Trump calls off Chicago rally due to security concerns. Protesters packed the arena, forming a large part of the crowd. Kamran Siddiqui, 20, a student at the school who was among those celebrating at the announcement that it was called off:
Trump represents everything America is not and everything Chicago is not. We came in here and we wanted to shut this down. Because this is a great city and we don’t want to let that person in here.
A Republican who came to hear what Trump had to say:
It’s a shame. They scream about tolerance, but are being intolerant themselves. That doesn’t make sense.
Many of the protesters in Chicago said they were there to specifically to stop Trump from speaking. This is taking the PC tactic of shutting down opponents and preventing them from speaking to a new and dangerous level. The election is eight months away, and already the PC crowd is calling Trump “Hitler” and resorting to violence and intimidation. Not good.
Veronica Kowalkowsky, an 18-year-old Trump supporter, said she had no ill will toward the protesters — but didn’t think they felt the same way. “I feel a lot of hate,” she said. “I haven’t said anything bad to anyone.”
You have a right to speak — and protest. But you do not have a right to silence other people’s speech, including by preventing them from speaking — which was clearly the intent of those who did exactly that in Chicago tonight.
What I see this evening is a criminal mob action, not a protest.
UPDATE: People for Bernie, on their success at stopping the rally:
It took organizers from dozens of organizations and thousands of people to pull it off. Great work.
This is bananas. Bernie chants followed by USA chants followed by “We stopped Trump” chants. … Craziness in lower bowl of UIC Pavilion. People looking for a fight. … Crowd exiting #TrumpRally. One side yelling “Nazis!” Otherside yelling “Communists!”
This is becoming too tribal.
UPDATE: Paul Mirengoff at Powerline:
This is beyond bad dudeism. … If the left has its way, Trump will not be able to speak in public. He will have to run the modern equivalent of a front-porch campaign.
With no sense of irony, the protesters, having successfully shut Trump down, chanted “this is what democracy looks like.” Many of them also chanted “Bernie,” suggesting that they really mean “this is what Democratic Socialism looks like.” In so, they probably aren’t wrong.
I have criticized Donald Trump for what looks to me like latent authoritarian. But the left’s authoritarian streak has become patent.
UPDATE: Trump’s St. Louis rally was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, and police said 31 people were arrested and charged with general peace disturbance. Trump pointed out the double standard from the stage:
“They’re allowed to get up and interrupt us horribly and we have to be very, very gentle,” Trump said in response to one of the interruptions. “They can swing and hit people, but if we hit them back, it’s a terrible, terrible thing, right?”
Trump taunted the protesters as weak “troublemakers,” ordered them to “go home to mommy” or “go home and get a job” because “they contribute nothing.”
UPDATE: John Hinderaker at Powerline:
Weirdly, in my view, many critics have blamed Trump for the violent and disruptive antics of the extremists who have infiltrated his rallies. … Blaming Trump for inflammatory rhetoric would make sense if his followers were roaming the streets attacking passers-by, or infiltrating Clinton and Sanders rallies and attacking Democrats. But they aren’t. Not a single such instance has occurred.
On the contrary, every violent or disruptive event has involved people associated with the Democratic Party trying to prevent Trump from being heard. Whose inflammatory rhetoric has inspired them? Certainly not Trump’s.