Inside the 4-star Grand Hyatt New York on Thursday evening, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the New York state Republican Gala, a high-status, black tie fundraising dinner that costs $1,000 to attend.
Outside the hotel, thousands of people are scheduled to protest the event — with the explicit intention of shutting it down. The demonstration is free to the general public.
“Trump’s rhetoric is an instigation to racist, anti-migrant and misogynist violence,” said Kalisa Moore, part of the Stop Trump Coalition, in an emailed statement previewing the protest. “As a matter of self-defense and protection of New Yorkers, we intend to do what the city’s elected so-called leaders refuse to do — and shut down Trump from spreading his hateful message.”
Only one protest has ever successfully “shut down” a Trump event. That was last month, when the number of demonstrators both inside and outside Trump’s University of Illinois-Chicago rally overwhelmed the event, prompting him to cancel it. Afterward, Trump complained that his First Amendment right to free speech had been infringed, though many pointed out that the First Amendment only protects private citizens from interference from the government.
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