Silver City stages counter protest – a photo essay

Silver City, Nevada counterprotest, Sunday, 9/20, 2020 - photo: Quest Lakes/The Sierra Nevada Ally

Opinion

Some folks in the historic Comstock community of Silver City got wind that a convoy of Trump supporters might pass through Silver City on Sunday afternoon, and decided to stage a counter-protest.

A MAGA caravan was making a northern Nevada loop, beginning in Reno in the morning, then heading out to Fernley, Fallon, Silver Springs, Dayton, Virginia City, and back to Reno.  No one in Silver City was quite sure if the Trump trucks would take the Truck Route or the town’s main street, but they were expected to go from Dayton to Virginia City sometime between 1:30 pm-2 pm.

People began to gather along the main street not long after 1 pm. Of the 30 or so men, women, and children who showed up, most were from Silver City, and a few were from nearby towns. There were a number of Black Lives Matter and Biden/Harris signs, plus hand made signs with messages like, “It’s About Love and Justice,” “One Nation, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for ALL,” “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA,” “Cowgirls for Biden/Harris,” and “White Working Class Against Fascism.”

Silver City, Nevada counterprotest, Sunday, 9/20, 2020 – photo: Quest Lakes/The Sierra Nevada Ally

The atmosphere was something like a family picnic. Local children walked among the demonstrators, offering plates of homemade oatmeal and chocolate cookies. A man on a vintage Triumph motorcycle stopped to chat with a woman holding a BLM sign. A father and son showed up with pizza and shared it. Danceable tunes about freedom and justice played on a Bluetooth speaker and people grooved around with their signs.

Silver City’s main drag is usually busy with tourists heading to Virginia City on Saturdays, and this day was no different. About 20 percent of those passing through and seeing the signs either looked straight ahead and ignored the scene, or stared in bemusement. About 30 percent of those driving through gave the demonstrators a thumbs down or a disapproving shake of the head.

Silver City, Nevada counterprotest, Sunday, 9/20, 2020 – photo: Quest Lakes/The Sierra Nevada Ally

A dozen gave the sign-holders a one-fingered salute. A black pick-up truck with a Trump flag passed through at about 2 pm. When the driver saw the signs, he resorted to “coal rolling” (a method of purposely dumping too much fuel into the engine, creating billowing black clouds). More worrisome, he accelerated rapidly in the 20 miles per hour zone and didn’t see a woman trying to use the crosswalk. Luckily, she avoided his truck and was not injured.  He continued to accelerate, racing uphill toward Virginia City. 

Silver City, Nevada counterprotest, Sunday, 9/20, 2020 – photo: Quest Lakes/The Sierra Nevada Ally

About half of those passing through, however, gave a honk of support, a thumbs up, or showed solidarity with an upraised fist.

The expected caravan never did come by – they seem to have taken the Truck Route and ended up in the parking lot by the Fourth Ward School Museum for awhile. 

Silver City, Nevada counterprotest, Sunday, 9/20, 2020 – photo: Quest Lakes/The Sierra Nevada Ally

At around 3:30 pm the counter-protesters decided to pack it up and headed to the nearby town park for a local woman’s birthday party. The consensus was that it had been a worthwhile event, and there are plans to have similar demonstrations in Silver City until the election.


Quest Lakes and her husband Theo McCormick have long been involved in Silver City, the historic Comstock community where Theo’s parents built their first home in the 1970s. Quest moved to Nevada in the 1980s and fell in love with the state and its fascinating history, landscape, and culture.


The opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of the Sierra Nevada Ally. Our newsroom remains entirely independent of our opinion page. Published opinions further public conversation to fulfill our civic responsibility to challenge authority, act independently of corporate or political influence, and invite dissent.