Residents of Lafayette, California, are frustrated by supporters of President Donald Trump who continue to demonstrate on a freeway overpass months after the 2021 election.
The pro-Trump demonstrators meet twice a week waving banners and flags, playing music and bull-horning their message to cars driving below.
In one photo from an event, demonstrators are waving banners that state, “Sleepy Joe Is Not My President,” with various other Trump and American flags in the mix.
The rallies, held every Monday and Friday since August, are attended by at least a dozen people, and neighborhood residents are fed up.
The Lafayette City Council says they’ve been receiving numerous complaints from citizens alleging the rallies are unsafe for drivers.
“This issue is one that keeps me up at night. It is the one that is, it is a tough one,” Lafayette Mayor Susan Candell told the city council. “It is a complicated issue, obviously, now that we are bringing in state agencies it just makes everything far more complicated.”
While the City has asked the California Highway Patrol for help, Lafayette police say they’ve arrested at least two protesters, without explaining why.
“We have made arrests where applicable and we have presented cases to the DA office,” Chief Ben Alldritt said during a Zoom meeting with the city council.
The mayor has also claimed she’s concerned with reports of violence from the group, but in one instance she notes, a counter-protester was behind the violent acts.
“The events have also attracted counter-protesters at various times; and one occasion, a counter protester grabbed a flagpole and threw it over the fencing to the highway below,” Candell writes in a statement to be issued next week.
Despite wanting the protesters to go away, the mayor says she’s also concerned with violating their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble.
“All members of the public, no matter where they live, have the right to peacefully assemble on the overpass. If the City of Lafayette were to hinder those rights, it could expose the City to significant legal challenges, and perhaps, make Lafayette a focal point for future protests.”
The city council plans to continue discussing the issue at upcoming meetings.
Until then the pro-Trump demonstrations will roll on.
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