Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has canceled a rally in Chicago, calling off the event due to safety concerns after protesters packed into the arena where it was to take place.
The announcement that Trump would postpone the rally for another day led the crowd inside the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion to break out into raucous cheers.
Meanwhile, supporters of the candidate broke out into chants of “We want Trump! We want Trump!”
There was no sign of Trump inside the arena on the college campus, where dozens of UIC faculty and staff had petitioned university administrators to cancel the rally. They cited concerns it would create a “hostile and physically dangerous environment” for students.
Earlier, Donald Trump supporters and protesters alike have packed into an arena on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago for an evening rally with the Republican candidate for president.
Many of those who were waiting in line to get into the Friday night event identified themselves as protesters. UIC student G.J. Pryor said he wanted to disrupt Trump’s speech, adding he would only do so if he felt safe.
Some Trump supporters walking toward the arena chanted, “USA! USA!” and “Illegal is illegal.” One demonstrator shouted back, “Racist!”
There’s a heavy police presence outside the rally, with barricades and mounted police keeping most protesters and Trump supporters apart.
Trump supporter Veronica Kowalkowsky says she has no ill will toward the protesters. But the 18-year-old says she has felt their ill will, adding: “I feel a lot of hate. I haven’t said anything bad to anyone.”
This Chicago Reader video shows protesters chanting Kendrick Lamar‘s “Alright” on the scene:
— Chicago Reader (@Chicago_Reader) March 12, 2016