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Republicans rally at the steps of the Colorado State Capitol after Trump’s speech

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Rally attendees and protestors briefly clashed at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, following Donald Trump’s keynote speech in Denver. Photos by Natalie Dyer.

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DENVER—A Republican rally was held on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol building today following Donald Trump’s keynote speech in the Colorado Convention Center.

Several speakers were local politicians and conservative figures. The 50-person crowd was from the Western Conservative Summit, a three-day event held each year by the Centennial Institute and sponsored by Colorado Christian University.

Speakers included Tom Tencredo, a former United States Representative for Colorado from 1999 to 2009. Tencredo also ran for president in 2008 and was the Constitution Party’s nominee for Colorado governor against Governor Hickenlooper in 2010.

Tencredo spoke about why he thinks America used to be great, and why he is supporting Trump in the upcoming election.

“I miss the America where the average high school student could actually read the diploma, he or she was handed, when they walked across the stage,” Tencredo said. “I miss the America where the average college student could tell you what country used to be the USSR. They (college students) can’t do it.”

Several speakers at the rally spoke about the “need to use the phrase, ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’”

Another speaker said the goal of Islam was to rule the world with Sharia law.

“Because once… the entire world is under Sharia law, we will have peace according to them,” the rally speaker said. “There is zero ambiguity in the Qur’an.”

A few shouts from the crowd followed this statement with, “F**k the Qur’an!”

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About 20 minutes after the rally started, protestors against Trump gathered at the bottom of the stairs and began chanting, “No more hate.”

Police stood between protesters and rally participants, but tensions rose when rally participants came down the steps to chant back at the protesters.

“I don’t even think Richard Nixon would be allowed in the Republican Party anymore,” said Michael Corey, a Denver high school teacher who said he was protesting on behalf of his students. “This is a very different Republican party and it’s dangerous.”

Volunteers registering people to vote and groups petitioning to raise the minimum wage in Colorado joined Trump protesters at the steps of the Capitol.

“I think it’s really important that we get different people involved in democracy, not just the same people voting every year,” said Tom Place, an incoming freshman to the University of Colorado at Denver. “We need to make it more representative of our culture and more representative of the United States. There are a lot of politically charged people here today who want to get out and vote.”

Collegian News Editor Erin Douglas can be reached at news@collegian.com or on twitter @erinmdouglas23.

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