Written By: Spring Phoenix
February 13th, 2019
On Monday, February 11th,2019 I attended the President Trump El Paso, Texas rally. This is my story and my first-hand report of the event.
Upon arriving at the Coliseum grounds, around 3 pm MT, I parked in front of the Chalio Acosta Sports Center and had to pass by the softball field that Robert O’Rourke would be holding his counter rally. After exiting my vehicle and walking around the corner I immediately noticed two Beto shirts and observed a small softball field where a stage was already setup and people were beginning to set up other things within it. This, obviously, would be where Robert was going to hold his counter rally. To be honest, I was a bit nervous about where my car was now parked or rather what I would have to walk through after the rally to get back to my car as Antifa are notorious supporters of Robert O’Rourke.
I looked for where the Trump rally attendees were gathering. I was able to find the vendors very quickly as there were many just right up the block towards the coliseum. You couldn’t miss them with the high-flying flags and tables on either side of streets. There were also a few food vendors.
As I located the entry gate to the Coliseum there was a person, whom I suspect was an Antifa member with their face covered and t-shirt that read “Making America Hate Again” along with the ticket scanning volunteers and local police officers. He appeared to just be there as a visual focal point for those entering the Trump rally. There were no problems with him being there. Everyone entered without giving him attention.
As I entered the Coliseum grounds, I began to get some video of the area. It was a beautiful day with a temperature in the upper 50’s, sunshine and blue skies as the Franklin Mountains were beautifully set in the background. There was a huge screen set with a stage at the northwest corner of the parking lot with the mountains in the background as well a Media truck and sectioned off area evidently set aside for conducting interviews. Next to that were four food trucks.
Everyone was upbeat, cheerful and excited for the rally. Common at all of Trump’s rallies is the spirit of comradery, being with like-minded people and being able to freely speak about things affecting the nation without being attacked. Also, last but not least, being able to wear MAGA hats and shirts without the extremist factions of the left trying to physically attack people. The propaganda and rhetoric by the Media, Politicians and Hollywood who only seek to stir up mentally ill frenzied people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) continue to make this worse. President Trump is right to call these people and should continue to do so. More on that coming… Back to the story.
As time went on, I could see more and more people pouring in and a line around the block had started as they worked to check tickets and get everyone inside the fenced parking lot to get in line. The doors opened at about 4 pm and everyone went through security and found seating or standing room inside. I chose an area about 10 yards directly in front of the President’s podium and directly in front of the media section barrier. I was hoping to get my press pass; however, it didn’t work out this time around. I was set on going and covering as much as I could anyways, and I did just that. With the ideal location to get video and pictures we settled in against the media railing and the people continued to pour in. No one could stand directly in front of us so that the flow of people remained free and clear to enter and exit safely. This also gave me a clearer line of sight to get my media. I was grateful for that.
I recorded a short 360 video of the venue at that time and noticed a gentleman in a MAGA hat in the media area being rudely spoken to by a woman who appeared to have some official capacity. I believe she was asking him to move somewhere else. He appeared to be a Citizen Journalist like myself. After observing his setup and rigging (the same as mine), I knew this was the case and was excited for him to be up there with the mainstream media. I covered Governor Greg Abbott’s Inauguration and it’s a great feeling to be able to live stream from a tripod and phone with a great microphone while they have equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars, require hours of setup and can’t even live stream. I was very happy to see a Citizen Journalist up there with everyone. Perhaps that evening, he was meant to be. I’ll get to that in a bit. I ended up walking over to him and giving him a fist bump. His name is Ben Nergquam with Frontline America.
As the hour progressed the Coliseum was filling up quickly and everyone was cheerful and looking forward to the start. Texas Senator John Cornyn was the first to come out on stage and speak to the crowd. He was followed by Senator Ted Cruz, Brad Parscale and then Donald Trump Jr. before POTUS took the stage at 7 pm. There was not an empty seat in the house and the standing room section in front of the stage was packed as safely as possible while still allowing a free flow of people back and forth.
As President Trump took the stage the energy was absolutely electric. There was a sea of cell phones in the air and everyone was cheering. This rally, contrary to what I have read from many in the media, actually seemed more focused on key points and although he did call out “FakeNews” at many points throughout the speech, the number of times the crowd chanted about it were certainly less than other rallies. I attended the Houston rally in 2018 and have watched nearly every rally he has had.
The main points of the evening were Continuing to Build the Wall, wanting to avoid another Government Shutdown by working with Congress, the Radical and Extreme Democratic party Socialist policies including infanticide/murder of a baby at full-term, The Green New Deal, and finally American Security, Prosperity and Hopeful Vision for the nation.
There were many protestors throughout the evening trying to stir things up, but they were quickly shut down by those around them and escorted out of the private event. There was also a man who crossed over the back barrier of the media section and evidently pushed one of BBC’s cameramen. I did not see that occur but heard the commotion and turned around as Ben Bergquam from Frontline America had already restrained the individual before they could do any more harm. He yelled “f the media”. The man who went over the barrier from behind was a Hispanic American wearing a MAGA hat with the tag still on it.
The crowd did not support this person began yelling “take his hat”. Security quickly arrived and removed the man from the property. I overheard a security officer say that the man appeared drunk; however, I could not myself smell alcohol on him as he passed in front of me while being escorted out. As I said I was directly in front of the media barrier. President Trump asked the media if they were ok, if everything was okay.
The El Paso police department decided not to press charges against the man though no reason has been given as to why not. He could have been charged with assault because he pushed the cameraman according to the BBC. I did not personally see this. I caught video after the commotion had started. My video is linked here.
BBC could press charges against the man if they wanted to. There is no certainty that the man was a Trump supporter or another one of the protestor plants. To get to the bottom of it we need information from the police who have offered nothing besides that they would not be charging the man.
I would encourage the BBC to charge the man to make it a lesson to anyone thinking of attacking the media. They would lead a loud and clear message that there is zero tolerance for that behavior.
The rally continued with an enthusiastic crowd. As the rally goers exited the grounds there were riot police outside directing everyone around a crowd of Robert O’Rourke supporters who were looking to incite violence. The crowd obliged and went as directed around the counter protestors and no incidents occurred. Everyone got safely home.
Robert O’Rourke Counter-Rally
There has been a lot of chatter about the crowd sizes at the Trump and O’Rourke rallies. A few points that I would like to make that offer a first-hand viewpoint is that the softball field at O’Rourke’s rally was much smaller in comparison to the overflow of the Trump rally. Media sources stated that El Paso Fire Department verbally told them it was 7,000 to 8,000 attendees at O’Rourke’s rally. That was clearly not the case and the Fire Department has given no validity to the claims. We welcome any proof to the contrary.
From videos that have surfaced on YouTube afterwards, the field was not packed but rather they pushed everyone together to get an optimal appearance for the cameras. There was plenty of space for people to walk around freely unlike the Trump rally where everyone in the standing room areas were tightly compacted.
I spoke to the Parks Department about the softball field and there is no official capacity limit to the softball field because it is not an indoor facility that has to meet Fire Marshall safety requirements.