Activists threaten to return against Trump

  • 12/01/2016
Protestors interrupt a campaign rally with US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Massachusetts (Reuters)
Protestors interrupt a campaign rally with US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Massachusetts (Reuters)

Members of an informal group of civil rights activists who were thrown out of a Donald Trump campaign rally after a silent protest have a message for the Republican presidential candidate: you can expect more of the same.

"Let's just say if Mr Trump comes back to our neighbourhood, we might pay him a visit," said Marty Rosenbluth, an immigration lawyer who stood wordlessly next to Rose Hamid, the Muslim hijab-wearing flight attendant who quickly became a media sensation after her removal from the event in South Carolina.

Trump events have frequently seen protesters attempt to disrupt the proceedings by chanting and holding signs. But last Friday, a group of protesters in Rock Hill employed a different tactic.

Rosenbluth had demonstrated at a December 4 Trump rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the group was quickly thrown out after shouting.

"So I was thinking, what would happen if we just stood there silently?" he said.

At a mid-December Trump appearance in Aiken, South Carolina, a few activists tried the quiet approach, standing while wearing yellow stars with messages such as "Stop Islamophobia" that were intended to evoke the stars Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.

It took security guards several minutes to decide how to handle the situation, in part because they were not disrupting the rally, Rosenbluth said.

The protest proved so successful that the activists decided to try again last Friday.

While cameras focused on Hamid and Rosenbluth, six others stood a few rows behind them wearing yellow stars and were also removed.

Hamid, 56, said by telephone on Monday that she was not involved in the planning but decided to go to the rally on her day off work after receiving an email from another protester, Edith Garwood.

Not every member of the group adhered to the silent strategy. Jibril Hough, an activist from Charlotte who is friends with Hamid, decided to chant "Islam is not the problem" and said he was physically removed.

The Trump campaign has not commented on the protesters. A campaign rally in New Hampshire on Monday produced only one disruption, when two men were escorted out after yelling.