By Kamila Cajiao & Lydia Bermel
Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, visited Felton Farms in Northfield on Oct. 13 on behalf of his father’s campaign.
The in-person event took place inside of a farm building with over 200 local residents, most without face masks.
The president’s son gave a 30-minute speech touching on various subjects, including law enforcement, border security and taxes, as reported by the Duluth News Tribune.
The campaign stop also included a visit from Minnesota Second Congressional District candidate Tyler Kistner.
In the 2016 election, Rice county voters favored Rebublican candidate Donald Trump, earning him 47.9% of total votes, while his democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, earned 44.8% of votes.
Knute Oldre ’21, chairman of the St. Olaf Republicans, offered a statement to the Messenger regarding the recent Trump campaign stop.
“We appreciate when any national figure visits the Northfield area, whether the son of the President or Senator Warren the week after. National attention brought to our local concerns is always welcome,” Oldre said. “Hopefully, the first family and the Senator’s visits continue to drive voter participation this election year.”
Many Northfield residents and college students from St. Olaf and Carleton were unhappy with the visit. While Trump’s rally happened right outside Northfield, the two colleges organized “No Trump in Northfield” downtown to protest Trump’s presence. Protesters met at Bridge Square and marched towards the four-way intersection that leads to Felton Farms, a place where organizers believe Trump supporters were most likely to pass through.
Protesters held “Black Lives Matter” signs and Biden and Harris campaign signs. Student leaders led chants supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and denouncing Trump’s visit to Northfield.
“We don’t like Trump,” St. Olaf student Aimi Dickel ‘22 said. “He stands against everything a lot of us believe in, including the human right to just exist without violence or fear.”
Others focused more on Trump’s opposition within the United States government. Susan Kerger, a Northfield resident, who heard about the counter-rally from Faith in Minnesota, emphasized the importance of voting for Democrats.
“I want to let him know that we’re fighting against him,” Kerger said. “We need to get Biden elected. And not just Biden, but Tina, Angie, Todd, John Olson. We need to get them elected just to take care of ourselves,”said Kerger.
The organizers led the protesters back to Bridge Square, where the crowd passed the microphone to anyone in the audience willing to speak. Many spoke of the importance of intersectionality in order to aid BIPOC residents and students, while others noted that Trump’s arrival to Northfield was not unexpected.
“The people here are close-minded,” one of the speakers said. “They love their little bubble and don’t want outsiders coming in. I don’t think a lot of you realize that.”
The rally ended with a moment of silence for Black lives that have been lost to police brutality.
Photos in gallery by Madelyn Wood/The Olaf Messenger
Aimi Dickel ’22, interviewed for this article, is an illustrator for The Olaf Messenger