Trump Rally in Chicago Canceled Over Security Concerns
The protester-heavy crowd cheered the announcement
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 11, 2016 6:58 PM CST
A protester holds up a ripped campaign sign for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago on Friday.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Donald Trump canceled a rally planned for Friday night in Chicago, citing safety concerns after protesters packed into the arena where it was to take place, the AP reports. The announcement that Trump would postpone the rally for another day led the protester-heavy crowd inside the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion to break out into raucous cheers. Meanwhile, supporters of the candidate broke out into chants of "We want Trump! We want Trump!" There was no sign of Trump inside the arena on the college campus, where dozens of UIC faculty and staff had petitioned university administrators to cancel the rally. They cited concerns it would create a "hostile and physically dangerous environment" for students.

While waiting in line to get into the rally, UIC student GJ Pryor said he wanted to disrupt Trump's speech, adding he would only do so if he felt safe. Some Trump supporters walking toward the arena chanted, "USA! USA!" and "Illegal is illegal." There was a heavy police presence outside the rally, with barricades and mounted officers keeping most protesters and Trump supporters apart. Trump supporter Veronica Kowalkowsky said she has no ill will toward the protesters. But the 18-year-old said she has felt their ill will, adding: "I feel a lot of hate. I haven't said anything bad to anyone." Trump has faced criticism over violence at his rallies, which he downplayed and blamed on protestors during Thursday's GOP debate in Florida.