SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Dozens of demonstrators gathered in front of a mega-church in Southwest Miami-Dade where President Donald Trump held a campaign rally aimed at galvanizing evangelical supporters.
Protesters held up signs and chanted as the commander in chief’s motorcade made its way into the parking lot of King Jesus International Ministry, also known as Ministerio Internacional El Rey Jesús, near Southwest 144th Avenue and 141st Street, Friday afternoon.
“What do we reject? Hate!” protesters chanted near the entrance to the house of worship, just after 5 p.m.
Demonstrators did not mince words about what they think about Trump.
“I think that our president is evil, and I don’t use that word lightly,” said activist Kathy Hersch. “I’m here for love. I’m here for understanding.”
“Love trumps hate!” some protesters chanted.
Participants at the demonstration, organized by Broward for Progress and Women’s March Miami, said their main mission was to let people know that the crowd inside the church doesn’t reflect everyone in Miami-Dade County. They also said they want to call attention to Trump’s impeachment and his upcoming Senate trial.
Demonstrators also expressed concern about Trump’s decision to order an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport that resulted in the death of a top Iranian general.
Protesters said prayers for peace while pushing back on the president’s more controversial policies.
Once the sun set, protesters began to hold up flashlights. Organizers said the gesture aims to “shine a light on the misdeeds of the president.”
“We need to shine light on some of the atrocities and the inhumane decisions and the violations of the Constitution that are taking place under this administration,” said Debbie Wehking with Women’s March Miami.
Even though the crowd of anti-Trump protesters that has come together about five blocks away from the church entrance has continued to grow, protester Rosana Melau said she was hoping for a bigger turnout.
“It’s outrageous, and I’ve talked to so many of my Latin friends, and they’re outraged, but they are not here,” she said. “It’s not translating into action, and we need them to translate into action. Don’t just sit there and say, ‘Oh, wow.’ Come out and support, come out and be outraged, show your outrage in public.”
A handful of Trump supporters also took their place on a sidewalk across from the protesters.
“Four more years!” they chanted.
Amid the competing calls to reelect and remove the president from office, many questioned the church’s decision to host the commander in chief.
“It’s the irony, and it’s a very false narrative that he’s painting here,” said Ana Pelaez, Miami Freedom Project. “He’s coming here to launch an Evangelicals for Trump movement, but he doesn’t live those Christian values any other day of the year.”
“If you’re promoting Trump’s moral values as a reason why he should continue in power or be reelected, it is the biggest lie in the planet,” said activist Alessandra Mondolfi. “This man has blood on his hands.”
The demonstration remained peaceful throughout. Miami-Dade Police officers are on hand to supervise the gathering.
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