BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — While Donald Trump pledged he would “do such great things” for America at a rally in Bridgeport on Saturday, about 100 protesters and onlookers waving signs outside the event at the Klein Memorial Auditorium weren’t so sure.
Sonya Huber of Stratford, a professor at Fairfield University, said she and a few students joined the crowd in large part because of the Republican presidential frontrunner’s past statements about Muslims and immigrants.
“His message is very scattered and disorganized, and it’s just really to divide people,” Huber said, holding up a neon orange “No Hate, No Trump” sign.
Huber and the students had tried to get into the rally, but tickets were required to the private event at the Klein Memorial Auditorium.
The group chanted “No hate in our state!” while some reacted to jeers from Trump supporters who spoke through the tall metal gate around the auditorium’s main parking lot.
“This is what a united Bridgeport looks like,” Milford resident Elliott Abbotts called into a megaphone he was carrying. Abbotts thanked police for keeping the scene orderly.
A Bernie Sanders supporter, Abbotts said he appreciates the two-party system but would like to see a more serious candidate win the GOP nod.
“Donald Trump is not a real Republican,” he said.
Bridgeport resident Gabriel Castro Hernandez, who rode his bike through the protest, said he finds Trump too divisive.
“We represent love. We don’t need more hate,” he said. “Donald Trump, he’s a Christian. I believe that. But his message is negative. We don’t need that in this city.”
Mohammad Asgager, also of Bridgeport, said he wants to put a woman in the White House.
“We vote for Hillary (Clinton) as a woman,” he said. “Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese … Everyone should vote for Hillary. She loves everybody!”
A little way down the street a lone woman from Westchester County, N.Y., who declined to give her name, held a sign with an image of the Statue of Liberty with her head in her hand. It read “Please, not Trump.”
“I came her because I feel like I have to stand up for what I believe in,” she said, shrugging.
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