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Trump Holds Rally On Long Island


Donald Trump was on Long Island Wednesday night to hold his first rally before New York State’s April 19th Primary.

The Republican frontrunner declared it's “great to be home” before an estimated 10-12,000 people who filled a movie sound stage at Grumman Studios. Trump shrugged off a defeat in Wisconsin a day earlier and instead, predicted victory in his delegate-rich home state.

In his speech Trump compared Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. to snakes. He read lyrics to a song by Al Wilson. The song starts with a woman who takes in an injured snake and nurses it back to health. The snake then bites and kills her.

“You damn well knew I was snake before you took me in,” Trump said. “Believe me folks, believe me, believe me.”

Trump has made this comparison before on the campaign trail. He has called for a ban on Muslims trying to enter the United States.

Hundreds of people protested outside the rally. Jay Blackman said he was protesting Trump because of his rhetoric.

“He breeds hate, and that's not what America stands for,” Blackman said. “We were just talking about his slogan being Trump wants to make America great again, and it sounds like Trump wants to make America hate again.”

As the venue reached capacity and Trump supporters were turned away, many congregated on the opposite side of the barricades that held anti-Trump protesters. Ben Marriotti of Massapequa is a Trump supporter.

"We are due for a big change," Marriotti said. "I don't like the policies that are there. I think he can do it."

Trump told his supporters that not only is America not winning, it doesn’t even know how to fight anymore.

“We don’t fight like people from Long Island," Trump said. "We don’t fight like people from New York.”

Outside, hundreds of Trump supporters and protesters fought to see if they could drown each other out.

Dozens of police officers amassed outside the sound stage venue as protesters chanted "Your hats are made in China" and "Dump Trump."

Trump supporters retaliated, declaring "Socialism sucks!" and "Leave this country!"

Police say two people inside the rally were arrested for disorderly conduct.

This story contains information from the Associated Press

Terry Sheridan is an award-winning audio journalist. As part of his duties as Senior Director of News and Education, he developed a unique and award-winning internship program with the Stony Brook University School of Communications and Journalism, where he is also a lecturer and adjunct professor. He also mentors graduate fellows from the Sacred Heart University Graduate School of Communication, Media, and the Arts.
A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.