Protests at a Trump campaign event at the Minneapolis Convention Center became violent Friday night. Protesters pushed, verbally harassed and spat on Trump supporters. The most aggressive protesters didn’t arrive until attendees began leaving the convention center and hid their faces behind scarves. Cynthia Schanno of St. Paul said she attended the rally and was surprised that protesters were allowed to get so close to what she was told was the only point of entrance. Afraid to walk through the crowd by herself, Schanno said she asked a police officer to escort her to the door, but he refused.
“He said ‘No, they’re going to accost me. You’re on your own,’ ” she recalled.
Trump supporters run gauntlet to get into Minneapolis Convention Center pic.twitter.com/Ax8lfdqIUR
— Jaime DeLage (@JaimeDeLage) August 20, 2016
Schanno said she was surprised when it was over that attendees had to leave through the same door. Protesters pounded at the glass doors and tried to prevent people from closing doors when anyone exited.
— Renee JonesSchneider (@reneejon) August 20, 2016
The attendees were forced to leave the event without any police protection and were attacked by the more aggressive protesters. “The same thing happened on the way out,” Schanno said. “All of a sudden, these women come up to us … and they started spitting on us. I felt like, had I opened my mouth and said anything, I would have been hurt.”
“The cops were sitting right there and they didn’t do a single thing,” Schanno said. “Not one single thing. I couldn’t believe it.”
The protests were organized and promoted by the following groups:
- Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee
- Occupy Minneapolis
- Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
- The Somali Community Action Group
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations
Minneapolis police spokeswoman Sgt. Catherine Michal said there were no arrests.
“Usually, we do really well with all the protests we work,” she said. “It’s a fine line of allowing people to have the freedom of speech, but it’s possible to cross it.”
The inaction of police in Minneapolis last Friday night is similar to the bloody scenes earlier this year in San Jose, CA as protesters attacked Trump supporters following a campaign rally. This same police behavior and complete disregard for the safety of citizens was demonstrated at protests that turned violent following a Trump campaign rally in Albuquerque, NM.