Students and community members gathered on Toomer’s Corner on Friday, Nov. 20, for what they called the Freedom Rally, mostly unmasked and waving Trump 2020 and American flags proudly in the air.
Other individuals gathered to protest the rally, holding Biden-Harris signs, pride flags and chanting “Baddies for Biden." Both groups remained peaceful throughout the day, although some tense conversations were had between them.
The idea for the Freedom Rally came earlier in the week to Lee Garris, freshman in music education.
“I’m a big Trump supporter, of course,” Garris said. “There’s nothing really like this in Auburn, and I wanted to show support for him, because he’s still my president. To show that we’re not dead, and the silent majority isn’t actually silent.”
Garris, like many other supporters, wanted to show support for President Donald Trump through the president's claims of election fraud.
“There is all of the evidence for election fraud like the spikes in only Biden tickets [and] Dominion voting, which is owned by two Venezuelan people,” Garris said. “It’s not healthy for American voting to have different countries making out software.”
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
The Associated Press has concluded that Dominion Voting Systems, which have come under fire recently by Trump's legal team for playing a role in supposed election fraud, do not have any ties to Venezuela. The use of Dominion Voting Systems is not permitted in Alabama, per a release from the Secretary of State's office on Nov. 17.
AP also concluded that the presidential election was not tainted by widespread election fraud.
Taylor Gusler, sophomore in conservation biology and psychology, was one of the students at the forefront of the other group. He also sits in with the anti-racism protesters every night and is adamant that there was no election fraud, which is one of the reasons he decided to participate in the anti-rally.
“It is just as much my right as it is their's to be here,” Gusler said. “They’re completely unaware of the fact that the ballots have been counted and recounted, the election results have been verified ... It really blows my mind, and it’s also kind of scary.”
Garris said he hopes in the coming months the country will see justice and a fair election.
“Hopefully it ends up with [Trump] winning and being able to carry on what he’s been doing,” Garris said.
Garris says he hopes that Trump will be able to continue carrying out his "Platinum Plan" — a plan where he works with Black celebrities to be able to continue to increase opportunities for Black Americans.
“I care a lot about the Black community; my best friend is Black, and I think they will be able to thrive more under Trump,” Garris said. “Everyone’s always talking about race and Biden has been a racist, but people didn’t start calling Trump a racist until he ran for office.”
Gusler acknowledged the harm Biden had done in authoring the Crime Bill in 1994, which was one of the reasons Garris said he was a racist, but said that he has more hope for Biden unifying the country.
Throughout the rally, a student intermittently played the National Anthem on his horn, to which the group protesting the Freedom Rally silently got on their knees in protest. The Trump supporters, in contrast, chanted "USA, USA, USA."
“I can see Biden’s effort in trying to unify people, and I think he will take the necessary steps in approaching it,” Gusler said. “I hope we will be able to be unified again, because Donald Trump has intentionally divided us.”
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman