Thousands of Trump fanatics swarm NYC park for rally


Thousands of hardcore Donald Trump fanatics flooded the South Bronx on Thursday for the ex-president’s campaign rally — including one diehard who likened the Republican to one of the most famous civil rights activists.

“He represents us, the blacks in this city and in the world. He’s a real Nelson Mandela,” Paget Jones, 45, of Harlem, told The Post outside the Crotona Park event.

The Big Apple teacher — wearing a red MAGA hat — likened Trump’s fight against his four criminal indictments to the 27 years Mandela spent behind bars for going against his country’s racist policies.

Thousands swarmed Crotona Park in hopes of hearing ex-President Donald Trump speak at his first rally in the state in eight years. REUTERS

Trump is the first current or former president to be indicted on criminal charges.

“The fact that I like Trump and why a lot of black people are out here in the Bronx for Trump is because Trump is a fighter. Trump has that God factor. They prosecuted him, they lied about him!” she said, adding that she voted for him twice.

“The minorities of New York, they’re coming around. He definitely represents that vote.”

The South Bronx rally marks the first that Trump, 77, has hosted in his native state in eight years, and comes just two weeks after an event on the Jersey Shore drew a crowd of nearly 100,000.

Only 3,500 were permitted to enter the Bronx gathering, but the crowds outside the check-in gates well exceeded the capacity cap in hopes of watching the rare event.

Paget Jones of Harlem likened Trump to Nelson Mandela because he “represents us, the blacks in this city and in the world.” LP Media for NY Post

While there was no immediate crowd estimate from the NYPD, the Trump campaign said at least 20,000 people were gathered outside.

Red MAGA hats and “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirts were spotted throughout the Big Apple park in preparation for the ex-president, and the pungent odor of marijuana hung in the air.

Among the attendees were a rapper with a thigh tattoo of the Republican’s face and a MAGA diehard who follows Trump across the country in an RV decked out in Trump regalia.

The rally attendance was capped at 3,500 people but a large crowd gathered outside. Getty Images

One man even dressed as the 2024 candidate, wearing Trump’s signature red tie and blue suit combo, along with a pouty duck face.

Christopher Ahearn, 66, of Norwood, was one of many hopefuls standing in line to attend the rally, which would be the first he’s ever attended.

“I believe he cares about this country and cares about the citizens. I don’t think there is any choice,” the retired electrician said about Trump.

Trump supporters and protesters clashed at the Bronx park, with some individuals resorting to shoving. REUTERS

Ahearn staunchly supports the Republican, despite his own wife and his electricians’ union siding with Biden.

“I can’t get my wife to have common sense.”

“Joe Biden has done nothing and he’s a criminal. He’s ridiculous! The man can’t walk. He can hit the nuclear button, and he’s a functioning moron.”

The Trump campaign said at least 20,000 people were gathered outside. Getty Images

Steve Riley, 58, of the Bronx’s County Club neighborhood, said he’s “very happy” for the opportunity to stand in line for 90 minutes to hear Trump speak.

Riley, who works in real estate, admires that Trump has remained steadfast in his conservative policies throughout his political career, even while taking a four-year hiatus.

“Why do I support him? Because there’s nothing that you cannot support about him. All his policies are perfect — closing up the border, all types of stuff for the American people,” said Riley, wearing a “Trump 2024 Payback’s a Bitch” T-shirt.

Red MAGA hats and “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirts were spotted throughout the Big Apple park in preparation for the ex-president, and the pungent odor of marijuana hung in the air. Getty Images

“I’ve seen my business relationships, everyone has flipped, even so-called Democrats have now changed their minds.”

Not all the attendees were pro-Trump, however.

Several dozen resisters stretched out a “No dictators in the USA” sign outside the park in opposition to the Republican’s arrival.

Chaos briefly erupted when the opposing groups clashed inside the park, with several members of each side shoving the other and screaming. Stephen Yang

Peter Blade, who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, calmly attended the rally to experience the buzz, despite losing faith in Trump following his 2017 visit to the storm-battered Caribbean island.

“The only time Trump went to Puerto Rico was after Hurricane Maria, and he threw paper towels at his supporters. Those were people who looked to Trump. It was a major hurricane. They went six months without light,” said Blade, 50.

As a show of his silent opposition, the facility maintenance worker wore two rolls of paper towels on a nylon rope around his neck and a hat bearing the Coqui, or Puerto Rico’s native frog: “We haven’t forgotten.”

The conflict only lasted several minutes before the NYPD stepped in. AFP via Getty Images

According to Blade, Trump’s choice to host a rally in the Bronx was not out of kindness.

“I feel he came to the Bronx because we’re the last resort. Due to his legal troubles, he had no choice. But it’s OK. We’re used to being the last resort. We’re never counted out. We’re just counted last,” Blade emphasized.

Chaos briefly erupted when the opposing groups clashed inside the park, with several members of each side shoving the other and screaming.

“F–k Trump! F–k Biden, too! They don’t give a f–k about you!” the anti-Trump group shouted.

The conflict only lasted several minutes before the NYPD stepped in.




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