Peaceful protesters rally against, for Trump

Mark Pierce of Shenandoah Invisible talks with other protesters Friday at the Historic Courthouse in Woodstock. Ashley Miller/Daily

WOODSTOCK – Peaceful protests arose Friday between anti-Trump activists and pro-Trump supporters on the steps of Woodstock’s Historic Courthouse Friday.

Lisa Currie of the Shenandoah Indivisible movement, a grassroots organization, said she brought the protest about to bring change for all political parties. “It’s not just Democrats and Republicans you see out here today,” Currie said.

Mark Pierce, also of Shenandoah Indivisible, added that the group just wants their presence known in the community. “Everyone has their own passion,” Pierce said. “And there are plenty of them to go around.”

“We thought that today would be a good day to come out and show our support for each other,” Currie said. “That’s one reason why we’re handing out candy and holiday cheer. We’re making our opinions known.”

Protesters from both sides — a total of about 40 — came and went throughout the one-hour event but it appeared that the anti-Trump demonstrators outnumbered those supporting Trump by a wide margin at any given time.

Josh Wilberger, left, of Columbia Furnace and Kyle Ford of Woodstock rally for President Donald Trump during Friday's peaceful protest in Woodstock. Ashley Miller/Daily

For Sophia Lederman, 20, of Strasburg, the protest was near and dear to her heart. “For me, all of the decisions that are being made are going to influence me for the rest of my life, “ Sophia Lederman said. “And being in college, I’m really seeing first hand how it’s affecting my friends and their parents.”

Accompanying Sophia Lederman were her two younger sisters, Jillian, 15, and Naomi, 15, and their mom, Elaine. For Jillian, the experience of protesting was very new to her. “I’ve never done something like this before,” Jillian said. “So being out here and holding up a sign means I can maybe make a difference.” Naomi agreed adding that she believes protesting could lead to change. “I want my voice heard.”

“I’m tired of complaining about it,” Elaine Lederman said. “It’s time we do something about it.” Lederman added she’s angry about how Trump has led the nation in the wrong direction but most importantly, she wants to set an example for her children.

Like the Ledermans, other protestors shared the same opinions. Jeanne Theis of Woodstook was rallying for funding for   Children’s Health Insurance Program, a state administered federal program that provides health coverage to eligible children.

“Thirty-three percent of children in our county will lose health insurance,” Theis said. “That’s simply not acceptable”.

Ron Golliday of Edinburg proudly stood front and center voicing his concerns on women’s rights, education and the environment.

“He’s just not presidential in the way he acts,” Golliday said of Trump.

Kyle Ford, 22 of Woodstock, a Trump supporter, said he believes it’s important to show support for the president. “A lot of people out here support the president,” Ford said. “We’re trying to push through what we can. But it’s been hard with the various obstructions.”

Ford said he was at Friday’s protest  to shed some light on what he believes is a media illusion. Ford added that protesting is a healthy activity. “It allows people to get out and voice their opinions.”

Elaine Lederman said despite the different ideas and agendas, its important to get together as a community and share opinions. “To me, its key,” she said.

Lederman added that throughout the hour long protest, supporters of both sides got together and held amiable conversations.

“Our ultimate goal is to fight for democracy in all forms,” Currie said. “And fight for our Constitution,” Pierce added.

The protest ended at 1 p.m. when supporters from both sides shook hands and wished one another a Merry Christmas.

Correction: Jeanne Theis said county  not country