Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Protesters trade barbs and insults with hundreds of Trump supporters as they leave Smith Reynolds Airport

Protesters trade barbs and insults with hundreds of Trump supporters as they leave Smith Reynolds Airport


About 60 protesters loudly voiced their opposition when President Donald Trump spoke Tuesday night on the tarmac at Smith Reynolds Airport. And the protesters traded barbs and insults with Trump supporters outside the airport.

After Trump finished speaking around 8:10 p.m., throngs of his supporters walked from the campaign's venue to the airport's exit at Norfleet Drive and North Liberty Street.

As the Trump enthusiasts crossed Liberty Street, the anti-Trump protesters yelled at them, calling them "liars, and "losers," and chanting "No Trump, no KKK — no fascist USA." Some Trump supporters responded by saying, "Trump 2020, let's go," "Four more years," and "U.S.A."

Eight Winston-Salem police officers stood in Liberty Street and on both sides of the street, directing traffic and separating the two sides. Although both groups yelled and screamed at each other, sometimes face to face, there was no violence.

A man yelled "Build the Wall" at the protesters as he walked in the right lane of North Liberty Street. Two officers yelled at the man to get on the sidewalk. The man eventually complied with the officers' commands.

In the video above, President Donald Trump made erroneous claims about North Carolina's coronavirus-related restrictions: In North Carolina, you can indeed go to church. To quote Gov. Roy Cooper's latest executive order detailing the state's current restrictions: "Worship, religious, and spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights are exempt from all the requirements of this Executive Order." Also in the governor's latest executive order on coronavirus-related restrictions, there is no mention of a limit on how many people can gather for campaigning. Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people while outdoor gatherings are limited to 50.

An officer had earlier yelled at the protesters and Trump supporters to stay on the sidewalks along North Liberty Street.

A woman wearing a Trump T-shirt said to her friend, "I'm going to get a video to see what ignorance looks like." A protester then yelled at her and other Trump supporters "to go back to your trailers."

A video screen in the airport's lower parking lot showed Trump speaking to the crowd on a tarmac. When they heard Trump speak, the protesters loudly yelled, "You're fired," "Dump Donald Trump," "Not my president," "Lock him up," and "Black Lives Matter."

A man carrying a U.S. flag said that "All lives matter," as he crossed Liberty Street. A protester responded, "They don't love you bro."

A tense moment happened just after 7 p.m. when protesters confronted a man and woman across the street from the airport's entrance. The man, who said he supports Trump, and the protesters exchanged angry words and taunts.

The protesters demanded that the man and woman put on masks. The man then accused at least one protester of spitting on him during their confrontation.

After several more moments of confrontation between the couple and the protesters, the couple walked away from the protesters.

Percell Newman of Winston-Salem watched the protesters from across Liberty Street near the airport's entrance.

"I think they are ignorant," Newman said of the protesters. "They are being rude to the people who are just crossing the street. They (the protesters) can just go home."

However, Jamaal Oti of Winston-Salem said that the anti-Trump protesters were expressing their First Amendment rights. The protesters are bringing awareness to the issues that some people may not know about, especially in the black community, Oti said.  

A group of protesters drove to 4300 block of Old Walkertown Road, walked to the airport's entrance and joined other demonstrators who had already been standing at the site.

Many of the same protesters had earlier attended a rally called, "Ain't Happening Here: Community over Regime."

That event was held at Fairview Park, about two miles from the airport. The organization, Building WSNC, staged what it described as a civil, peaceful demonstration at the park.

Building Winston-Salem is a group of community activists whose mission is to overturn structures that do not serve everyone equitably, the statement said. The organization is a coalition of 17 local groups, including the Triad Abolition Project and Black Lives Matter-Winston-Salem.

Annalise Sattler, a founder member of Building WSNC, read a letter that the organization sent on Monday to Mayor Allen Joines of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough Jr., District Attorney Jim O'Neill, Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson, the Forsyth Board of Commissioners, and the Winston-Salem City Council.

"On behalf of the constituents of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, N.C., we would like to express our shared disappointment in the empty words, regressive actions, and harmful inactions of our elected officials," Sattler said, quoting the letter.

"In a time where our community is healing from the neglect and distrust, it was your duty to protect your citizens from the irresponsible rhetoric spewed by the president," Sattler said. "Yet, you have once again chosen to be silent and neglect the community that elected you.

"Winston-Salem is no stranger to silence from our leaders," Sattler said.

Benjamin Spencer, who lives near Pfafftown, criticized Trump at the Fairview Park rally.

"We have a fascist as president," Spencer said. "He's in a city where he shouldn't be in. He doesn't act like a real American."



Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Tevin LaMar Bonner was only in Winston-Salem to install alarm systems but his encounter with two teenage boys one June night resulted in him getting shot and left for dead. On Wednesday, the two boys, now 16 and 15, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and got prison time.

A 17-year-old Winston-Salem teenager was convicted of raping a Kernersville woman and beating her up in her garage in September 2020. Prosecutors said that the teenager raped the woman twice, first in her garage and then again in a bedroom where he had forced her daughter into a closet. The woman was just feet away from her daughter while the teenager raped her. 

Recommended for you

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News