Photos Copyright 2017 Jimi Giannatti / American Babylon
Donald Trump came to Phoenix on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 for a campaign rally.
This is strange for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Donald Trump was inaugurated as President only eight months ago. President #Cult45 gave a speech which was received fantastically well amongst his hardcore supporters. Those who are not fans of Donald Trump found themselves expressing a mixture of revulsion, horror, confusion and fear at what may come from this President's circus tragicus next.
Up to and until the time the Presidential motorcade left the area, the entire scene was heated and physically hot and predictably intense, but nonviolent. Accounts of who threw what at whom first differ, but there is no doubt at all that the Phoenix Police Department unleashed a barrage of force against protesters at the area of 2nd Street & Monroe. They sustained this force for nearly an hour. Included in the barrage were: tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and flashbangs.
The Phoenix Police Department contends that the protesters are the ones that started the whole thing when one or more of them allegedly threw gas cannisters at police dressed in riot gear. They are accused by people who were at the event of failing to communicate with protesters and spraying people arbitrarily including children and people who were not acting in any mode of aggression or illegality.
I sat down with activist and community organizer Zaira Livier and we talked about our (quite different) experiences attending the rally. Zaira has a few things to say about the actions of the Phoenix Police, their use of force against innocent people, and the overall tone of the rally.