As It Happens

Chicago pastor removed from Trump rally; calls for global push against 'hateful rhetoric'

Pastor Jedidiah Brown says he was confronted with an "atmosphere of hatred" when he went to protest at a Donald Trump rally in Chicago.
Anti-Trump protester Jedidiah Brown was removed from the rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion on Friday. (L) Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage to speak to attendants at a campaign rally on Mar. 12, 2016 in Vandailia, Ohio. It was the first rally after violence broke out and cancelled the Chicago rally. (R) ( Tasos Katopodis/Ty Wright/AFP/Getty)
Listen6:39

Stakes are high as reports of racial tension and violence continue to pour out of Donald Trump rallies.  On Friday, March 11, a Trump rally in Chicago was cancelled after clashes between Trump supporters and protestors.

Now, the Republican candidate is blaming "professional protestors" and "thugs," going so far as to call for their arrest. He also suggested supporters of Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders were behind the unrest and threatened to sic his own supporters on Sanders rallies.    

We're going to stand against Trump and his hateful rhetoric. We want people to organize. This is when the global community gets a little smaller.- Jedidiah  Brown

Jedidiah Brown, activist pastor in Chicago, was protesting at the cancelled rally. He made headlines for storming the stage. He was quickly restrained and escorted off by security but video of his protest has been widely circulated on social media. He denies he is a professional protestor. 

"My contribution was organic," Brown explains. "My intention was not to shut down the rally until I confirmed that it was an atmosphere of hatred — and it was."

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, face off with protesters after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns Friday, March 11, 2016, in Chicago. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

"Trump has been speaking, essentially to the world, consistently with a message of what we consider to be hate, bigotry and ignorance," Jedidiah Brown tells As It Happens host Carol Off. "So everybody came there from Chicago with the same mentality: we don't want Trump to have a platform in our city."

Brown says Trump supporters hurled racial slurs at him and told him to "go back to Africa." At one point, he was asked whether he was paying for his food with a welfare cheque.

"Chicago stood up and Trump got the message," Brown explains. "We did not necessarily shut his rally down but we were a force to be reckoned with because Trump never came out those doors."

Trump rally postponed in Chicago as protesters clash with supporters 1:06


Trump insists that the protestors or "thugs" were infringing on his First Amendment rights. But Brown dismisses these claims.

"He's a liar and a coward," Brown insists. "He postponed it when he recognized he was in a city that was going to stand up and challenge his hateful campaign that he's been going unchallenged with all over America."

"We're going to stand against Trump and his hateful rhetoric. We want people to organize. This is when the global community gets a little smaller," Brown says. 

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