The Athens-Clarke County Police Department is prioritizing the safety of all protesters, attendees, and speakers for Turning Point’s Campus Clash event on Oct. 9 at the Classic Center.

 Why It’s Newsworthy: Athens-Clarke County is making accommodations in order to host Donald Trump Jr. for Turning Point’s Campus Clash event at the Classic Center on Oct. 9, 2018. 

 

Donald Trump Jr. will be a guest speaker at the Turning Point event. Athens-Clarke County is implementing road closures to adjust for the sizable event. Over two thousand students and community members are expected to attend Campus Clash with more protesting outside.

Students at the University of Georgia have mixed feelings regarding Trump Jr. coming to Athens. Political Director of Young Democrats, Thomas Moore, describes his opinion on the event.

“Maybe not emotionally upset but just frustrated by the fact that Donald Trump Jr. is not from Georgia he has no relationship to Georgia and yet he’s coming to Athens.” 

Members of the University of Georgia and Athens-Clarke County community will be lining up outside the Classic Center on Tuesday in support, or in protest.

“There definitely is a lot of resentment from people on the left and a lot of admiration from people on the right… There will certainly be some people protesting outside, people volunteering that day. You know, maybe out of spite,” Moore explains.

Student President of Turning Point UGA, Erin Cooke, believes this event will show how politically diverse the students at the University of Georgia are.

“It’s going to be a very, I think, maybe charged kind of event but hopefully it will end up being productive in the long run and spark those conversations that we need to have before this election cycle, they are overdue.”

Hosting Donald Trump Jr. is not going to be a small feat for Athens-Clarke County. Moore is mostly concerned about the cost that this event will have on the community. Given the prominence of Donald Trump Jr., there will be unforeseen expenditures coming out of Athens-Clarke County’s pocket.

“I don’t expect that the Athens Clarke County government was expecting to have to deal with road closures which they definitely will have to… And that is a big expense for the town and I don’t think the town is necessarily prepared for that expenditure,” says Moore.

Athens-Clarke County Police Department Public Information Assistant, Geoffrey Gilland, says there is not yet a cost estimate for what this event will cost the county.

Gilland was unable to provide the operational plan for the event and just how many officers will be working due to security issues involving a member of the President’s family.

Gilland did mention the goal is to ensure safety for all attendees at the event and he encourages all attendees to arrive early and anticipate delays.

With around two thousand people planning to attend Campus Clash and community members planning to protest outside, there will be several roads closed to accommodate crowds.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department issued a press release warning community members of the following road closures to be mindful of on Tuesday.

Beginning at 4 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2018 the following roads will be closed:

  • Foundry Street from East Broad Street to East Dougherty Street.
  • North Thomas Street from East Clayton Street to East Hancock Avenue.
  • North Thomas Street from East Clayton Street to East Broad street will be closed to northbound traffic but will remain open to southbound traffic to East Broad Street.

Cooke wants those attending and even protesting to remember one thing.

“Honestly, just be open minded, even if you disagree, just allow the other side, for both sides. Whether a protester is saying something you disagree with, don’t just automatically dismiss it, hear their point of view.”

Emily Graven is a fourth year majoring in Journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

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