Protesters interrupt Trump rally in Vermont despite screening

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Vermont on Thursday evening was disrupted repeatedly by protesters despite attempts by Trump's staff to screen the crowd.

See Full Article

Thousands of people stood in line for hours waiting to get into the Burlington event after the campaign distributed 20,000 free tickets to the Flynn Center for the Performing Art, which has just 1,400 seats.

To whittle down the crowd, rally-goers with tickets in hand who'd waited for hours in the cold were asked as they entered the venue whether or not they supported Trump.

Those who said they didn't were promptly escorted out of the building.

Among those turned away was Adam Linnebur, of South Burlington, Vermont, who was asked whether he planned to vote for Trump. When he said he didn't know, he was asked to leave.

"It's not what I expected," said Linnebur, who is supporting Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, but noted there was nothing on his ticket that said he had to support Trump.

Trump defended the decision, describing it a matter of loyalty.

"We have more than 20,000 people that showed up for 1,400 spots. I'm taking care of my people, not people who don't want to vote for me or are undecided. They are loyal to me and I am loyal to them," he said in a statement released by his campaign.

The event was nonetheless interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who were escorted out of the theater throughout the night.

Vermont is a staunchly Democratic state and the event was held in Burlington, a liberal bastion, just a few feet from the City Hall where Sanders, a Vermont senator, got his start as mayor.

"Most of the guys are not coming up here. They're afraid to come up here because it has a tendency to be a little bit liberal," Trump observed as he kicked off the rally.

At first, Trump seemed to embrace the disruptions, taking them as a badge of honor.

"Isn't this more exciting?" he asked the crowd.

Later, he suggested that security staffers confiscate protesters' coats.

"Keep his coat! Confiscate his coat! You know it's about 10 degrees below zero outside," he called from the stage. "You can keep his coat. Tell him we'll send it to him in a couple of weeks."

But as the disruptions continued, Trump's patience appeared to wear thin.

"We've got to get the security moving a little bit faster here," he said, suggesting security officers were afraid to respond with force.

"This is why we're losing control of our country. This is why. We lose control of our country 'cause everybody's afraid to do anything," he said. "They're afraid to lose their jobs."

Trump also spoke at length about Sanders, criticizing the way he responded to Black Lives Matter protesters at an event in August and accusing him of wanting to raise taxes to 90 percent.

"Oh, would I love to run against Bernie," he said.

On a conference call with supporters shortly after Trump's remarks, Sanders responded, "I would love to run against Trump and I think we would not only win, I think we would win with a very good margin."

Sanders also called Trump a "pathological liar" who says whatever he wants to say and thinks it's the truth.

Trump's rally was scheduled for the same time as President Barack Obama's televised town hall on gun violence in America, and he also broached the topic.

While Trump often vows to eliminate gun-free zones if he's elected, he expanded his pledge Thursday to include schools.

"I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools and — you have to — and on military bases, my first day, it gets signed, OK? My first day," he said.

People began lining up at dawn to attend the event and more than 100 people were already in line by midday, with over seven hours to go before the event. By the time the doors opened at 5 p.m., the line snaked on for blocks.

Sarah Rucki, a special education teacher from St. Albans, brought her 12-year-old son, Gage, also a Trump fan.

"I think that it's pretty awesome that he's coming into Bernie country to speak to those of us that do exist and so support him up here," she said.

Trump opponents also turned out early and shouted back and forth with supporters as they filtered into the theater. They stood outside during Trump's speech, and cheered when people left the building.

As people streamed out, some Trump supporters raised their Trump signs in defiance.

Chants of "Bernie, Bernie" came from protesters.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Alberta Liberal party calls for public inquiry into drug deaths in provincial jails

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON - The Alberta Liberals want the government to call a public inquiry into all drug-related deaths of inmates in provincial jails since 2012. Liberal Leader David Swann said there has been a spike in the number of drug-related police investigations at the Edmonton Remand Centre over the past year. Source
  • Trump wrongly blames fraud for loss of popular vote

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump asserted in a private meeting with congressional leaders Monday night that he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 election if 3 million to 5 million immigrants living in the country illegally hadn't voted. Source
  • 'She gambled away Ryan's life': Judges rules Tamara Lovett guilty of criminal negligence causing death [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Calgary mom Tamara Lovett gambled with her seven-year-old son's life by not getting him proper medical care and lost, a judge ruled Monday in finding her guilty of criminal negligence causing death. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kristine Eidsvik said Lovett's decision to continue to treat her gravely ill son, Ryan, with "natural" remedies instead of getting him to a doctor crossed the line of criminal behaviour. Source
  • Countries push to save TPP deal after U.S. exits

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY -- Several countries say they hope to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership after President Donald Trump's decision on a U.S. withdrawal from the trade pact cast its future in jeopardy. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull acknowledged Trump's move was a blow to the multinational agreement. Source
  • Toronto theatre company developing play based on Russell Williams interrogation

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - A Toronto-based theatre company is developing a play based on the intense police interrogation in which convicted sex killer Russell Williams confessed his crimes. The One Little Goat Theatre Company plans to premiere "Smyth/Williams" in March, with an all-female cast that will alternate the roles of the interrogating officer and Williams through the performance. Source
  • China's birthrate rises after one-child policy loosened

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- The number of births in China has risen nearly eight per cent in the year after the government loosened its unpopular one-child policy. China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said this week that 17.86 million children were born last year, an increase of 1.31 million from 2015. Source
  • Competitive electronic gaming taking universities by storm

    Canada News CTV News
    Competitive electronic gaming, also known as eSports, has become such a phenomenon that there are now university teams and scholarships dedicated to the alternative sport. Competitive gaming is extremely popular overseas in places like South Korea and Japan, where matches of games like Starcraft can sell out stadiums. Source
  • Former Liberal MP Andrew Telegdi dead at 70

    Canada News CBC News
    Tributes to Andrew Telegdi poured in Monday evening on news the former Kitchener-Waterloo MP and city councillor has died. He was 70. Telegdi served as a Liberal MP from 1993 to 2008, the first four years for the riding of Waterloo, then for the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo for 11 years. Source
  • Ageless Venus Williams advances to Australian Open semis

    World News CBC News
    Venus Williams has become the oldest woman to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the Open era, returning to the last four at Melbourne Park for the first time in 14 years.MEN'S RESULTS: Australian OpenWOMEN'S RESULTS: Australian OpenThe 36-year-old Williams beat No. Source
  • 200,000 litres of crude oil spilled in Saskatchewan

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    STOUGHTON, Sask. — About 200,000 litres of crude oil has been spilled onto agricultural land in southeastern Saskatchewan after a pipeline leak. The spill was detected Friday at a site 10 kilometres north of Stoughton in a low-lying area with a frozen slough. Source