The Pitt News

Ahead of Trump event, protestors begin march from Oakland to Downtown

Wenhao Wu | Staff Photographer

Wenhao Wu | Staff Photographer

Wenhao Wu | Staff Photographer

By Dale Shoemaker / News Editor

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Just minutes before Donald Trump was scheduled to speak at a town hall in Oakland, a group of protesters began a march toward Downtown, where Trump will host a rally later this evening.

With chants of “no Trump” and “black lives matter” intermixing, a crowd about a block long began marching down Fifth Avenue at about 5 p.m. Police blocked off part of Fifth Avenue for the protest, and Port Authority buses were stopped in the bus lane.

Trump is scheduled to tape a live town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity in Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall at 5:30 p.m.

Alongside protesters, Trump’s supporters have stationed themselves outside of Soldiers and Sailors since early this morning. Jordan Rothchild, a Pitt senior who said he likes Trump’s plans for the economy and taxes, arrived at 8 a.m. and was the first student in line.

“I think it’s important to show up and show my support and get a seat,” Rothchild, a chemical and petroleum engineer said.

Several groups, including a pro-Trump open-carry group, said before Wednesday they planned to hold events around Oakland. Members of the student organizations Fossil Free Pitt Coalition, The Fourth Wave and WHAT’S UP Pittsburgh, an anti-racism group, held a peaceful protest outside of the Frick Fine Arts Building.

Members of the open-carry group, who planned to meet at Mazeroski Field, did not show up.

As the morning turned into the afternoon, thousands of supporters and protesters lined up in front of Soldiers and Sailors, which police estimated numbering more than 1,500 at about 2:30 p.m.

Continue to follow The Pitt News for updates, videos and photographs of the events.

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Ahead of Trump event, protestors begin march from Oakland to Downtown