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Trump Holds Private Fundraiser As Chicagoans Protest Outside Trump Tower

By aaroncynic in News on Jul 12, 2016 6:40PM

Photo by Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist

Community groups, organized labor, elected officials and activists gathered in the shadow of Trump Tower Tuesday morning and early afternoon to denounce the bigoted carnival barker as he was in town meeting privately with high dollar donors to fund his circus.

"Even if we could afford to get in, we would not want in,” said William MacNary, co-direct of Citizen Action Illinois. “We are outside to send a very clear message. What this country needs in the midst of the frustration, pain and all the anger is a leader who will bring America together and not divide us. Trump’s rhetoric, demeanor and policies make him unqualified and unfit to be the President of the United States."

This was Trump’s first visit to Chicago after he cancelled a rally at UIC at the last minute due to thousands of demonstrators showing their displeasure with his xenophobic carnival in March.

Earlier today the real estate mogul, best known for his policies which include xenophobic calls to criminalize whole religions and races, along with his racist rhetoric and use of neo-nazi propaganda, Tweeted that crime in Chicago was “not good.” He added that he would deliver “jobs, safety and protection for those in need” inside inner cities, despite presumably never having set foot in struggling Chicago neighborhoods on the South and West sides.

MacNary added that Trump’s “dog-whistle Tweets attract white supremacists, anti-semites and homophobes.”

Cook County Commissioner and former mayoral candidate Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia, who said he was going to be late for a Cook County Board meeting, also spoke:

“I wanted to be here this morning standing side by side with my Muslim American sisters and brothers, Jewish American sisters and brothers, with Asians who are here and people all over the Chicagoland area saying ‘we do not welcome Donald Trump to Chicago.’ We don’t welcome him because of the hateful and divisive rhetoric that he represents. To elect him President would be disasterous.”

Leaders from Muslim, Jewish, LGBTQ and women’s rights groups along with advocates for people with disabilities were also on hand, each taking turns calling out the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for his divisive rhetoric and xenophobic policy ideas.

“His idiotic, imbecilic, asinine view of this country does not comport with reality,” said Rami Nashashibi of the Inner City Muslim Action Network. “We are all together and will stand against the rhetoric of bigotry, hatred and absolute utter stupidity in saying that we will and can do better for this country.”

"To be a Jew is to understand the very worst of what this hateful rhetoric can do," said Oren Jacobsen, a member of the Truman National Security Project. "A man who would mock a war hero, or insult a differently-abled reporter, ban and register Muslims and rob them of their first amendment rights is too divisive to lead America. A man who would play footsie with the KKK and lead the charge to legitimize the first black president in this country's history is too divisive to lead America."

Photo by Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist

Shortly after the morning press conference, a small second group of student environmental activists gathered briefly under the watchful eyes of a heavy police presence to denounce Trump over his environmental policies. “His toxic rhetoric and irresponsible positions around climate would permanently damage our future,” said Abby Johnson, the youth vote director for Illinois Next Gen Climate.

Trump has had some incredible commentary over the years on climate change, from simply calling it a "con job," to seemingly pulling rhetoric from the comments section on Infowars: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive," he Tweeted in 2012.