A pair of rallies — one in support of President Donald Trump, another in opposition — are expected to hit the Woodstock Square this Saturday.
A Spirit of America rally organized by supporters of the president is planned for noon Saturday, March 4, in the Park in the Square. Countering that event are plans for a Hate Has No Home in Woodstock rally at 11:30 a.m. the same day. That rally is set to circle the sidewalks of the Square.
Organizers of both events, which are part of broader nationwide movements, said they’re aiming to put forth positive messages.
“I saw these [Spirit of America rallies] were popping up, and I wanted to get on board, because there’s so much negativity,” said Teresa Kopec, a McHenry County resident and Spirit of America organizer. She said the goal is to provide the president’s supporters with an event where they can show appreciation for his policies.
She said the rally will be patriotic and suggested that attendees “keep a positive tone.”
“It’s not a left or right thing,” Kopec said. “This is a nonpartisan event, so everybody who wants to come out and support Trump and his policies and putting America first again, that’s all it’s about. We’re happy he’s putting America first, we’re happy he’s securing our borders and bringing back jobs.”
The event’s keynote speaker will be former Congressman Joe Walsh, a conservative radio talk show host.
Organizers of Hate Has No Home in Woodstock said they intend to counter the message from Trump’s supporters by rallying opponents of his policies.
“These Spirit of America rallies do not necessarily stand for us or represent our community,” said Woodstock’s Crystal Squires, a Hate Has No Home in Woodstock organizer. “Our community is very diverse, and we didn’t want those minorities to feel like they weren’t welcome here.”
Participants in the Hate Has No Home in Woodstock rally will gather in front of the Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House, 101 N. Johnson St., before marching around the perimeter of the Square.
“I’m encouraging people to bring positive, respectful signs,” Squires said. “No anti-Trump signs. If you’re going to bring a sign, bring one that shows support for issues that you support, not against them or what they believe in.”
Like the Spirit of America rally, organizers of the Hate Has No Home in Woodstock rally described the event as nonpartisan.