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Trump visits New Orleans for fundraiser, protest shuts it down

By staff

Protesters yell across the street from Canizaro's mansion.

Metairie, LA – On July 25, over 30 people marched on a mansion in the New Orleans metro area to disrupt a fundraiser for Donald Trump. Joe Canizaro, a wealthy retired banker in Old Metairie, hosted Trump’s campaign event. Jeff Landry, Trump’s handpicked candidate for the Louisiana governorship, also attended. The noise from the protest forced the event to end early, and the campaign raised only half as much as when he visited the city in 2019.

Demonstrators began in a shopping center by Canizaro’s neighborhood, then marched up to the mansion. The Secret Service stopped them across the street from the fundraiser. It was clear that the protesters outnumbered the Trump supporters gathered nearby. Demonstrators ranged from students attending their first protest to older community members expressing their discontent with Trump and his supporters.

The protest organizers began the march by emphasizing the danger LGBTQ people face if left to the mercy of the right wing.

“No matter how many laws and attacks they throw at us, it is important that we draw a line and say this reactionary movement can’t go further, because if Trump is the president, if Landry is the governor, then they can easily attack our rights to protest, they can throw more of our movement in jail,” said Quest Riggs, an organizer with Real Name Campaign, an LGBTQ rights group.

Metairie, a suburb that lies just outside of New Orleans, has long been a conservative stronghold in the region. Despite this, protesters received more support than condemnation from the community. Evidently, pressure from the demonstration was too much for Trump and his wealthy supporters. According to local news sources, Trump stayed in the city until midnight for his previous 2019 fundraiser. This year’s fundraiser called for guests to arrive between 7 and 8 p.m., but Trump, Landry, the attendees, and their dance troupe left by 7:40 p.m.

Chants from anti-Trump demonstrators like “Lock him up!” “No hate, no fear, Donald Trump ain’t welcome here!” and “New Orleans hates Trump!” drowned out pro-Trump jeers. Some Trump supporters turned on their car alarms, but protesters chanted to the beat of the horns and the event grew louder. One neighbor activated his sprinklers on the sidewalk that the protesters stood on to deter them. Many welcomed the relief from the evening heat. As more protesters gathered, community activists took the opportunity to agitate the crowd and keep pressure on Trump and his lackeys.

“This mansion and the $23,000 photoshoots show the lie in Trump saying he represents the working man. It’s the mass movements for justice and equality that represent what working people want and need in this country!” yelled Serena Sojic-Borne, an organizer with Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Although Trump allegedly raised $2 million from this event, this came far short of the over $4 million from his last fundraiser at Canizaro’s mansion in 2019.

Activists from other organizations linked the fight against Trump to other campaigns like community control of the police and defending education.

“Although Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, DeSantis is rallying the right wing towards even more oppressive policies. The Tampa 5 are an example of what our movements will suffer under a Trump or DeSantis presidency. We must dare to struggle against these reactionaries! Our comrades in Tampa may be suffering, but that hasn’t stopped us from rallying to their aid. I know they’d do the same for me. Justice for the Tampa 5!” declared Carson Cruse, a member of Loyola University New Orleans’ Young Democratic Socialists of America, an affiliate of Students for a Democratic Society.

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