Protest erupts during President Trump’s visit to Chicago

by Aidan McGinty / Staff Reporter

During the 2016 election, protestors brought awareness to racist and sexist remarks made by President Trump. Photo courtesy of Zachary Wright.

On Oct. 28, President Donald Trump visited Chicago for the first time since he was on the campaign trail in 2016 to speak at the International Association of Chiefs of Police held at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

According to the New York Times, the last time Trump came to the city, he was attempting to host a rally at the University of Illinois Chicago. However, the rally was cancelled due to growing safety concerns regarding the large amount of protesters gathered around the pavilion. This incident ended in five arrests and many physical altercations. 

The visit did not last very long. Trump did not spend a night in the city. He arrived at O’Hare airport on Monday morning, and left later for D.C. that same afternoon. 

The Police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, who Trump referred to as a “disgrace,”  decided to skip the event, saying that his speech would “not line up with our city’s core values, along with my personal values.” 

In addition to Eddie Johnson boycotting the event, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot did not meet with the President, instead attending an event with former President Barack Obama. 

At the event, President Trump denounced Chicago, claiming that it is an “embarrassment to us as a nation.” He also claimed that Chicago was “more dangerous than Afghanistan.”

The feeling was mutual from Chicago natives, who matched his distaste. Outspoken residents rallied outside Trump Tower, protesting his visit. Flooding the streets of downtown Chicago, chanting and holding signs which read a variety of anti-Trump catchphrases. Many streets were closed as a result of the number of people marching. 

“Chicago is one of the most resistant areas to Trump.” said Ellie Allan, a freshman political science major. “Chicago is one of the most liberal cities in the nation and just so happens to be a sanctuary city at that so combining the two and then throw a president in the mix who says immigrants are criminals and rapists, the people of this city don’t really take well to people who go against our ideals we especially don’t like racist people. Trump embodies racism. Chicago hates that.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, the protesters created a commotion around the Trump Tower, as well as marching through the loop, down South State Street. Alt-right citizens came to support Trump as well, causing arguments between sides. The Chicago Police Department reportedly had 1800 additional officers in the city prepared for the visit. 

“The most congesting was around the Trump tower itself,” said Lexie Judd, a freshman sustainability major. “I think the protest was completely justified, he stands for everything this city tries its hardest to destroy. He is a racist.” 

Other students at Roosevelt are voicing similar opinions. “Essentially, the citizens are just enacting their first amendment right to assemble,”  said Trent Bremmer, freshman history major. “And on a personal note, it seems that every time he visits the city, he trash talks it.”

While sophomore IMC major Grace Koeppen said, “I think people are allowed to express how they feel. He knew, coming here, that Chicago was predominantly democratic and that he wouldn’t have the warmest welcome into the city.”

Trump has a negative history with the city of Chicago and it’s core beliefs, and that history was not forgotten when he came to visit. Outspoken Chicago citizens came together to make their voices heard, and Roosevelt students generally seemed to agree that the city’s protests against Trump were justified.

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