In Chicago recently, a rally for Donald Trump at the University of Illinois/Chicago morphed into a chaotic, confrontational mass of differing opinions and emotions. There were naturally groups in support of the Republican presidential candidate but, unlike other Trump rallies, there was a conspicuous amount of non – Trump adherents who arrived to present a counterview. While the immediate sensationalism of these current events dominated the night’s media attention, past outcomes from protestor versus supporter encounters have not garnered the same consideration in the press. Most of the visual journalism seemed to seek out combatants from each respective group engaging one another through violence but there was very little for them to focus on in that regard. Pundits’ views ranged from feigned shock and outrage, to condemnation and deflection as the night wore on. It was both interesting and surreal to be a part of some real time conflict. News reports indicate that students and some faculty had circulated a petition requesting that the University cancel Trump’s rally on campus but apparently it was dismissed by higher authorities. This led to vigorous social media activity by students who mobilized with other anti Trump factions to hold highly visible demonstrations at the event (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/03/12/3759465/how-activists-mobilized-chicago). It’s now apparent that with the seeming victory resulting from a collective call to action, more of these larger protest will become the norm – and that is a good thing.
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