13 Mar 2016

Chicago’s far-left political groups failed to shut down a Donald Trump rally in Bloomington, Illinois, despite their initial hopes.

The 146-member Dump Trump Facebook group set up an event to demonstrate against the 2016 Republican presidential candidate’s March 13 event.

The group garnered a 1,215 “going” response with 7,487 “invited” and 2,810 “interested.” But the actual turnout was far below pledged “going” Facebookers.

Protesters were instructed to meet at 7:00 am if that person possessed a ticket and planned to go inside the venue and at 9am to protest outside the venue. Only about 100 protesters made it out to the Bloomington Trump rally according to NBC 4 News.

Attendee tweeted photo and video of what appeared to be a relatively minimal protest presence:

(video at source link)
Jazmin Beltran ✔ ‎@JazminBeltran
At least 20 protestors have been escorted out of Donald Trump's rally in #Bloomington, Illinois. #DonaldTrump
9:42 AM - 13 Mar 2016

(video at source link)
Jenn Sullivan ‎@SullivanWICS
Protestors at #TrumpRally in Bloomington #Decision2016
7:06 AM - 13 Mar 2016

Here’s a mention of someone attending a Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) rally as a supporter, and a Trump rally as a protester:

jane ‎@jackassjane
going to support Bernie sanders in champaign tomorrow then protest trump in Bloomington on Sunday. it's gonna be a good weekend fam
3:38 PM - 11 Mar 2016

This tweeter claimed to have heard about the Bloomington protest while at the Bernie Sanders rally held in Champaign, Il., on Saturday morning:

13 ‎@13hurricanes
Last night, while I was in Champaign, IL, I heard about the plans for a Bloomington protest at the Trump Rally. Hope they shut it down.
9:51 AM - 13 Mar 2016

Trump told supporters at a Saturday campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio that of those protesting his scheduled, later cancelled, rally in Chicago, “Some represented Bernie, our communist friend.” According the tweets above this appears to be at least partially correct.

This aspiring protester seemed slightly less committed with a Fall Out Boy concert at stake:

mari is @ fob ‎@lilacskiesliam
do you think I'll have enough time to go protest against trump in Bloomington and still make it to St. Paul in time to see fall out boy ��
7:39 PM - 11 Mar 2016

The Bloomington police congratulated themselves as the event concluded:

Bloomington Police ‎@cityblmPD
Rally has concluded & crowd is clearing peacefully. No significant issues. No arrests have been made. #Bloomington
10:23 AM - 13 Mar 2016

Trump had a downtown rally scheduled for nearby Chicago on Friday night. That rally was cancelled under threat of violence. hosted a petition for protesters to disrupt that rally. The petition reached almost 51,000 signatures as Trump landed in the area, but many did not appear to make it to the downtown venue.

Bloomington is approximately a two hour drive from Chicago.