By Alex P. Vidal
“When you become part of something, in some way you count. It could be a march; it could be a rally, even a brief one. You’re part of something, and you suddenly realize you count. To count is very important.”— Studs Terkel
I WAS one of the journalists who covered the pro-Trump New York City rally, which started at six o’clock in the evening outside the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg at the Manhattan Criminal Court on March 20, 2023.
I arrived at past four o’clock in the afternoon and noticed a sparse crowd. The area had been surrounded by the New York Police Department (NYPD) cops and Secret Service police.
The rally was staged by the New York Young Republicans and Long Island Loud Majority in response to the call by former President Donald Trump to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK” in anticipation that he would be charged criminally for years-old hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Like other journalists, I expected a big crowd but as scores of camera-toting crew and “ambush” interviewers like me ambled around, taking pictures, recording videos in cellphones, and desperately looking for interviews, I noticed members of the media vastly outnumbered the former president’s supporters at the demonstration.
Was the former president losing his appeal to the New York GOP supporters? Or they were only adamant to join the rally for fear of being identified?
The paranoia about a big crowd that sent the media and authorities to the area turned out to be a dud.
I stood on a wooden bench and started counting and estimating the crowd.
It was one of the smallest gathering of protesters in a widely announced political rally that I’ve covered: at least 90 members of media were present as against 70 to 80 rallyists.
A protester, who covered his face with an American flag, exclaimed, “I had like 50 cameras on me!” He later sounded secretly he was thrilled he’d likely be in the paper the next day.
I saw someone who looked like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga) in the crowd. Greene has been angling to be Mr. Trump’s candidate for vice presidente.
The rally developed into a press conference as some members of the media scrambled to interview “young” republicans, staff of GOP lawmakers, Trump die hards and election deniers willing to speak to reporters.
A rowdy man who stood beside me most of the time during the rally stole the show by interrupting the press conference yelling “Fuck you” and “Fuck Trump” multiple times.
Rally organizers attempted but failed to pacify him as he grew more aggressive and unruly each time they confronted him. I later identified him only as “Job.”
“I live near this place. No one can tell me to go away because this is a public place,” bewailed Job. “If Trump will be arrested tomorrow you will all jump from the Empire State building. Listen all of you. You came here only for one man? Who is he (referring to Mr. Trump)? He is only a developer.”
I briefly interviewed fellow Queens resident Stephanie Lu, a Chinese-American Trump loyalist who carried a huge “Trump won” placard and was among the early birds.
She dared the media “to tell the truth.” Lu, accompanied by several fellow Chinese-Americans Trump die hards, hit “(President) Joe Biden for his political harassment on President Trump.”
Also present in the crowd, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were white nationalists and members of an Austrian political party formed by Nazi party members during World War II.
Interestingly on March 21 morning, demonstrators who want a Trump indictment far outnumbered MAGA supporters outside the Manhattan Criminal Court, where the former president was expected to be charged as early as March 22.
The pro-indictment protesters gathered in front of the building where Bragg was investigating Mr. Trump over a hush-money payment made to the sex symbol during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. Let’s fight back with this heart-healthy advice: Stop smoking, add exercise, shake the salt habit, manage our diabetes, take our medicine.
WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS: Older adults who keep busy with hobbies live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Gardening, nature walks, and all types of dance fuel the spirit and strengthen the body.
Some of the largest breasts ever recorded figure in the book “Human Oddities” by Martin Monestier. The weight of each breast of the woman he mentions in the book is 44 pounds (19.8 kg) while their circumference is 33″ (83.82 cm).
Acrotomophilla occurs when we have a sexual attraction to amputees.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)