Phoenix can be city to voice opinions without riots

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President Trump is set to hold his campaign-style rally at the Phoenix Convention Center Tuesday, an event that officials hope will not turn violent.

According to Michael Nowakowski, councilman for Phoenix’s District 7, there is expected to be 10,000 people protesting the event, along with 11,000 Trump supporters. Nowakowski believes these numbers mirror the turnout at the SB1070 protests that took place back in 2010, when the city had only a few days to coordinate what ended up to be a turnout of over 5,000.

TED SIMONS: MAYOR GREG STANTON URGED PRESIDENT TRUMP NOT TO HOLD A RALLY IN THE CITY BUT THE EVENT IS ON AND SET TO GO. EARLIER TODAY WE SPOKE WITH PHOENIX CITY COUNCILMAN MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI. COUNCILMAN, GOOD TO HAVE YOU ON THE SHOW. TALK ABOUT PREPARATIONS, PRECAUTIONS FOR TONIGHT’S ADDRESS.

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: TODAY’S A BUSY DAY FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX, WE HAVE THIS APPROACH WE CALL THE TEAM PHOENIX APPROACH, WE HAD POLICE, FIRE, ALL OF THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX COMING TOGETHER, AND COMING UP WITH THE STRATEGY OF HOW TO DEAL WITH THE LARGE CROWDS AND THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE HERE TO PRACTICE THEIR FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS TIMING, HOW IS – HAS THIS BEEN 24/7 AROUND THE CLOCK SINCE IT WAS ANNOUNCED?

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: IT'S BEEN 24/7. I THINK OUR CHIEF WILL SAY IT'S BEEN MORE THAN THAT.

TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS STREET CLOSURES. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT? PEOPLE – AND SOME FOLKS WHO HAVE NOTHING DO WITH THE EVENT.

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: I THINK IF WE'RE GOING BE CLOSING THE STREETS FROM FIRST STREET ALL THE WAY TO FIFTH STREET, FOR MONROE ALL THE WAY TO WASHINGTON. SO THAT WHOLE AREA IS GOING TO BE BLOCKED OFF. WE'RE EXPECTING ABOUT 11,000 INDIVIDUALS PROTESTING THE VISIT FROM THE PRESIDENT AND WE'RE EXPECTING OVER 10,000 PEOPLE INSIDE TO ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THE PRESIDENT.

TED SIMONS: THOSE ROAD CLOSURES, THAT'S BEFORE THE EVENT. DOES THE TRAFFIC PATTERN AND IDEAS CHANGE AFTERWARDS? BECAUSE EVERYONE IS KIND OF LEAVING AT THE SAME TIME AFTERWARDS.

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: YOU KNOW, I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE A HARD CLOSURE THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE NIGHT BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE LETTING OUT AND PEOPLE ARE PROTESTING. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN AFTER THE RALLY.

TED SIMONS: HOW MANY DID YOU EXPECT INSIDE?

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: INSIDE, WE'RE EXPECTING 10,000 INDIVIDUALS. OUTSIDE, 11,000.

TED SIMONS: I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT THE CIVIC CENTER HAD QUITE THAT MANY --

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: WE CAN GO UP TO 19,000 FOR A RALLY LIKE THIS. UH-HUH.

TED SIMONS: YOU'VE GOT THESE FOLKS ON THE OUTSIDE WHO ARE ESPECIALLY CONCERNED. ARE THERE DESIGNATED AREAS FOR PROTESTERS?

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT THE CITY OF PHOENIX IS WE DON'T HAVE THE DESIGNATED AREAS. WE ALLOW PEOPLE TO PRACTICE THEIR FREEDOM OF SPEECH. BACK IN THE SB-1070s WHEN -- WHEN THAT BILL WAS PASSED, I REMEMBER I WAS A PART OF MANY MARCHES. AND ONE OF THE BIG MARCHES WAS IN 2006 WHERE IT STARTED FROM THE VETERANS COLOSSEUM ALL THE WAY DOWN TO DOWNTOWN PHOENIX TO THE STATE CAPITOL WITH OVER 500,000 INDIVIDUALS. IT'S JUST AMAZING. BUT AS PEOPLE WERE MARCHING, YOU HAD OTHER PEOPLE ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WITH GUNS AND PISTOLS AND RIFLES AND IT WAS SCARY. IT WAS LIKE WALKING, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, PEOPLE WERE PRAYING, SINGING, AND THEY WERE FOCUSED ON THEIR MESSAGE. AND THERE WAS NO INTERCHANGING OF WORDS OR ANYTHING. PEOPLE JUST KEPT FOCUSING. HOPEFULLY THAT WILL HAPPEN TODAY.

TED SIMONS: AND YET THAT'S A MARCH. THIS IS BASICALLY EVERYONE STANDING IN PLACE. WOULD IT BE WISE TO MAYBE GET SOME DESIGNATED AREAS?

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: I THINK THAT THE POLICE -- THEY HAVE PLANS THERE IN CASE IT GETS ROUGH THAT THEY WOULD START SEPARATING INDIVIDUALS. BUT AT THIS TIME, IT'S GOING TO BE REALLY OPEN TO WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO STAND AND VOICE THEIR OPINION.

TED SIMONS: YOU MENTIONED THE SB-1070 MARCH, 500,000 PEOPLE MARCHING IN PHOENIX. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EVENT LIKE THAT IN TERMS OF PREPARATION AND TERMS OF PRECAUTION TO SOMETHING LIKE TONIGHT?

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: WELL, THAT MARCH, I REMEMBER, WE HAD ABOUT THREE MONTHS OF PREPARATION WHERE WE ACTUALLY WORKED WITH THE PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT, WITH THE STREETS DEPARTMENT. AND THE STATE AND ALL OF THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS, NOT JUST WITHIN THE CITY OF PHOENIX, BUT THE COUNTY AND THE STATE. WE'RE TALKING WELL WITHIN THREE OR FOUR DAYS, COORDINATING A MAJOR EVENT. THAT'S NOT ONLY FOR THE STATE OF ARIZONA, BUT THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.

TED SIMONS: RIGHT.

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: SO WITH ALL OF THE HIGH TENSION THAT'S GOING ON THROUGHOUT THERE. SO HOPEFULLY WE CAN BE THAT BEAT OF HOPE WHERE INDIVIDUALS CAN SEE THAT YOU CAN COME TOGETHER, YOU CAN VOICE YOUR OPINION. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, YOU CAN DO IT WITHOUT VIOLENCE.

TED SIMONS: THE MAYOR HAS MADE IT QUITE PUBLIC THAT HE WOULD RATHER THE PRESIDENT HAVE POSTPONED THIS EVENT. DO YOU AGREE?

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: I AGREE. I THINK RIGHT NOW WITH THE TENSIONS THAT ARE OUT THERE, THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THAT HE SHOULD BE DOING. AND HE SHOULD BE ADDRESSING THE FAMILIES THAT HAVE LOST SOME LOVED ONES OR THAT GOT HURT AT THE PAST RALLIES AND I THINK AS REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL OF US, HE SHOULD GO DO THAT HEALING FIRST AND NOT DOING THE RALLIES SINCE THE CAMPAIGN RALLIES. KIND OF WEIRD THAT HE JUST GOT ELECTED AND WE'RE ALREADY IN THE CAMPAIGN MODE.

TED SIMONS: OKAY, SO, BOTTOM LINE, YOUR BIGGEST CONCERN FOR TONIGHT?

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: MY BIGGEST CONCERN IS THAT WE HAVE INDIVIDUALS FROM THE OUTSIDE -- OUTSIDE OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA. OUTSIDE FROM ALL OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS FROM PHOENIX AND ARIZONA THAT COME IN AND JUST START TOSSING A WATER BOTTLE THAT CAN EXPLODE TO SOMETHING BIGGER. AND THAT'S WHAT I'M REALLY AFRAID OF, IS THAT SOMEBODY FROM OUTSIDE OF OUR COMMUNITY COMES IN TO CREATE CHAOS.

TED SIMONS: AND WHERE WILL YOU BE TONIGHT?

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: I WILL BE -- I'M GOING TO GO DOWN -- THERE'S A -- THERE'S A PROCESSION RIGHT NOW FROM THE STATE CAPITOL TO THE CONVENTION CENTER SO I'M GOING TO GO THERE. THERE'S GOING TO BE A COUPLE OF PRAYER VIGILS THROUGHOUT THE CITY. ONE IN KENNEL PARK. OUTSIDE OF YOUR STUDIOS HERE IN CIVIC SPACE. SO PEOPLE ARE COMING TOGETHER TO PRAY. THEY'RE PRAYING FOR HOPE AND UNITY FOR OUR COUNTRY.

TED SIMONS: COUNCILMAN, GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE. THANKS FOR THAT.

MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI: THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON, HOW MUCH SUPPORT DOES THE PRESIDENT HAVE IN ARIZONA?

Michael Nowakowski, councilman for Phoenix’s District 7

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