Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled his rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion on March 11 because of security concerns, but chaos broke out anyway between his supporters and protesters (video below).
During a live broadcast by CNN, people got into pushing and shoving matches, and some were escorted out of the building by the police.
Before the chaos, the Trump campaign announced: "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. Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace."
After the announcement, protesters cheered, supporters yelled and there were vulgar gestures made between the sides, notes WMAQ.
Unlike previous Trump rallies, there were a large number of protesters on hand, many of whom yelled, "Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!," in support of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, while Trump supporters shouted, "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"
Trump spoke with MSNBC host Chris Matthews via phone about the violence that's erupted at his rallies:
We have a country that is so divided that maybe even you don't understand it. I've never seen anything like it, and this has been going on for years. And on one side you have people that haven’t had a pay increase in 10 years, frankly, and the businesses are moving out of the country and they’re upset and they’re angry.
And on the other side, you have people that feel differently about other elements and it all comes together. You see it all over, you see it here, you see it in lots of different locations and there's a lot of anger in the country and it's very sad to see actually.
Following Trump's call, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pinned part of the responsibility for the violence on Trump, notes MediaMatters:
But trying to gin up political violence for its electoral utility is, I think, inarguably what we are seeing here. And I know the Trump campaign will not say that is what they're doing. But when you look at the way that Mr. Trump has been talking about the organic existence of both protesters against him and violence toward those protesters at his events.
When you look at the way that he has encouraged it in an escalating way leading to this inevitable event tonight in Chicago, I think that it is impossible to say that this was an accident.