Republicans and Republican supporters gathered near the White House on Saturday for a “Pittsburgh Not Paris” rally supporting President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.
The timing and location of the rally raised concerns that two groups might clash – the Trump supporters and the demonstrators marching against Trump policies in multiple cities nationwide, including Washington, D.C.
At the White House, a brief conflict between one woman criticizing Trump and several protesters chanting “Trump” flared up and was quickly broken up by others standing nearby.
The name of the “Pittsburgh Not Paris” rally is a nod to Trump’s line during Thursday’s announcement that he would withdraw from the Paris accord on climate change. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said
The mayor of Pittsburgh has lashed out at the line
, saying his city will hold to the guidelines of the Paris agreement addressing climate change. A city building in Pittsburgh was lit up green in support of the Paris agreement on Friday night.
The “Pittsburgh Not Paris” rally, organized at the last minute by the Fairfax County Republican Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia, brought in an estimated few hundred supporters to a park near the White House.
Demonstrators held Trump campaign signs and signs reading “make America great again” and “thank you Mr. President.” They were asked by organizers to “dress in your most patriotic, red, white, and blue outfit.” Many carried flags. At least one member of the group said they came from Pittsburgh for the rally, a fact that was touted by organizers.
An unidentified organizer warned demonstrators that they might encounter members of the nearby #MarchforTruth protest, which opposes Trump policies.
“We might engage today with some people who aren’t happy we’re here,” she said over a megaphone. “I want to ask people to just not engage if someone tries to provoke you. Focus on what we’re here to do.”
Organizers passed out flyers asking them to join the group in singing “This land is our land” if protesters attempted to drown them out.
The #MarchforTruth protests
were organized to call for an independent commission to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, to press Trump to release his tax returns and for more information to be made public in ongoing federal probes into the Kremlin’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.
Trump, who is in Washington on Saturday, left the White House in the morning to golf at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia.