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Peace Prevails on the Streets of NY Amidst Protests and Political Tensions Surrounding Trump’s Indictment

Published: April 6, 2023
Trump supporters gather on the streets of New York City on April 4, 2023 anticipating the arrival of former U.S. president Donald Trump who has been charged with 34 felony charges stemming from an alleged hush-money payment made prior to his 2016 White House bid. (Image: Vision Times)

On April 4, both Trump supporters and detractors gathered on the streets of New York City as the former U.S. president attended court for the first time to defend himself against 34 felony counts levied on him by New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg. 

Despite heightened political tensions, the protests remained largely peaceful, a welcome scene in what was anticipated to be a tumultuous time that had the New York Police Department (NYPD) on heightened readiness.

“I’m glad to see people were peaceful. I’m glad to see people are taking their right to protest seriously and not being afraid to protest because we can only have a free society if people feel that they’re free to voice their opinions, even if they are differing opinions,” a protester, Ray, told the Epoch Times.

In anticipation of Trump’s indictment, NYPD leadership ordered its members to patrol in uniform and brace for potential disruptions following Trump’s indictment. Fortunately these disruptions never surfaced and the protests remained measured and peaceful.

Ray, who declined to provide his last name, said, “I’ve talked to all kinds of people here, and people are listening. Not always agreeing, and that’s OK, but people are listening.”

Trump, America’s 45th commander in chief and the leading contender for the Republican nomination in 2024, is facing 34 felony counts largely stemming from an alleged $130,000 hush-money payment he made to former adult film actress Stormy Daniels prior to his run for the White House in 2016.  

Many of Trump’s supporters, including Republican politicians, believe the charges are a ploy to prevent Trump from running in the upcoming 2024 presidential elections, a sentiment expressed by Trump supporters on the street.

The charges are “trumped up” said Ray, adding that “We don’t do that here. This is wrong. So, this to me is not even about supporting Trump or Biden. This could happen to Biden. I wouldn’t like this to happen to Biden either.”


‘I just want to learn’

In conversation with the Epoch Times, Lukas Ventouras, a 22-year-old university student from New York who believes the evidence against Trump is in the prosecutors favor said, “I just want to learn more about the people who are supporting [Trump] and understand why they feel the way they do,” adding that, “I’m really curious, and I’m just here to learn.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by 70-year-old Don Folden who traveled from as far away as Washington to peacefully protest. 

“What I’m trying to do is be the light because there’s so much darkness out there. I’m trying to be the light,” Folden said. 

While the protests remained peaceful, participants were both passionate and vocal about why they hit the streets.

One Trump supporter, who declined to provide her name, told Vision Times, “[Trump] cannot save this country by himself. We have to. Now it’s our turn to save this country,” adding that, “They know what is evil, what is good. Now, what they did is upside down, evil … if you didn’t feel it, then you haven’t woken up yet.”

There were some tense moments. In one incident a woman sporting a MAGA hat snatched a banner from detractors that read “Trump lies All the Time,” who was then knocked to the ground when the owners attempted to reclaim the banner, the Epoch Times reported. 

Steve Merczynski, a Trump supporter, said a Trump detractor “got in his face” during an argument. Witnesses to the altercation praised Merczynski for his composure and said he did “the smart thing” by walking away. 

“I’m all for debate. Debate is a good thing, you know. So, they’re just haters and they think they’re right, and I’m not going to shut up. They’re the ones who should be ashamed,” Merczynski told the Epoch Times.