President Trump is scheduled to appear at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday night, amid high tensions across the country. The controversy over his comments last week regarding the violence in Charlottesville will follow him to the Grand Canyon State, as many groups are planning to protest Trump's Arizona rally.
The rally is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST at the Phoenix Convention Center. It will be Trump's first visit to the state since becoming president. He won the state in the 2016 election, and his last visit to Arizona centered largely around immigration, a top priority for his campaign and a hot-button issue, especially in the border state.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton reportedly asked Trump to postpone the rally, due to the continued fallout over the way Trump handled last week's events in Charlottesville, wherein white nationalists clashed with counter-protestors over the removal of Confederate statues. White House officials reportedly even expressed their own concerns on Monday that Trump, egged on by the support of his rally crowd, may revisit the contentious issue on stage in Phoenix.
The Phoenix New Times reports that many groups have already announced plans to protest Tuesday's rally, and have published their protest locations and times, for those who would like to join. Four thousand people have already indicated that they will attend the Protest Trump Downtown Phoenix event, which will start across the street from the convention center at 6 p.m. local time.
The Puente Human Rights Movement, an organization that fights for undocumented immigrants, will hold an event titled White Supremacy Will Not Be Pardoned. The group was instrumental in the campaign against former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who gained notoriety for his controversial statements about and treatment of immigrants in the area he policed. Some believe that Trump will announce a pardon for Arpaio during Tuesday's rally.
The Never Again: Jews And Allies Against Hate Rally will take place at the state capitol earlier in the day. It was organized by local elected officials, and will also be attended by groups like the Anti-Defamation League of Arizona, Arizona Jews for Justice and the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.
The list of protests goes on. The First Congregational United Church of Christ in Phoenix has organized a Unity March Against Hate And Bigotry, a combined vigil and march. Arizona Stands, which was formed to support the protests at Standing Rock, will march to represent indigenous protesters. Antifa, Cosplayers Against Hate, the Phoneix branch of the Democratic Socialists of America, AZ Resist, Desert Progressives, and the Arizona State University chapter of Students for a Democratic Society will all be holding protest events.
Some businesses in the vicinity of the convention center have already elected to close on Tuesday afternoon, due to safety concerns. With tensions already high, it's likely that these protests in Phoenix will attract large numbers.