desert Progressives is canceling a regular meeting and will be outside of the convention center instead. "We strongly urge you to bring your protest signs and join us to stand together against racism, xenophobia and hate," the event listing states.
Students for a Democratic Society, Arizona State University
An ASU chapter of the organization which takes its name from the activist movement of the 1960s, the group's members will throw their collective weight behind Puente's protest.
Bikers 4 Trump
The "Arizona Cobras" chapter of bikers who support Trump say they will be at the venue to "protect event-goers."
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From the event page: "There have been plans for Charlottesville sympathizers to protest. We need our bikers to show up and keep people safe...If there are people outside waiting to get in I don't want anyone to harrass [sic] them. Protesters have a right to protest, but they don't have a right to threaten or intimidate. That is why we need to be there."
There's also the not-very-imaginatively-named event Stand for Patriotism, which is in support of Trump's rally. Similarly, Maricopa County's chapter of Young Republicans is encouraging people to attend the rally with the title, "Trump Takes AZ."