Supporters of President Donald Trump holding a rally in front of the Museum of the American Indian in New York (all images courtesy of Sarah Barton)

A dozen activists were detained yesterday, October 21, after they protested against a pro-Trump rally in front of the Museum of the American Indian in New York. Three remain under arrest, the New York Police Department (NYPD) told Hyperallergic in an email last night.

Around 3pm yesterday, a group of about 70 Trump supporters marched from City Hall to the Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan.

(video courtesy Chidi Nobi/@nobifilms)

The demonstrators, many donning red MAGA hats (and even a few Trump impersonators), marched with a large “Blue Lives Matter” flag featuring the president’s name with the slogan “Law and Order.” They also brandished Trump-Pence signs and banners that read “Thank you President Trump” and “Keep America Great,” among others. During their demonstration, they chanted “Black the Blue,” a pro-law enforcement slogan started by the right-wing group Act! for America.

The organizers of the protest are not currently known. In an email, Act! for America told Hyperallergic that the group has “no knowledge” of yesterday’s protest. “It must have been organized by someone else. It wasn’t one of ours,” a spokesperson for the group said.

Members of the activist photography collective NYC Protest Coverage who documented the rally told Hyperallergic that minor scuffles erupted between rally participants and counter-protesters from the left.

A Trump supporter wearing a T-shirt reading “FUCK ANTIFA”
NYPD officers arresting a protester against the MAGA rally

“There was a bit of a commotion at the beginning and a few people got arrested but there weren’t too many confrontations,” Ronald Weaver, a member of the collective, told Hyperallergic.

“What’s interesting is that 300 police escorted the rally,” Weaver said, adding that police did not detain any Trump supporters.

Unlike its Washington, DC counterpart, which reopened on September 25, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York has remained closed since March.

Toward the end of the rally, the MAGA supporters took over the steps of the museum, where they carried out speeches and chanted “four more years.” They dispersed around 5:30pm.

The National Museum of the American Indian has not yet responded to Hyperallergic’s request for comment.

Hakim Bishara is a Senior Editor at Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...