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Protest

Bob Gaynor, of Clear Lake, holds a sign directed at President Trump during a protest in Mason City's Central Park on Friday.

MASON CITY | More than 20 people carrying signs stating "Love Trumps Hate," "Black Lives Matter" and "Where's Canada's Wall?" gathered in Central Park late Friday afternoon.

"This is what Democracy looks like!" they chanted.

Those who were at the protest against President Donald Trump, organized by the community action group Where Do We Go From Here and the Fourth District Green Party Chapter, also carried signs in support of protecting the environment.

One sign stated, "I've Seen Better Cabinets at IKEA." 

After walking around the sidewalks on the perimeter of the park, protesters lined up along Washington Avenue.

Some people shouted obscenities at the protesters from open windows of passing cars, while others honked their horns in support.

Teanna Corcoran of Mason City, who was holding a sign stating, "Girls Just Want to Have FUN-damental Rights." said Trump has been in office for less than a month but has already made so many changes she sees as harmful.

"It's not OK," she said.

Tahmyrah Lytle of Mason City, who had a megaphone and led the chants, said, "I've got 20 different things I'm angry about right now."

"We might not have one cohesive chant, but that's because there are so many things to chant about," said  

The protesters not only spoke against Trump, but the Iowa Legislature's decision this week to make sweeping changes to the collective bargaining law for public employee unions. 

They also criticized what they see as unresponsiveness by those in Congress.

James Berge of Kensett, chairman of the Worth County Democrats, said he is sick the influence of Wall Street and "big money" on legislators. 

If you aren't rich, white and male, "They don't know who you are," he said.

Now that Congress is talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act, "We are up the creek again," he said.

Nora Neff Hardy of Mason City said she believes in "clean air, clean water, green energy and good jobs."

"The sustained erosion of our health and general welfare and right to live in a clean environment is just going to kill us all," she said. 

Corcoran said the protest was not about whether you are a Democrat, a member of the Green Party or a Republican.

"It's people coming together with one voice," she said. 

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