Last night Donald Trump held another rally with large crowds and the now trademark Trump bashing of his opponents. However, what is gaining the most attention from the rally is the crowd reaction to a number of protesters who tried to interrupt Trump’s message. As seen in the video below, one protester, identified as Black Lives Matter activist Ender Austin III by Yahoo News, sits down and refuses to leave the rally. As security begins tries to pick up Austin a crowd member yells “Light the motherf**ker on fire!” NBC News has another video clip in which a crowd member can be heard yelling the Nazi salute, “Sieg Heil”, as a protester is being removed.
In an interview with Buzzfeed News Ender Austin admitted to being disruptive during the rally. However, he still took issue with the immediate use of force against him and the harsh chants he heard as he was forcibly removed. Ender claimed to have hard the n-word used against him a number of times.
The incidents are the most recent in a series of confrontational and violent events at Trump rallies. At one event Trump even gave tacit approval to the violence, saying of one protester, “Maybe he should have been roughed up.”
Trump first gained notoriety in the presidential race by proposing to build a new wall between Mexico and the United States, and saying of Mexican immigrants, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump most recently gained media attention by proposing a complete travel ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Trump’s rhetoric and policy proposals have been criticized by both Democratic and Republican politicians, but they have gained him the support of the hard right within the Republican Party. That support from the hard right has driven Trump to the lead in national polls, but it remains to be seen how the larger electorate will react to videos like the ones released today.