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The trial of former President Donald J. Trump is taking place in Manhattan and has drawn attention from around the world. The scene outside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse is chaotic and colorful, with gawkers, demonstrators, politicians, and hustlers gathering in Collect Pond Park across the street. Despite smaller crowds than expected, there have been arrests and even a self-immolation. Republican officials have used the park for news conferences in support of the defendant.

Among the characters attending the trial are amateur puppeteers who have created doppelgängers of the defendant, as well as a self-proclaimed sex-capsule salesman who hoped to meet Trump. A lawyer from Denver, on a cross-country tour, declared the trial to be better entertainment than “Les Misérables.” Meanwhile, a provocateur flung out phallus-shaped balloons, and Chinese expatriates, mostly women, have maintained a vigil in support of Trump.

Some attendees, including those promoting a horror movie called “The Strangers: Chapter 1,” have added an unsettling element to the trial scene. Chinese expatriates, who see an echo of communism in Trump’s prosecution, show their support for the former president with flags and hats. A woman named Sylvia Achee plays a song criticizing Trump on a portable speaker, hoping to influence people’s opinions through music.

Despite the drama surrounding the trial, with various characters and spectacles vying for attention outside the courthouse, the proceedings continue inside as Trump faces accusations related to hush money. The trial serves as a focal point for those both supporting and opposing the former president, with emotions running high on both sides. The global spotlight on the trial is unlikely to diminish, as onlookers and participants alike continue to engage with the spectacle taking place in the courtroom and the surrounding areas.

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