By: Regina Wright ~Staff Writer~
Due to security concerns, Donald Trump’s campaign postponed a rally in Chicago at the University of Illinois at Chicago on March 11.
Fights between Trump supporters and demonstrators, protests inside and outside the arena and concerns about heightened violence caused Trump’s campaign to postpone the rally.
“Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and, after meeting with law enforcement, has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date,” the Trump campaign said in a statement. “Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”
Before Trump had arrived at the arena, at least five sections of the arena were filled with protesters. After the announcement several fistfights broke out between supporters and protesters. Jeremy Diamond, CNN Political Reporter, tweeted a video of protesters chanting “We stopped Trump” and “We stumped Trump.” Others chanted “Bernie” and pulled out Bernie Sanders campaign signs.
“I don’t really care whose rally it is, but why do you have to throw punches?” Sophomore Ann Bishop, occupational therapy major said. “I feel that by violently protesting a Trump rally it gives Trump more press, and a lot of Americans will vote for the candidate they will hear the most about. Violence detracts from the statement that they are trying to make by protesting.”
Earlier in the week protests and racial tensions escalated when a man attending a Trump rally was charged with assault after he elbowed and physically assaulted a Black protester while he was being led out of the event.
At CNN’s Republican Debate on March 10 in Miami, Fla., Trump said that he did not support violence at his events and blamed the protesters who attended his events. However, Trump urged supporters to “knock the crap out of ” anyone who looked like they would throw tomatoes after two were thrown at him in Iowa. He also made reference to wanting to punch protesters in the face at a rally in February.
On March 12, a protester was arrested for rushing the stage and later that night in Kansas City, police pepper-sprayed protesters twice.