Gathered in a park a few miles from the Walmart store where 22 people were killed by a gunman on Saturday (August 3), people waved signs and chanted ‘El Paso strong’ and ‘go home, Trump.’ Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rouke and El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar addressed the crowd.
“At a time that we are under attack, we are told to remain silent, we are standing up, loud and proud to be counted with our fellow Americans as the best example of this country after one of the worst disasters she has ever seen,” O’Rourke said.
Protesters accused Trump of inflaming tensions with anti-immigrant and racially charged rhetoric.
“He has said some horrible things about many different people and his words have impacted our community. He’s motivated people to do hateful things, like what happened on Saturday,” said Veronica Carrillo, 37.
Trump visited survivors in their hospital rooms at the University Medical Center in El Paso. Supporters gathered outside the hospital holding signs welcoming him to the city.
“Not everyone in El Paso is a hater. Some of us love the president of the United States and we love the other El Pasoans, and we pray for the people who want us to hate each other,” said Tracy Kaden, 58, the owner of a small manufacturing company.
The massacre in the predominantly Hispanic city of El Paso is being investigated as a hate crime and act of domestic terrorism, authorities said. The FBI said the Dayton shooter also explored violent ideologies.
(Production: Jane Ross)