After Charlottesville: 4 Hours Outside Trump Tower

Images taken outside Trump Tower on Sunday August 13th, 2017 after right-wing extremist rallies in Charlottesville, VA

A clear warm Sunday afternoon in August and a massive protest was planned to greet Donald Trump as he returned to Manhattan following white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia. At about 3:30 pm, a large group of organized protestors marched up and down 59th street along Central Park before they would swing down towards Trump Tower. Their signs decried racism as well as Trump’s hesitation to condemn the escalating white supremacist displays in Virginia. Additionally, they referenced the death of the Charlottesville protestor Heather Heyer, killed when a white supremacist drove his Dodge Charger into a crowd the day before.

Before the protestors arrived, traffic outside the Trump Tower was a typical mix of Trump supporters and a few self-organizing protestors as well as a constant stream of tourists. Gradually, however, the number of protestors began to increase.

Protestors began accumulating across from Trump Tower also, as did an increasingly number of media figures, primarily television journalists and photographers.

Some reliable regulars stood maintained their regular positions across from Trump Tower, too.

Eventually, as the number of protestors began to swell, the police efficiently removed everyone from the sidewalk immediately in front the tower.

Protestors and a few supporters remained as close to the tower as they could cramming all four corners of 56th Street and 5th Avenue, as well as the west side of the avenue.

Nearby, an isolated Trump supporter in a red MAGA hat and a Ducati shirt was being interviewed by the media. As protestors noticed him, they began to surround him and both parties began yelling at each other. Soon he scaled the barriers and left.

Gradually, the police moved protestors away from the west side of 5th Avenue until they were south of 56th Street, diagonally across from Trump Tower. Since Trump was said to be returning to the building that day, some protestors expressed frustration that the President wouldn’t be exposed to the protests.

At about 7:30 pm, the planned protest formally ended and, though many attendees did disperse, many remained on the streets, waiting to see if Donald Trump would arrive at his residence. According to reports, Trump actually arrived the next day. His motorcade pulled up to the tower from a side street and into a large white tent, obscuring him from any protestors who showed up that day.

All photos by Robert A Stribley — Part of an ongoing series of photos taken outside Trump Tower.


Writer. Photographer. Interests: immigration, privacy, security, human rights, design. UX: Publicis Sapient. Teach: SVA.