Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump canceled a major campaign rally he had planned on Friday night in Chicago, Illinois.
Thousands of people gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion to hear the real-estate mogul.
But a large number of them were young and raucous protesters.
In a statement, the Trump campaign said:
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.
CNN’s camera captured a number of fights breaking out between Trump supporters and protesters, forcing the event to be postponed to a later date. An anchor on CNN estimated that half of the 10,000-person crowd was demonstrating against the candidate.
Anyone carrying protest signs or wearing obvious anti-Trump apparel was not allowed into the pavilion, according to ABC7.
Progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org had called for the event’s cancellation last week. Executive director Ilya Sheyman said in a statement:
“Mr. Trump and the Republican leaders who support him and his hate-filled rhetoric should be on notice after tonight’s events. These protests are a direct result of the violence that has occurred at Trump rallies and that has been encouraged by Trump himself from the stage. Our country is better than the shameful, dangerous, and bigoted rhetoric that has been the hallmark of the Trump campaign. To all of those who took to the streets of Chicago, we say thank you for standing up and saying enough is enough. To Donald Trump, and the GOP, we say, welcome to the general election. Trump and those who peddle hate and incite violence have no place in our politics and most certainly do not belong in the White House.”
Illinois is one of five states holding primaries on Tuesday.
Scenes from outside the arena can be viewed below:
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