Penn State club gathers to build wall in support of Trump
UNIVERSITY PARK - Starting around noon Tuesday, a group on Penn State University’s campus called “The Bull Moose Party” built a physical wall around the flag pole in front of Old Main in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
They said it's a representation of what "true Trump supporters believe in."
"Surrounding the American flag, that symbolism is the major purpose of our demonstration. To say, 'We're not just building a wall to build a wall. We're building a wall to protect this land, to protect this country, and to protect that flag,’” Bull Moose spokesperson Chris Baker said.
By Tuesday evening, the gray plywood wall that displayed pictures of Trump and featured text such as "America is worth defending” was littered with messages from supporters of both candidates.
The Bull Moose Party said this was all meant to spark meaningful discussion one week before the election.
"We just want to be here,” Baker said. “We want to be seen and heard. We want other people to be able to come up and communicate with us."
The intended purpose of the wall didn't quite go as planned.
Tensions were raised as some Hillary Clinton supporters approached the demonstration with megaphones. Some called the scene "disgusting."
"I was disgusted,” said Wahdae Elliott, a Hillary Clinton supporter. “I totally don't agree with Trump or anything he has to say."
"It's very offensive and if anyone else were to do that, there would be a lot more backlash," said Jailyn Beaufort, also a Clinton supporter.
"Building a wall and erecting structures that are a facsimile of that wall don't represent what this country's about," said Ricardo Rojas, who protested the Trump demonstration with a “Latinos for Hillary” sign.
Trump supporters said, however, their wall isn't in opposition of immigration.
"We just want legal immigration. We're not against immigrants at all,” said Elliot Salazarjersid. “We're all immigrants."
In response to Tuesday's events, the university said in a statement:
“The University respects students' right to free speech and will not interfere when ideas are expressed in a peaceful manner. Our policies do prevent people from building structures on University property or using any amplified audio devices like megaphones. After being alerted, both groups agreed to abide by University policies as they continued their demonstration.”
Although tempers may have flared throughout the day, there were no reports of physical violence.