WARREN – “Macomb County, let’s be clear, fascists are not welcome here,” a group of about 200 protesters chanted outside a Macomb County Republican Party’s Unity Dinner at Andiamo’s Banquet and Event Center.
The event’s keynote speaker was Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist and current Breitbart News executive chairman. The speaker sparked a reaction by the city.
A helicopter circled the event center for the entirety of the event, eight mounted policemen sat across the street, while countless policemen surrounded the area in an attempt to keep things peaceful between the two sides.
While the Trump crowd conjugated inside, about five supporters stayed outside to “protect the bridge,” they said.
The bridge is a massive creation of propaganda by Rob Coutis and has been a target for vandalism in the past, he told The AANews. He said he made the piece during the summer of 2016 and unveiled it that October. Coutis said he came to the event to support President Trump’s agenda and State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton), who announced his candidacy for governor in June.
The AANews was denied credentials for the event, but Coutis said the Event Center was sold-out, standing room only and filled with Trump supporters. The parking lot was filled and required shuttle buses to get some of the attendees to the event. Other guests parked across the street at Wal-Mart.
Outside the event, two political ideologies stood in opposition. One was chanting, “Bannon, Bannon, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay”, while the other attempted to drown it out by blaring “God Bless America” over loudspeakers.
The protest began at about 5 p.m. and continued well into the darkness of the cold winter night. At around 6:45 p.m., the group of 200 protesters was chanting so loudly that the Trump supporters were forced to turn up their speakers to drown out the chants.
“I would rather hear 50-year old American songs over and over again,” a member from the group “Bikers for Trump” told The AANews as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” boomed in the background.