SUPPORTERS have gathered in their thousands for a Donald Trump rally where the President is set to take the stage for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak.
Huge lines of keen Trump supporters have already clashed with protestors in Tulsa, Oklahoma – hours before the rally is scheduled to start at the BOK Centre.
Reports have shown thousands of people in the line wearing red, white and blue at 8am – nearly 11 hours before the rally is set to take place.
Supporters, some who have camped out for days, have filled the roads in downtown Tulsa, all eager to hear Trump's speech this evening at his first rally since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Protestors have already clashed head to head with the queueing Trump fans, as tensions rise among the lack of social distancing.
City workers erected a high metal fence Friday to completely barricade the Trump rally site, while tempers heated as several Black Tulsans walked up to a corner where the Trump faithful shouted religious messages through bullhorns.
Abrienne Smith squared off with one after the other of the Trump fans, talking about killings of African Americans. Smith said she did it for her Black son.
“I am worried about him. He’s 4. I am scared for his life because of stuff like this,” she said while pointing at the Trump supporters.
The indoor rally, at Tulsa's 19,000-person capacity BOK Centre comes just days after the city and the state of Oklahoma experienced a surge in coronavirus cases.
The National Guard has been activated ahead of the rally and has blocked off streets, in order to maintain calm in and around the venue this evening.
Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said that the 250 Guardsmen will be used as a "force multiplier" to help secure safety zones where the rally will be held.
They will be unarmed but will carry shields, batons, and pepper stray for their own protection, according to a Guard spokesman.
However, verbal clashes between those lining up for the rally and passersby have already mounted.
Two passengers in a car driving past the Trump supporters were spotted, screaming "F*ck Trump!" to the fans lining the sidewalk.
Another woman in the car, with her head out of the window, addressed the queueing supporters, saying: "Y'all support racists? So ya'll are racist too!"
Very few of the supporters have been seen wearing masks – despite the fact that coronavirus has killed over 120,000 people in the US since March.
Oklahoma's Supreme Court rejected a request to require everyone attending Trump's rally to wear a face mask and maintain social distance on Friday.
The Trump campaign, however, said it was "safety serious," as organisers are set to provide masks, hand sanitizers and will be doing temperature checks for all attendees.
Vehicle traffic has been blocked off of some roads in anticipation for the mass gathering.
Tulsa's Republican mayor, G.T Bynum, initially established a curfew around the BOK Centre ahead of the rally – but he then revoked it at the request of the US Secret Service.
Bynum's order said crowds of 100,000 or more were expected to show up, and Brad Parscale, Trump's campaign manager, said those who can't get into the area will attend a "festival" outside.
The Oklahoma rally marks the public restart of Trump's 2020 campaign as coronavirus restrictions across the country begin to loosen.
But the Tulsa talk also comes after weeks of demonstrations, unrest and violence spurred by a series of controversial incidents between police and protesters.
Bynum said citizens with more sinister aims were also filtering into his city, leading him to declare a civil emergency and imposed a last-minute curfew near the BOK arena – which has now been overturned.
More than one million people have registered online for the event, according to the Trump campaign.
"Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis," Trump tweeted on Friday.
"It will be a much different scene!"
Trump has been highly critical of several local governments and how they've handled the police protests.
While the majority of the demonstrations have been peaceful, many big cities have struggled to contain the crowds when looting, destruction or violence has broken out.
Trump's event scheduled for this evening is being held just blocks from the site of one of the worst racial massacres in US history-making many fear that the rally may descend into violence.
The verbal clashes between the groups in Tulsa come as the country faces nationwide protests for racial justice following the death of George Floyd.
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