Though media coverage of demonstrations has generally quieted in recent days, the past three weeks have seen large-scale protests — some of which have been violent, but most of which have been peaceful — in the wake of the death of George Floyd. The unarmed African American man died in police custody as a Minneapolis police officer pushed his knee into his neck for over eight minutes.
On Friday morning, Trump took to Twitter to seemingly warn anybody who is thinking about protesting his planned Tulsa rally.
“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!” he tweeted.
Yahoo News writer Christopher Wilson points out that there is precedent for Trump quelling peaceful protests. Weeks ago, when the George Floyd protests were fully engulfing the nation, such a demonstration was taking place in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square, not far from the White House. The peaceful protest was dispersed with tear gas; Trump and his team later walked from the White House to a nearby church, where Trump posed for a photo op while holding a Bible.
Tulsa, for its part, is attempting to get out in front of any violence, whether from anti-Trump protesters in general or between pro-Trump and anti-Trump protesters.
Already the city has imposed curfews for parts of the downtown area where the Trump rally is scheduled to take place, according to KOTV. Specifically, a curfew is already in effect in the downtown area, having been enacted on Thursday night at 10:00 p.m. local time, and lasting until 6:00 a.m. local time on Saturday, the day of the rally. After the rally, another curfew will be in place until 6:00 a.m. Sunday.
“This is an unprecedented event for the City of Tulsa and has hundreds of moving parts, we are asking for everyone’s help in making this a safe event for all citizens,” Tulsa police said in a statement.
According to Tulsa World, rival events have been scheduled in and around the city. On Friday afternoon, civil rights leader Al Sharpton intends to lead a Juneteenth celebration, honoring the largely forgotten holiday that has become more prominent in the wake of the George Floyd protests.
Similarly, an anti-Trump protest is scheduled for Saturday at Veterans Park, about a mile and a half from the BOK Center, where the Trump rally is to take place.