Protesters band together, reveal frustrations over Trump’s Temple rally

Protestors gathered on the opposite side of Broad Street to share their frustrations at Trump’s permission to speak at The Liacouras Center.

Protestors gathered on the opposite side of Broad Street hours before Donald Trump was set to speak at The Liacouras Center. | JACK LARSON / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Dave Posmontier, a 1971 Temple alumnus, shares his school pride with many of his loved ones. As Philadelphia natives, Posmontier’s wife and son are also proud of their alma mater.

While he defends the First Amendment right to free speech, Posmontier draws a line at what he describes as “far-right extremism.” 

“My question would be if the Ku Klux Klan wanted to rent The Liacouras Center would they be okay with that?” Posmontier said. “There are certain standards.”

Union workers, Temple students and Philadelphia natives assembled opposite The Liacouras Center at around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, two and a half hours before Trump took the stage for a rally at The Liacouras Center. Their objective was clear: to voice their dissatisfaction and to be uncomplacent with Trump’s North Philadelphia infiltration.

Posmontier was not alone in his position. Outrage was a tangible sentiment among the crowd of protesters.


“I don’t think he belongs in Philadelphia, nowhere near Temple, that’s for sure,” said Sasha Fay, a senior health professions major. “And I think I’m pretty disappointed that he’s here, that’s for sure.”

Temple President Richard Englert released a statement shortly after Trump announced his rally at The Liacouras Center last week, writing that Temple respects the First Amendment and that the university has a history of allowing candidates to speak on campus.

“The Liacouras Center is managed and operated by a third-party firm for the university, and Temple is not covering any costs associated with this event, Englert wrote.”

Englert also wrote that the presence of any candidate on Temple’s campus is not an endorsement, and the views expressed by any speaker does not reflect those of the university’s administration, faculty, staff or students.

While Temple owns The Liacouras Center, it is managed by the Oak View Group, a venue management group that services more than 400 arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, culture institutions and convention centers world-wide.

Temple students weren’t alone in their frustrations over the former president’s appearance. North Philadelphia natives and labor union workers banded together to share their dissatisfaction as well.

Members from 1199c, an affiliate of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees,  showed up to protect their union rights and support Philadelphians in standing against a potential Trump presidency.

1199c member Katrina Hameed expressed her anger at Trump infiltrating North Philadelphia, a predominantly Black area in Philadelphia.

“We take issue with the fact that he’s coming to this predominantly Black neighborhood to try to recruit Black voters,” Hameed said. “He has done nothing for the Black community.”


Like Hameed, Malik Staten joined Local 332 in protesting the rally. An affiliate of The Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 332 is devoted to protecting union and human rights.

Staten was born and raised in North Philadelphia and has been a part of 332 his entire life. He is no stranger to North Philly rallies, but for Staten, Trump’s rally felt more personal. Between the out-of-state license plates and confused looks, Staten knew the supporters attending Trump’s rally were not from the city.

“Philadelphia is about everyone having an opportunity,” Staten said. “Trump doesn’t care about the middle class, rich and poor, this and that.”

Trump also took the opportunity to take jabs at Philadelphia and its city officials during his almost hour-and-a-half speech. He took a shot at District Attorney Larry Krasner and claimed Joe Biden’s presidency has been detrimental to Philadelphia.

Staten is devoted to protecting the integrity of a city he loves. He hopes Temple students and all Philadelphians will remain strong and together when faced with hardship.

“Once you live in Philadelphia, even if you are just students for four years you’ll be welcome here for life,” Staten said. “We will always protect you.”

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