color photograph of a Black man standing outside in a green area between commercial buildings. He wears a black shirt and a baseball cap and holds a white poster sign reading "Lock Him Up" in black text
Keith Buchanan holds a "Lock Him Up" sign at the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. federal courthouse in Miami on June 13, 2023. Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 counts. (Photo by Alexandra Martinez)

A severed pig’s head rotted on a spike in the grueling Florida sun on Tuesday as former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 counts, including 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information. It’s the first time a former president has faced federal charges in American history. The pig’s head on a spike, adorned with a tiny American flag coming out of its mouth, was held by Osmany Estrada, as a reference to the 1954 novel, “Lord of the Flies.” Estrada was one of the hundreds of anti-Trump protesters, Trump supporters, and reporters flooding the streets outside the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. federal courthouse in Miami as the heat index hit 106.1 degrees Fahrenheit, crushing previous records for the date.

“Today is a beautiful moment,” Estrada said. “I’m just here to enjoy the democracy of this country and celebrate a historic moment.”

Members of various Proud Boys and other extremist groups congregated to support Trump, who is also amid a 2024 presidential campaign despite multiple ongoing criminal charges. This indictment comes just months after a Manhattan grand jury charged Trump with more than 30 counts related to business fraud.

As the crowd waited for Trump to exit the courthouse after he was arrested and arraigned, a group of anti-Trump demonstrators celebrated a brief moment of apparent justice despite being harassed by Trump supporters.

“I wanted to come out and protest to show people that you can stand up against Trump and that the Proud Boys aren’t going to keep me away,” said anti-Trump protester Keith Buchanan. “Threats of violence aren’t gonna keep me away.”

Buchanan, who is from Miami, said he would like to see Trump held accountable, which does not necessarily mean jail time, but instead a deal in which he could never hold public office again. 

“I would be satisfied with that,” Buchanan said. “I don’t necessarily agree with putting our [former] president in jail.”

Trump officially announced his 2024 presidential run in November 2022. There are currently 12 Republican candidates in the race, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who officially filed to run last month. Floridians like Buchanan fear Trump and DeSantis will take Florida’s most recent homophobic and transphobic legislation to the national level.

“I’m a gay man,” Buchanan said as waves of Trump supporters shouted derogatory remarks at him. “The Republican Party is attacking gay people. What they’re doing to trans people is horrible, and I think that it’s important to come out and stand up against them.”

color photograph of a Black woman with short blonde hair holding up a large banner on two sticks that reads "Black Folks Will Save Us, Finally Trump Arrested! Again"
Nadine Seiler holds up a banner reading “Black Folks Will Save Us, Finally Trump Arrested! Again” outside the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. federal courthouse in Miami on June 13, 2023. (Photo by Alexandra Martinez)

Nadine Seiler, an organizer based in Maryland, traveled to Miami for the historic event. 

“[I am here] for democracy, the rule of law, and accountability,” Seiler said. “We have a judicial system; a grand jury determined there’s enough evidence to indict him. So he’s going to be arrested, and a jury of his peers will decide if he’s guilty.”

Robin Young, who says they don’t believe in the criminal legal system, is skeptical that Trump will actually face consequences.

“But it’s still entertaining to me from a leftist perspective to see the right lash out at the law,” they said.

Bryce Hackmeyer, who traveled from Broward County, Florida, came to “witness the chaos.” 

“Surprisingly, there’s been no physical altercations yet … but the bar is set in hell right now,” Hackmeyer said. “I’m hearing a lot of false statements thrown around and misinformation about altercations amongst people in the community.”

Hackmeyer would also like to see Trump held accountable for “the crimes committed against the country.” 

Xavier Presley, who lives in Miami Beach, wore a “Trump Sucks” blazer with a matching baseball cap. He adorned a nearby palm tree with posters saying, “Pussy Ass Trump”. 

“I’m just protesting for the people that don’t want to be here, that are afraid to be here,” Presley said. “Trump showed us who is racist and who was not.”

A Trump supporter ripped off Presley’s posters from the palm tree on Tuesday afternoon, telling  police officers he was a “homeless person littering.” Officers did not intervene for either party since the tree constituted public property, but Presley quickly removed his posters and called it a day.

“Things got rowdy, so I decided to leave,” he said.  

Karen Irwin, who held a sign reading “Trump Indictment Celebration Tour,” traveled from New York City for the most recent indictment. She said it’s important for leftists to be represented.

“The MAGAs, the fascists, the Proud Boys, the far right, and the QAnon people have all convinced our side that they’re the most violent and that if we show up, bad things will happen or we’ll get hurt,” Irwin said. “So our side doesn’t show up. We must speak out in order to show them that they do not represent the entirety of this country. When we don’t show up, we allow them to intimidate us.”

Alexandra Martinez is the Senior News Reporter at Prism. She is a Cuban-American writer based in Miami, Florida, with an interest in immigration, the economy, gender justice, and the environment. Her work...