Washington: Donald Trump was forced to cancel his campaign rally in Chicago after hundreds of people gathered at the arena to protest against his ‘politics of hatred’ and scuffled with his supporters in the largest-ever demonstration against the Republican presidential frontrunner.
Trump initially delayed his rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion last night but his campaign in a statement later announced that it was being postponed due to security concerns.
This is one of the rarest of the rare occasions that a political rally has been cancelled due to protests.
“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,” his campaign said in a statement.
“Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace,” the campaign said and asked the participants at the rally go back home.
Thousands of people had gathered at the Trump’s rally.
Eyewitnesses said hundreds of Trump’s protesters had entered the auditorium and said that they would oppose his rally.
Chicago Police said no arrests were made.
Heated argument and some violent exchanges were seen on television camera as almost all the news channels were showing the event live.
Ever since Trump started his campaign, his rallies have been attracting protests mostly by a handful of people who were being taken out of the venue.
This was the largest-ever protest against the 69-year-old real estate tycoon who has made headlines over his controversial statements.
News channels said there were hundreds of protesters in not a few thousands of them who had gathered in large numbers against what they allege as the politics of hatred.
Trump said protesters were between 2,000 to 3,000 and against some 25,000 of his supporters inside and outside the venue.
“Even though freedom of speeches is violated, I made the decision in conjunction with law enforcement not to do the rally. There were minor skirmishes, but no clash,” Trump told CNN in an interview over phone.
“I didn’t want to see anybody get hurt,” Trump said.
The billionaire businessman insisted that he could have held the rally. “I think we made the right move,” he said. “I do not like seeing violence at all.”
Asserting that his supporters are peaceful, Trump said he has “no regret” over what he has said during his campaign rallies.
“It is a divided country. We have a very divided country.
It is terrible,” Trump said the protest was mainly due to the economic problem in the country.
Protesters cheered cancellation of the rally, according to The Chicago Tribune.
“We stopped Trump,” they chanted.