Chicago Protesters Dump the Trump

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Photo by Tony Magallon

Republican presidential canddiate Donald Trump blamed Bernie Sanders supporters for the violence that erupted at his cancelled Chicago Rally

Trump supporters and protesters clashed around UIC’s Pavilion, which resulted in the cancellation of Trump’s appearance on March 11.

This was a major victory for the protesters, but his supporters left disappointed.

When Trump announced his plan to visit a week ago people voiced their concerns and support. On Facebook, a “Trump Rally Protest–Chicago” group was created and it was getting thousands of people’s attention.

Nevertheless, his supporters patiently waited outside. It started at the entrance on Racine avenue and it stretched to West Congress Parkway.

Steph Talaber, 59, a trump supporter who waited in line since 9:00 a.m.,  said, “(Trump) is going to make our country great again. He’s gonna create jobs. He’s gonna bring all the jobs back that have been outsource to all of these foreign countries and he’s gonna stop ISIS.”

She said she believes Muslims should be allowed to come to the U.S., but must be screened because she believes it is getting out of control.

While waiting in line, students and civilians shouted at some of the supporters. Some of the supporters countered, shouting “Hate Hillary” and “F— Obama.” Cars beeped for their supporters. A small group of protesters had gathered across the street from the pavilion.

Although security was supposed to check tickets, they did check all, which may have allowed some anti-Trump protesters to sneak in some banners. According to the ticket it was not permitted to bring any signs into the rally unless they were provided inside.

Things were calm inside.

Supporters were handing out Trump signs that read “The Silent Majority Stand for Trump.” Some took selfies and pictures together.

While more people entered the building, more protesters gathered outside as well.

At 5:00 p.m., three men who had “Muslims United Against Trump” written on their shirts were booed and were escorted out of the building by police officers. The crowd then cheered. Once that was dealt with, people acted like nothing happened.

It was surreal.

At 5:38 p.m., protests once again erupted at Trump supporters. Some people on both sides verbally cussed out each other. One supporter spit on a protester, which resulted him being kicked out of the building. There were some “Black Lives Matter” activist at the scene. Some shouted, “16 Shots!” a directed reference of Laquan McDonald, the 16-year-old boy who was gunned down by a Chicago police officer. Some Trump supporters yelled back, “All lives matter.”

One African-American man, wearing a yellow White Sox cap, held up a torn Trump sign.

“How can you insult people?” he shouted. “The American president does not insult people! Trump is an idiot! Let’s stop Donald Trump!”

While this incident was overall peaceful, one must wonder the safety on both side. The environment was increasingly uncomfortable.

6:00 p.m.: Supporters began to shout, “We want Trump!”

While this was happening, demonstrators kept coming. Their numbers increased outside. Trump supporters were surrounded. It appeared that there were more protesters than supporters

Thirty-minutes later, a man walked to the podium, looked at the crowd and announced: “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. Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”

What happened after that was anything but peaceful

Chaos immediately erupted on both sides. While Trump supporters repeatedly shouted, “We want Trump!” the opponents shout back, “F— you Trump!”

Then it became louder and louder. Some had hid Bernie Sanders signs and shirts. At one point, a large crowd chanted Bernie’s name for several minutes. Police officers were trying to keep the peace but it became clear that the crowd had taken over the pavilion.

Trump supporters were overshadow and trapped.

Some people pushed. A few were fighting. Some threw popcorn. Cynthia Sierra and Adam Santiago, UIC students, were trying to get out but were surrounded by supporters who they claimed were spit on.

At one point, Santiago said, “While we were leaving people were starting to arguing (sic). After a while, cops were coming up, pushing people over the floor telling them to get out of here when they were blocking the exist.”

They claimed that an officer was not pushing the supporters, but the minorities. They were thankful for another cop for helping them.

This event went on for the next 50 minutes. Then the speaker made an announcement, “Attention, attention, the event is now over. Please exit the building.” The crowed cheered. It was a strong victory for the protestors. As for Trump supporters, it was a defeat. They came in for nothing.

Getting outside was just as hard as getting inside. Once outside, there were protesters everywhere. They were on both sides of the sidewalk. Some yelled, “We stop Trump!” People continued to push each other. Some clashed towards one another. Trump’s supporters had a hard time trying to get out. Police officers had to secure the parking garage because some people blocked drivers from getting out.

The outside protest lasted for a while. While I was heading home, a woman shouted, “This is not Chi-raq! This is Chicago and tonight we took over the city.”