Two more protesters at Donald Trump’s rally on Tuesday have filed police reports alleging assault, making the total criminal complaints from protesters at least five.
University of Louisville students Ben Vivona, 21, and Kate Hall, 20, allege they were assaulted by Matthew Heimbach and members of the Traditionalist Worker Party shortly after the start of the rally at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Vivona was holding a banner that read “Immigrants Make America Great.”
Both Vivona and Hall were standing with a group of protesters from an activist coalition called Stand Up Sunday, which advocates for racial equality.
“We held our banners up and, specifically, Matthew Heimbach grabs the side of the poster,” Vivona said. “It was like a tug of war between my group and the Traditionalist Worker Party, with me in the middle.” He said the group of eight protesters included a woman carrying a baby.
Hall, who uses singular “they/them” pronouns, alleges the supporters kicked, punched and shoved them. “At this point Trump was saying, ‘Get them the hell out! Out! Out! Out!’” Hall said. “And we’re being kicked and punched as we’re getting through. My whole body was sore the next day from being shoved around.”
Vivona also said that in the two hours he stood next to Heimbach waiting for the start of the rally, Heimbach was urging white youth to join the Traditionalist Worker Party. “He’s well known as a recruiter for young, white nationalists. He was openly recruiting and handing out cards,” Hall said.
On Tuesday night, video of footage aired on WLKY that showed Matthew Heimbach and other rally attendees shoving U of L student Shiya Nwanguma, 21, through the crowd. The video went viral on Facebook and other social media by that evening. Nwanguma, along with Collegiate student Henry Brousseau, 17, and activist Molly Shah, 36, also filed police reports against Heimbach and other members of the crowd. Brousseu, Shah, Hall and Vivona were all part of Stand Up Sunday.
Heimbach did not respond to requests for interview.
Words By: Harper Carlton