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Supporters and protesters gather outside VP Pence rally

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PEWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Before Vice President Mike Pence kicked off his 'Faith in America' series of campaign stops here Tuesday, both supporters of the Trump administration and protesters gathered in the parking lot outside the event.

As protesters gathered outside the entrance to the Ingleside Hotel ahead of the motorcade's arrival, some supporters stood across on the other side of the entrance. The supporters watched the protesters, some taking photos or muttering under their breath but there were no confrontations.

Ideologically, however, the two sides clash fiercely over their perspectives on how the Trump/Pence administration is handling an especially challenging time in the United States between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the largest racial justice protests in a generation.

For the protesters, Pence's arrival meant confronting a symbol of federal leadership they say is carrying out cruel and unequal policies that harm immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.

"The border, I think it's horrible what they're doing down there," said Carol Landwehr, who was one of the first protesters to arrive. "The arrest and killings of unarmed Black people -- it's awful, everything is awful."

Landwehr, who stood with a sign that read "traitors and liars," said she was also upset with what she considered flagrant dishonesty from both Vice President Pence and President Donald Trump.

"It's the whole administration. It's far beyond bad," Landwehr said. "The lying is so bad. I'm really afraid for our children and grandchildren's future."

Supporters said they believe the Trump administration is doing all it can to unite people. Lennea Meddaugh, sporting one of the two "Make America Great Again" visors she bought from a nearby table, said her support for Trump has not waivered.

"Even though what the media is saying, I believe he's trying to bring everyone together," Meddaugh said. "Everyone is saying Trump is racist and I do not see it. They're portraying something that's not really true."

Protesters like Landwehr said they believe Trump administration's original policy of separating migrant children from their parents and the executive order to end DACA were acts driven by racism.

The two sides came together one last time after the event. Protesters chanted at supports as they drove away from the venue. To the side, one Trump support and one protester with 'BLM' across his mask engaged in a pointed but calm conversation.

A. J. Bayatpour

Reporter, WKOW 27

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