Trump rally held in downtown Northbrook

Photo+by+Sarah+Boeke

Photo by Sarah Boeke

Lauren Dyer, Managing Editor

The sounds you hear at a Trump rally: horns blaring from cars as they pass by. Chants, taunts and comments through a megaphone — it chews up the sound, making the voice seem strange and metallic. Flags flapping rhythmically in the wind. Shouts from protestors, shouts from supporters, shouts from cars driving through the intersection. A woman, standing in the middle of the street, singing “America the Beautiful.” A police officer telling the woman to get out of the street. 

On Sept. 25, a Trump rally was held in Northbrook at the intersection of Shermer Road and Walters Avenue, diagonally across from the sign tallying COVID-19 deaths in the United States. The sign was vandalized with spray paint in the days before the rally. 

Junior Peter Christos said in a video conference that he organized the rally.

There were multiple reasons behind holding the rally according to Christos, which he listed as follows: to request the reopening of Glenbrook High School District #225 schools full-time as opposed to hybrid, to support law enforcement officers and to support President Donald Trump’s reelection effort.

“We need to start getting active,” said Christos. “Instead of going on the internet, it’s time we take our action to the streets and let people know, in this community, that it’s … OK to support our law enforcement and our president.”

Across the street from the Trump rally, protestors held a counter-rally, which community member Jack Altschuler attended. 

According to Altschuler, he was at the counter-rally because “democracy is on the line.”

“The people in power will respond to the power of the people,” said Altschuler. “We need to stand up and speak out.

“There’s a very aggressive, antagonistic attitude that seems to pervade Trump supporters. I don’t know what that’s about. That’s what I’ve observed, and I’m not for it.”

There were Glenbrook North students present at both demonstrations. At the counter-rally, an alumna (‘20) and student held signs that read “Honor her wish,” and “Vote him out,” and stood near the sign listing COVID-19 deaths.

Both the alumna and the student said they are embarrassed by the presence of Trump supporters in their community. According to the student, the Trump supporters say Trump is doing a great job, when he has defunded the World Health Organization and America does not have enough COVID-19 testing.

At the Trump rally, another GBN student attended to both be entertained and to voice his support for the president’s reelection. The student said, agree or disagree, he thinks it’s important for people to share their opinions and care about what’s happening.

According to the student, he thinks demonstrations like this are good, but also thinks little will be accomplished because neither side will change its views. 

Though the rally was not held to protest the sign listing COVID-19 deaths according to Christos, both sides expressed opinions about it. An image that was shared on Instagram promoting the Trump rally referred to the sign as “the un-American COVID Scoreboard.” 

Peaceful Communities volunteer Lee Goodman, who was responsible for the sign listing COVID-19 deaths, stood near the Northbrook Metra Station watching the rally from a distance. Through the megaphone, the Trump supporters occasionally addressed Goodman. It could not be heard whether he responded from the intersection where the rally and counter-rally were taking place.

According to Goodman, Peaceful Communities is a non-partisan organization that works on a variety of issues, such as immigrant rights and gun control. When Peaceful Communities was issued a permit to post the sign listing COVID-19 deaths, Goodman did not think it would draw much attention, he said.

“It’s great that people are paying attention,” said Goodman. “It’s an important issue. People are dying out there, and there’s a reason they’re dying. And the reason is that we haven’t addressed the pandemic effectively.”

Later in the evening, police stationed cars in the left turn lane on Shermer Road to prevent traffic from turning onto Walters Avenue.

According to Altschuler, he wants students to remember that they are citizens and that there are a lot of high school seniors who will be 18 and eligible to vote.

“What I want them to know is: go register to vote, vote, vote early,” said Altschuler. “Their voice counts. It matters.”