Amid the growing security concerns, Donald Trump has made the decision to postpone his rally in Chicago.
“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, according to CNN. “Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”
According to the Associated Press, thousands of people, both Trump supporters and protesters, filled a campus arena on Friday, March 11, to see the Republican candidate speak. As more and more people filled the inside and outside of the arena, verbal and physical fights started breaking out, causing the Chicago Police Department to attempt to control order. When it was announced that the rally would be postponed, Trump protesters cheered, while his supporters chanted “We want Trump! We want Trump!”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 12, 2016
Veronica Kowalkowsky, an 18-year-old Donald Trump supporter, said she didn’t hold anything against the Trump protesters, but they had ill feelings toward the supporters.
“I feel a lot of hate,” she said. “I haven’t said anything bad to anyone.”
One protestor, Dede Rottman, 64, of Chicago, carried a placard that read: “Build a Wall Around Trump. I’ll Pay for it.” When an African-American man was escorted out of the arena the crowd started chanting “Let them stay!”
Earlier on Friday, during a rally in St. Louis, 32 people were arrested at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis, police said. Thirty-one people were charged with disturbing the peace. The other was charged with third-degree assault. Donald Trump taunted the protesters at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis after they repeatedly interrupted his speech.
— ITV News (@itvnews) March 12, 2016
“They’re allowed to get up and interrupt us horribly and we have to be very, very gentle,” Donald Trump said following the interruptions.”They can swing and hit people, but if we hit them back, it’s a terrible, terrible thing, right?”
“These are not good people, just so you understand,” Trump added, calling the protesters “troublemakers” that “contribute nothing.”
“These are not the people who made our country great. These are the people that are destroying our country.”
— Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman) March 12, 2016
Donald Trump’s rally in St. Louis was his first since Wednesday when a man was arrested for punching an African-American protester in North Carolina.
“He was a rough guy, and he was punching. And we had some people — some rough guys like we have right in here — and they started punching back,” Donald Trump said after the incident. “It was a beautiful thing.”
“You know, they talk about a protest or something. They don’t talk about what’s really happing in these forums and these rooms and these stadiums,” Trump added. “They don’t talk about the love.”
Donald Trump added that his supporters “do get angry when we see the stupidity with which our country is run and how it’s being destroyed. I’d rather be too strong than too weak, by a long shot.”
[Photo by Matt Marton/Associated Press]