Protesters — and supporters — gather downtown during Trump’s visit to KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A wide-ranging group of people protested the President`s visit Tuesday on the edges of the downtown security zone set up by police.

They say it's important to make sure their voices are heard.

Dozens of protesters clogged all four corners at 10th Street and Broadway Avenue, united in their opposition to President Donald Trump.

Police had cleared Washington Street west of the KC Convention Center to make it a safe place for citizens to protest.

"You are labeled as being un-American, which is not true," Linda Stoner of Shawnee said. "This country is what it is because people have spoken up. Nobody is right all the time. This country is not right all the time. It only gets better if we say that. Then dig in to help make it better."

Protesters demonstrate downtown on July 24, 2018, during President Donald Trump's visit to Kansas City.

Some objected to the police protest location and rallied instead near the main library at 10th Street and Baltimore Avenue. Many women joined the protest, speaking out against the separation of families at the border and Trump's seemingly cozy connections to Vladimir Putin.

"I think that when you have a relationship with Russia, you can`t have a good relationship with your country," Mary Thompson of Kansas City said. "If you put the relationship with Russia over your own country, you can`t make the best decisions for Americans."

Eventually, both groups joined forces at 10th Street and Broadway Avenue, where more extreme anti-fascist demonstrators gathered on one side while more mainstream Democrats rallied on the other.

"President Trump seems to be under this delusion that all in America are really happy about him," Jennifer Gwinner of Kansas City said. "He just tweeted yesterday that he`s our favorite president. So I want our voice to continue to be heard that we are against him."

There were a few Trump supporters, who said they wanted to applaud the President's efforts to get tough on illegal immigration.

"There are a lot of anti-Trump people here, but we want to tell them everything that he's doing right," said Tsige O'Brien, who backs Trump. "He needs support from us. He needs to hear that he`s doing some good stuff."

Many in the crowd said they will continue to voice their opposition to the President`s policies because they believe that`s the American way.

Police again used their mounted patrol to assist in crowd control. So far, officers have not reported any arrests from the demonstrations.

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During Trump's speech, he also talked about the Department of Veteran's Affairs. FOX4 was at the Kansas City VA with veterans from the metro as they listened to his remarks.

Trump talked about the Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to get medical care at private providers if the VA cannot provide care in a timely manner -- or if it's too far away. The VA will pay for that treatment.

Carl Griggs, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army, was overall pleased with the President's speech, especially his comments about an increase in defense spending and pay for military personnel.

"Obviously as a veteran and former military person, we love to hear that our military is being built up," Carl Griggs said. "We really had gotten in pretty rough shape."

Other veterans had a different reaction to the President's visit to Kansas City.

Steve Young, a veteran, attended the "Stand for America -- Rally Against Trump" event at the Barney Allis Plaza and carried a sign that said, "This vet will kneel."

"What the sign means to me is to show support for all our NFL players," Young said. "Because Donald Trump wanted to change the narrative saying that they were disrespecting the flag. I just want to let him know that I'm a veteran. I served two tours in Bosnia. I support what the narrative is actually and they're taking a knee. It's for police brutality. It's for the killing of all these unarmed black men. It has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag or disrespecting me as a veteran."

The VFW Chairman went to the rally at one point, and protesters shook his hand and thanked him for his service. As veterans left the convention, those gathered yelled out, "Thank you, vets."

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