MOUNT PLEASANT -- There were protests in Milwaukee and Mount Pleasant Thursday, June 28 with President Donald Trump in the Badger State for the groundbreaking at the site of the future $10 billion Foxconn plant. President Trump and others then delivered remarks in Mount Pleasant.
Members of 40 groups gathered at Smolenski Park in Mount Pleasant Thursday afternoon in opposition to Foxconn. After rallying at the park, they marched to the Mount Pleasant Village Hall as President Trump spoke at Foxconn. The effort was dubbed "Operation Shake the Ground."
Steve Anderson lives near the planned Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing campus in southeast Wisconsin and he's trying to keep an open mind about it.
Anderson attended a rally Thursday that attracted about 300 opponents to the project, who voiced concerns over the potential $4.5 billion cost to taxpayers, the plant's impact on the environment and effect it will have on the local community.
Anderson is a 63-year-old substitute teacher who says he thinks Foxconn "definitely would be a major boost economically." But he says his top concern is potential air pollution.
Patrick Schelble of Milwaukee came to the rally carrying a sign that said "People and planet over corporate profits." He says the Foxconn deal was cut behind closed doors.
"In Mount Pleasant, they could be losing their land to eminent domain. In Somers, they have declared the farmland protected area -- now changed it to industrial/commercial," said Esther with Our Wisconsin Revolution.
Protesters' concerns ranged from the government moving ahead with eminent domain for Foxconn land, to the economic incentives deal with the state.
"If we spend $3.5 billion in education, we'd have 80,000 jobs. $3.5 billion in health care, it would be 50,000 jobs," said Tammy.
Doris Dudek, 91, lives nearby, and said she doesn't like what she sees going on in the Village of Mount Pleasant.
"I came here to support the protesters. I live right down the road and I thought I had to come and see if I would do my little part to help the protesters," said Dudek.
On Thursday morning, Voces de la Frontera led a protest in Milwaukee ahead of the fundraiser that President Trump attended in the Brew City prior to the Foxconn groundbreaking. For at least 30 minutes, they were blocking the I-794 off-ramp into the Third Ward -- protesting Foxconn, President Trump's visit and calling for immigration reform.