Coward cancels rally
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Donald Trump cancelled a rally in Chicago on Friday night over supposed safety concerns. A large organized group of protesters showed up both inside and outside the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion and clashed with Trump supporters.
The scene inside the venue appeared, well, similar to any other Trump rally. Protesters were speaking out, and supporters not particularly happy about it.
— Kevin Pang (@pang) March 12, 2016
What made this event different was the number of demonstrators and their level of organization. This wasn’t a few people sprinkled throughout the crowd, as was the case this week in North Carolina. In Chicago, entire sections of the arena were filled with protesters, with even more waiting outside.
Before entering the arena, Trump cancelled the event and issued the following statement:
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.
Then, things got chaotic.
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) March 12, 2016
Despite the fact that Trump, a man who is known as a bastion of truth-telling, claimed he consulted with local law enforcement before coming to his decision, the Chicago Police Department told the AP that they never suggested Trump cancel the rally. They didn’t even tell him that their was a security threat.
“We were not consulted, and we had no role in whether or not the event should be canceled,” Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante said rather bluntly. So Trump cancelled the rally on his own, probably because he didn’t want to have to deal with all those people who really seem to dislike him. Truly a brave move for the man who called Bernie Sanders “weak” for allowing two Black Lives Matter protesters to speak at a Seattle rally back in August.
Hey, speaking of things Trump has said in the past, when he was talking about that incident with Senator Sanders, he also threatened physical violence against anyone who would dare do such a thing to him. He pretty bluntly stated, “That will never happen with me. I don’t know if I’ll do the fighting myself or if other people will, but that was a disgrace.” This would be far from the last time Trump would threaten protesters with violence, specifically by calling on his supporters to do the dirty work for him.
I hope that my tone is not that of causing violence pic.twitter.com/nWwFeqy1LD
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 12, 2016
It’s almost as if words have meaning and actions have consequences. Weird.
In any case, Trump went on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC to complain about how awful this whole thing was and, as is always the case when something like this happens, complained about his right to free speech being suppressed. This ignores the fact that the First Amendment also grants protesters the same free speech and assembly rights, and that nobody actually stopped Trump from speaking. He knows this, but that doesn’t matter. Complaining about being censored and having your free speech taken away has always been a rallying cry for people who don’t actually understand how the First Amendment works. They think it gives them the freedom to say and do pretty much anything they want without having to deal with the consequences.
The organized group of people, many of them thugs, who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2016
Oh, good. He even used the word “thugs.”
In any case, Trump’s supporters seemed very upset.
— Chicago Trib Photo (@ChiTribPhoto) March 12, 2016