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Protests appear likely as Trump visit to Rapid City approaches

President Donald Trump speaks at the base of Mt. Rushmore during a fireworks show in 2020.
President Donald Trump speaks at the base of Mt. Rushmore during a fireworks show in 2020.

The impending visit of former President Donald Trump to Rapid City has stirred reactions on either side of the aisle in South Dakota – and a protest of his fundraising event is looking likely.

Samantha Chapman is advocacy manager for the state ACLU. She said don’t show up to a protest without doing your homework.

“When we’re talking about attending an event as a protester, it’s really important to have in mind what you’re going to bring with you before you go," Chapman said. "Refresh your memory about what your rights are protesting in public spaces verses the difference when protesting on private property. What it looks like to comply with law enforcement and what it looks like when law enforcement is infringing on your First Amendment rights.”

Chapman said to remember the power that comes with First Amendment guarantees.

“Freedom to assembly is one of the most core and fundamental rights at the heart of our democracy," Chapman said. "Having the ability to show up and visibly express your opinion is really important in being able to express those rights.”

The ACLU is not affiliated with any groups organizing protests.

Spokesperson for the Rapid City Police Department Brendyn Medina said an event permit has already been filed.

“They’ve indicated they don’t have any intention of blocking the right-of-way or anything that would cause us concern," Medina said. "We’re cognizant of the differing opinions this particular figure brings with him, so we’ll be around, and we’ll be ready in case anything happens.”

The ACLU has resources explaining First Amendment rights for protesters available on their social media channels.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture
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