Chicago student activists block Trump rally
Student protesters and allies stopped a Chicago rally for demagogic Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before it began. The rally, scheduled for Friday, March 11, 2016 at the UIC Pavilion, faced a diverse opposition both inside and outside.
Student organizers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, about 60 in all, organized two protests: one inside the pavilion where nearly a thousand opponents congregated, and a second protest outside, starting with a brief rally at the UIC East Campus, followed by march to the pavilion. An estimated 3000 to 8500 people took part in the outdoors protest.
Those protesting Trump reflected the diverse variety of people whom Trump openly insulted in his public statements: one survey listed "student groups including the Young Democrats, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Black Student Union, [the] Muslim Student Association, and Mexican Students of Aztlan." Other listed Chicago groups who took part included "Black Lives Matter – Chicago, Black Youth Project 100, We Charge Genocide, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, the Immigrant Youth Justice League, along with many Chicago Teachers Union members, and others from the local Latino community."
Protesters have faced expulsion at Trump events in the past. But the much larger number of protesters inside the UIC Paviliion, comprising perhaps an eighth to a third of all the attendees, would be too large to try to remove. Hence, Trump stopped the rally. The Chicago Police Department never recommended a cancellation, and neither the Chicago police nor the UIC police reported a security problem.
As commenter Bill Chambers wrote: "This is the first time that a Trump rally was cancelled before it even started because of widespread protest. It will very likely not be the last. Now we know there are two things Donald Trump is afraid of – Megyn Kelly[,] and the people of Chicago."
Additional Links: Fight Back News: How students in Chicago organized to shut down Trump | Politico: Inside the Protest that Stopped the Trump Rally | Democracy Now!: Meet the Chicago Activists Who Forced Trump to Cancel Campaign Rally | Transformative Spaces: No Welcome Mat for Fascism | The New Yorker: The Chicago Anti-Trump Protest Was Only The Beginning | Truthout: Five Misconceptions About the Trump Rally in Chicago | Muftah: As Trump Continues His Rise, Protest Is Our Most Powerful Weapon