MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is echoing protesters ahead of the Trump Rally by declaring Thursday “Love Trumps Hate” Day.

Despite the rainy day, the “Keep America Great” Rally at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis Thursday evening has attracted thousands of supporters – and protesters.

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On Thursday morning, no protesters were seen gathered downtown, with just a giant balloon depicting Trump as a baby seen on top of First Avenue, the iconic Minneapolis club across the street from Target Center.

In the afternoon, both Trump supporters and protesters began clashing. WCCO’s Mary McGuire only heard some shouting matches break out, but no physical altercations were seen.

Demonstrators outside the rally chanted “lock him up” late this afternoon. Some carried signs calling the president “Putin’s puppet.”

Many of the Trump protesters have been carrying signs referencing the impeachment inquiry. Tracey Matthews is one of them.

Related: Trump Supporters Gather Outside Target Center Hours Ahead Of ‘Keep America Great’ Rally

“You gotta put your money where your mouth is, you’re against him, you gotta show up. You got to be heard it doesn’t matter if there’s 10 or 10,000. Show up, speak your mind, exercise your constitutional right,” Matthews said.

A large group of people have been blowing whistles in reference to the whistleblower who prompted the impeachment inquiry taking place in Washington. Earlier Thursday, WCCO caught up with one man who was selling “Dump Trump” T-shirts outside the Target Center. Despite the two political groups clashing today, he says things haven’t gotten out of hand.

“It’s Minnesota and we are all pretty much Minnesota Nice. I mean, you get a few people yelling certain things, but for the most part, we’re Minnesota,” he said.

These protests are expected to go on through and after the President’s speech.

Trump’s visit to Minneapolis comes following a number of local controversies, including a Twitter spat between the president and Mayor Jacob Frey and a dispute between the police union and city leaders over officers attending the rally in uniform.

In recent months, Trump has predicted several times that he’ll win Minnesota in 2020. He has repeatedly attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents Minneapolis, branding her and other progressive congresswomen of color as the new faces of Democratic politics.

In 2016, Trump narrowly lost Minnesota to Democrat Hillary Clinton. Minnesota has not voted red since 1972.

Mary McGuire

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