Some armed supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump issued veiled threats on social media April 12 to protesters who planned to attend Trump's Fox News town hall meeting in Pittsburgh April 13 (video below).
An open-carry group of Trump fans posted a message on Reddit that said they planned to patrol the area near the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall where Trump is appearing, notes City Paper. The Trump fans planned to stop any protesters from setting up roadblocks, which would be against the law.
The message, entitled "Pittsburgh Open Carry Events in Support of Trump," was removed from Reddit, but stated: "[T]he majority of us will us will be open carrying sidearms and long arms (AR-15 style preferred, but AK’s and such are fine)... This isn’t gonna be a place to mess around!"
Reddit user ElDuderino412 wrote, "Stopping ANY attempt of roadblocks is our main objective."
"I hope any 'protesters' who think it might be a good idea to pull some of the crap that we've seen done elsewhere remember Pennsylvania has a castle doctrine," ElDuderino412 added. "I would not hold people against their will with illegal roadblocks or any other tactics."
"People have been paid to intimidate others and cause havoc as a way of protesting Trump… That will NOT happen in Pittsburgh. We are prepared to defend ourself against all attempts at harm or kidnapping (roadblocks for example). Time to show we are taking this country back and no one will stop us!"
In response, Pittsburgh’s public safety office said in a statement: "Pittsburgh Police are aware of and are monitoring various social media commentary and threats regarding the Donald Trump rally today. We will continue to monitor and validate the credibility of these threats throughout the day, and will respond accordingly. As always, our first and primary concern is the safety of the City."
According to WPXI, none of the armed Trump supporters (about 50 people signed up) showed up for the demonstration.
However, a small group of protesters and Trump supporters clashed near the entrance of the memorial hall, and both sides were at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (pictured above) where Trump planned a rally.