Inside CPAC 2018

By Philip Elliott | Photographs by Mark Peterson—Redux for TIME

They came ready to fight. To fight liberals. To fight Republicans who go wobbly. To fight the media. To fight suggestions that it’s time to restrict gun rights.

To fight those who dare question President Donald Trump. So for three days at a conference center near Washington, thousands of activists packed the ballrooms at the Conservative Political Action Conference to hear a rallying cry to never surrender or compromise.

Judging from the roar inside the halls and the anger that was boiling over, the instinct to fight remains strong, now slightly more than a year into the Trump presidency. While those huddled on the banks of the Potomac River represent a sliver of the broader conservative movement, they do indicate where its strongest and most vocal ranks reside.

And, if the scene at CPAC is any indication, they are spoiling for fights.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsAn attendee pauses to take a picture on Feb. 22.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsAttendees stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsSenator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) receives support during his speech.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsAttendees show support for President Trump.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsAmong the many speakers was Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsAn attendee wears a patriotic bowtie while another shows support for President Trump.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsAn attendee wears a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat during the Pledge of Allegiance.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsSupporters applaud during Vice President Mike Pence’s speech.

cpac-mark-peterson-for-time-republican-photography-detailsPatriotism at CPAC 2018 is displayed from head to toe.

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