After protesters shut down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally on Friday, the presidential candidate tried to reduce them to thugs. “The organized group of people, many of them thugs, who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America!” he tweeted.
In truth, the event was organized over the course of a week when students and members of the community banded together to take on Trump. Students and faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago wrote a letter to the school’s administration asking for the cancelation of the event.
Trump’s rallies have turned violent in recent weeks. As police officers removed a man from a Fayetteville, North Carolina, rally, a Trump fan sucker-punched him, according to the Washington Post.
Students at UIC felt uncomfortable with what a Trump rally represents. “As an undocumented UIC graduate student, I feel unsafe knowing that Trump along with his followers will be at my university,” Jorge Mena wrote in an open letter to the school, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We already face systemic violence but we’re increasingly becoming targets of attacks by his followers on and off Trump’s campaign trail.”
The Black Student Union, the Muslim Student Assn., the Fearless Undocumented Alliance, MoveOn.Org (who provided the protesters with signs), Assata’s Daughters, and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration came together to shut down Trump. The presidential candidate said safety concerns left him no choice but to cancel the event at the UIC Pavilion.
Inside and outside the venue, tensions mounted, and the police broke up groups of people. 10,000 people had tickets to the rally, and at least 1,000 people stood outside. The night ended in at least five arrests and three injuries, according to the New York Times.
Since then, politicians on both sides have spoken out against Trump. Here is what’s followed the canceled event:
Ted Cruz blamed Trump for inciting violence.
“The responsibility for that lies in protesters who took violence in their own hands,” he said. “But in any campaign responsibility starts at the top. Any candidate is responsible for the culture of the campaign, and when you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you created an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discord.”
Trump blames Sanders for the violence.
Bernie Sanders called out Trump for offering to pay for legal bills.