Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition demanding that the University of Illinois-Chicago cancel a Donald Trump rally that is planned to take place at the school pavilion on Friday.
The petition stated that the bigoted GOP front-runner’s rally “has no place in Chicago but especially not at an institution of higher learning.” The petition had garnered nearly 43,000 signatures as of Monday morning. The site was unavailable Monday afternoon though, with a message reading that the content was “under review.”
The petition, which was started by a graduate student at the university, explained that Trump’s rally could be downright dangerous and argued that his hateful xenophobic rhetoric has no place on a college campus:
In many instances Trump rallies have led to students, youth, and people of color being violently attacked by attendees. UIC should not be host to hate. Please cancel the event.
Thousands of people are planning to peacefully protest the event, promising to have protesters both inside the rally and gathered outside the venue.
Protesters’ criticisms of Trump include his venomous words towards immigrants, his support of sadistic torture methods that are “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” and his cozy relationship with white supremacists such as former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.
The platform Donald Trump would announce at the UIC Pavilion is a direct attack on much of the UIC student body – from mass deportation to a ban on muslims to a refusal to denounce the KKK, not to mention regular insults to women,” the student petition reads. “If UIC is a ‘minority serving institution’ that comes with specific responsibility. And that doesn’t include serving white supremacists or hosting events that put the student body at risk of altercations with attendees who have a history of violent attacks on people of color at his rallies.
The university however doesn’t seem to give a damn about the fact that they are inviting the second coming of Hitler onto their campus, and basically told the concerned students to sit down and shut up.
The school’s chancellor, Michael Amiridis, said the institution “is not endorsing, sponsoring or supporting any candidate for political office.” Rather, it is continuing with a decades-long tradition of hosting campaign events on campus, he said, noting there is no legal basis to exclude a candidate “because of the views he or she expresses.”
UIC’s core values of freedom, equality and social justice for all, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability status or sexual orientation, are deeply rooted in our diverse community and not endangered by the presence of any political candidate on campus,” Amiridis wrote. “We encourage public and civic engagement by all members of our University and we endorse the idea that the answer to speech that one does not like or finds offensive is more speech and not censorship.
Trump’s rallies have a reputation for violent attacks on peaceful protesters and the hatemongering candidate has repeatedly encouraged his supporters to assault anyone who dare stand up against his fascist ideologies. He recently told his angry mob of followers to “knock the crap out” of protesters who dared to interrupt his speeches, even saying he “will pay for the legal fees.” At another rally he said “I would like to punch him in the face” as a protester was being ejected.
Featured image via Flickr