With the primaries being held today, Donald Trump made his visit to Rhode Island yesterday. Take a look at what took place outside of Crowne Plaza in Warwick, between Trump protestors and supporters.
Video via Rod Webber – Youtube.
Yesterday’s Trump rally at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick Rhode Island was out of control. It was a last-minute show thrown together in a very slap-dash manner, not at the hotel itself, but in a large county-fair style tent adjacent to the hotel which had a 700 to 900 person capacity, (according to the police on duty).
As usual, hundreds of people stood in line waiting to see their orange-coiffed hero-de-jour. Having walked to the front of the line, to get a glimpse of the tent, I knew that in contrast to the size of the line that there would be many unhappy Trump supporters. It was a powder-keg waiting to explode, and one can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t by design.
Until the actual scheduled moment of the event, there was but one lone protester, Paul Deion standing near the door, quietly standing with his “love trumps hate T-shirt.” Paul told me, “I want to to show that not everyone is of this mind, of hate and divisiveness.”
Outside the tent, it was rumored that Trump had begun speaking, which we only knew because some supporters had gotten the live-stream. All was eerily quiet for a moment until a large group of young protesters showed up with signs bearing slogans of love and peace. Suddenly something snapped inside the Trumpers’ heads. It was like the floodgates holding back all the Trump-inspired rage were released. Without signal, nor leadership, the crowd interrupted into a deafening chant of “build the wall.”
The protesters chanted, “no hate, in our small state.”
Some Trumpers responded, “it is not your state!” Others chanted, “go back to Brown,” a reference to the college in Providence, RI, which shares much of its campus with The Rhode Island School of design, which I attended myself.
Within minutes, an older heavy-set man with a white mustache, wearing a Trump pin could be heard saying, “don’t come stand over here monkey.” He then grabbed my camera from my hands, and began wildly throwing it up in the air and catching it. I calmly outstretched my hand and said, “hey man, give me the camera back.”
He then thought it would be funnier to not catch it and put his arms wide as to intentionally let it hit the ground. Making a silly face, he gestured a Deniro-esque “whoopsie daisy.” A young woman with a “think” hoodie picked it up and tried to hand it back to me, but he grabbed it back, and pointed to the protesters, saying, “you’re with them, right?”
I again responded calmly, “give me the camera.”
He angrily shoots back, “try to take it,” again with the Tony Soprano look of, “you know I will crack you with a bat in the face if you try to.”
He then juggled it around with that Deniro-esque mix of menace and mockery, and with one final shot of bravado hurled it out over the crowd like a football.
I went to speak to the police immediately. As usual, the police were telling me there was nothing they could do. The officer even mockingly threw me a peace sign. A number of Trump supporters told me to shut up and go away, and mockingly said, “why don’t you post it on your blog?” Finally I was able to flag down a superior officer, who I was very surprised humored me, and followed me back to try to find the man. Of course after the time wasted, the Deniro impersonator was gone. I asked the crowd, “where is the man who smashed my camera?”
They angrily began chanting, “USA, USA, USA.”
Trumpers could be heard screaming, “everyone hates Clinton and she’s getting the nomination! Fuck Hilary! ”
Elsewhere, Trumpers emphatically shouted, “all lives matter.” One man angrily told me, “fuck black lives matter,” then spit in my face.
The cops managed to move the chaos to the street, saying this was private property. However, things only got worse as Trumpers continued their mockery of the protesters interjecting pushing, more spitting, and tearing-up of signs.
Things finally got explosive when there seemed to be a heated argument between a young white man wearing a “USA” t-shirt who had shouted, “building a wall and protecting our borders in not racist.” The other man was a long-haired Latino who tried to get out through the crowd, for doing so, the crowd shouted back, “assault!”
The Latino then appears to have quickly spit in the direction of the crowd, and turned around to walk away. The young white guy bolts through the crowd and punches him in the face, then tries to grab him in a choke-hold on his neck.
The Latino is handcuffed and taken into police custody. A number of people like myself tried to speak to the police to get them to charge man who was doing the punching, but the police ignored us over and over again, even when we tried to share our video footage with them to prove what had happened. I even got on my loudspeaker to try to raise the issue. Certainly, I don’t condone the spitting, but since the Latino man immediately walked away, the puncher didn’t do so in self-defense. The puncher continued to shout pro-Trump slogans, and the police did nothing. more on Daily Kos