A march for President Donald Trump planned ahead of his Georgia rally on Monday ended before it started as organizers struggled to establish a location.
Trump is set to appear at 9 p.m. Monday at the Dalton airport in advance of the runoff election on Tuesday for two U.S. Senate seats, an election that will decide the balance of power in Congress.
Ahead of his arrival, Dalton's Walnut Avenue is lined with pop-up Trump merchandise tents and was set to house a pro-Trump march planned by conservative group Women for America First.
The event was to be part of a bus tour by the group, which previously visited Birmingham and now is off to Washington, D.C., for a Wednesday protest of Trump's loss of the presidential election on Nov. 3.
The Dalton "march for Trump" on the bus tour was canceled at the last minute.
"We're just going to have to go on to D.C., I guess," organizer Bay Cagle told the Times Free Press as she packed away audio equipment and American flags. "We aren't being allowed to meet here because the mall owners won't let us, I guess, and we've got nowhere else to go."
Cagle and a handful of other organizers disassembled a temporary stage set at the back of the Dalton Mall parking lot after a mall representative arrived and told them they didn't have permission to meet.
"If it was blue, if this was [Black Lives Matter] we'd be protesting, no problem," one man yelled at the mall representative. "Tell everyone you know that the mall won't let us meet here. Put it out on Facebook. It's a bust," he then yelled to organizers and reporters.
According to Cagle, the organizers had not been issued or even sought a permit for the event.
"We were just told by [state] Sen. Chuck Payne [R-Dalton] that we should try to use the Ryan's parking lot," Cagle said. "But, to be fair, we didn't do anything else to get a permit or something."
Even with a modest crowd, Cagle said the mall will regret the clout they forfeited by forestalling the event.
"We will be at the Washington D.C. rally at the White House, so you would believe that that would actually be good PR for a mall that actually looks like it's struggling," she said. "Regardless of your political views, I would think you would want to help Dalton because Dalton needs business, right? Why shoot down publicity?"
Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.