Right-wing media figures are blaming MoveOn.org for violence that occurred following Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's canceled rally in Chicago on March 11, likening the group to the Ku Klux Klan and accusing them of “creating this havoc and ... putting innocent people's lives in jeopardy.” In fact, several media figures have slammed Trump for condoning “violence in rally after rally,” and at the Chicago event MoveOn.org only helped provide logistical support for the protests, including printing signs and recruiting attendees.
MoveOn.Org Provided Logistical Support, Volunteers For Trump Protest
Trump Rally Canceled Amid “Concerns That The Environment At The Event Was No Longer Safe.” A Donald Trump campaign rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago was canceled on March 11 “amid fights between supporters and demonstrators, protests in the streets and concerns that the environment at the event was no longer safe. The announcement,” CNN reported, “follows heightened concerns about violence in general at the GOP front-runner's rallies.” [CNN, 3/11/16]
MoveOn.Org Printed Signs And Helped Recruit Attendees For Protest In Response To Violence That Has Previously Occurred At Trump Campaign Events. In a statement following the March 11 protests at the Trump rally, Ilya Sheyman, executive director of Moveon.org Political Action, explained that the group had supported local activists by “printing signs and recruiting MoveOn members to attend the student-led protest,” adding that the protest “was a direct result of the violence that has occurred at Trump rallies and that has been repeatedly encouraged by Trump himself.” From Sheyman's statement:
"Like so much of what Donald Trump says, his attempt to scapegoat progressive activists and MoveOn.org for violence at his cancelled rally in Chicago is profoundly dishonest and untrue.
"MoveOn proudly supported University of Illinois at Chicago students and local organizers in their courageous nonviolent protest outside the event. We helped student leaders by printing signs and recruiting MoveOn members to attend the student-led protest.
“But let's be clear about one thing, the protest Friday night was a direct result of the violence that has occurred at Trump rallies and that has been repeatedly encouraged by Trump himself from the stage. There is only one person to blame for the chaotic and often violent nature of Trump rallies: Donald J. Trump. This sort of violence does not happen at Sanders, Cruz, Clinton, Rubio, or Kasich events, despite the fact that there are often protests at their events. [MoveOn.org statement, 3/12/16]
Media Figures Called Out Trump For “Encouraging, Even Condoning Violence” At His Rallies
Sunday Talk Show Hosts, Other Media Slam Trump For “Condoning Violence” And “Sending A Dangerous Message.” Following the March 11 protests and weeks of prior violence at Trump rallies, several Sunday political talk show hosts and media outlets condemned Trump for inciting and provoking violence at his rallies. Fox News' Chris Wallace told Trump “you have condoned violence in rally after rally,” and CNN's Jake Tapper personally pleaded with Trump to tone down his provocative rhetoric. Atlantic staff writer David Graham pointed out that, at his events, “Trump encourages the crowd to vent its fury at the protesters,” and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell said of Trump: “We've never seen a presidential candidate encourage violence, but Trumpism has changed everything.” [Media Matters, 3/14/16]
Trump Campaign Blames Violence On MoveOn After Canceling Rally
On Hannity, Donald Trump Claims This “Was A Staged Deal By MoveOn” And That "There Would Have Been Tremendous Clashes." On the March 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity, after Donald Trump had canceled his rally and as the protests continued outside, Trump suggested that the “staged deal by MoveOn” would have led to “tremendous clashes” inside the stadium, claiming that “a lot of people would have been hurt” if the rally continued with MoveOn protesters inside:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Now, did law enforcement recommend this to you, as well? You have Secret Service protection.
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah. They did. They recommended it. They did strongly recommend it. And I understood it, I understood exactly what they said. They're very professional. The law enforcement, I think, did a great job because, you know, you could see it. Had this gone forward, that was a staged deal by MoveOn or whoever might be doing it. But that was a staged deal. Had this gone forward, there would have been tremendous clashes and a lot of people would have been hurt. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/11/16]
On The Kelly File, Trump Spokesperson: “Socialist And Anarchist Groups” Like MoveOn.Org Using Threats And “Violence.” On the March 11 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, as the protests were underway, Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson claimed that “socialist and anarchist groups” like MoveOn.org were following “Alinsky's Rules for Radicals” to “create the threat, because the threat is more terrifying” and that they were using “violence” to push “people to sympathize” with them:
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Your thoughts on what we're seeing tonight?
KATRINA PIERSON: Hi, Megyn. You know, all of America can see just how we are losing our country. As you had mentioned, this was an opportunity for Mr. Trump to exercise his free speech, with people who wanted to hear him. And he was shut down. And this is interesting, more importantly, because we see the social media of some of these socialist and anarchist groups who are pushing people to come and attempt to shut this down, the reports of MoveOn.org being involved. And you can see very clearly on the inside where people were Bernie Sanders supporters. They were taking other Trump people's signs and ripping them up and throwing them around and honestly, this is what we know from the left. This is Alinsky's Rules for Radicals on full display. Ridicule, keeping on the pressure, create the threat, because the threat is more terrifying. Violence on the other side pushes people to sympathize with you. You pick your target, freeze it, and personalize it, this is exactly how the left operates. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 3/11/16]
Conservatives Echoed Trump, Scapegoated MoveOn For Violence At Trump's Rally
CNN's Trump Apologist Jeffrey Lord: MoveOn.Org Is “The New Ku Klux Klan.” In a March 15 American Spectator article, CNN contributor and habitual Trump-apologist Jeffrey Lord equated MoveOn.org to the Ku Klux Klan, blaming the organization for recent violence at Trump campaign rallies. Lord wrote that MoveOn.org “has now become the latest successor to this mantle of racism plus violence.” According to Lord, “the only difference” between the days of the KKK and MoveOn.org's organization of protesters is, “This time around they don't use hoods and burning crosses to rally the terrorists, they use social media instead”:
Meet MoveOn.org. The new Ku Klux Klan. The newest leftist incarnation of that old leftist formula that combines racism with violence to push the progressive agenda.
The American Left has a horrendous history of flat out racism and bigotry, liberally salted with violence. From the 19th and early 20th century Klan, on to the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Weather Underground of the 1960s and early 1970s, on to today's Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, the Violent Left has trucked in racism or violence or both. The common thread being the goal of shutting down opponents when not terrorizing them into silence.
The MoveOn.org-organized events in Chicago at the now-canceled Trump rally, not to mention the attempt by a Bernie Sanders supporter to rush the stage at a Trump rally and forcibly deny The Donald his First Amendment right to free speech, if not physically assault him, has only underscored the point that MoveOn has now become the latest successor to this mantle of racism plus violence.
So here we are yet again. The Left appealing to people by race -- urging them to forcibly shut down fellow Americans who were peacefully exercising their First Amendment right to assemble and hear the candidate of their choice.
The only difference between this and the days when the progressives were hiding under those white hoods and burning crosses while trying to terrorize newly freed slaves and their white allies? This time around they don't use hoods and burning crosses to rally the terrorists, they use social media instead. [American Spectator, 3/15/16]
Sean Hannity: MoveOn.Org Is “Responsible For Creating This Havoc And ... Putting Innocent People's Lives In Jeopardy.” During the March 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity blamed MoveOn.org for “creating this havoc and shutting this event down” and “putting innocent people's lives in jeopardy”:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Now MoveOn.org, they seem to be threatening that this is going to go on at future events, Mr. Trump. And I want to remind our audience here that MoveOn.org endorsed Bernie Sanders by a vote in January 2016 and they had a record setting 78.6 percent of 340,000 votes supporting Bernie Sanders, and yet they're responsible for creating this havoc and shutting this event down and I would even argue putting innocent people's lives in jeopardy. There were women and children at your event. I saw them there. They had to see all this tonight. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/11/16]
Fox's Peter Doocy: MoveOn.Org “Manipulated” Young People “To Go And Incite Something That Ended Up Being Kind Of Violent.” On the March 12 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Peter Doocy blamed MoveOn.org for taking advantage of young people to incite violence, asking, “What kind of a person, young person, on a Friday night, is most likely to be manipulated by a group like MoveOn.org to go and incite something that ended up being kind of violent?”:
PETER DOOCY (CO-HOST): There's a lot of evidence that these were protests organized by professionals, MoveOn.org, Bill Ayers. What kind of a person, young person, on a Friday night, is most likely to be manipulated by a group like MoveOn.org to go and incite something that ended up being kind of violent?
CLAYTON MORRIS (CO-HOST): Don't they have free will?
KEITH ABLOW: These are empty people, right, who are looking to be filled up with anything, any drug. Protests can be a drug if it turns violent. If you don't know who you are, for what you stand absolutely, and you can't enunciate it as an autonomous individual, then you are fodder for anyone who does know what he wants and can take you along with him or with the organization. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Saturday, 3/12/16]
Fox's Doug McKelway: “There Has Been Suggestions That MoveOn.Org Is Behind A Lot Of This Orchestrated Violence.” During the March 12 edition of Fox News' America's News Headquarters, guest co-host Doug McKelway suggested that “MoveOn.org is behind a lot of this orchestrated violence,” adding, “there certainly appears to be ... a pattern to” the rallies:
DOUG MCKELWAY (CO-HOST): There has been suggestions that MoveOn.org is behind a lot of this orchestrated violence. There certainly appears to be, as we have watched these rallies progress through the last several months, a pattern to them. That a protester erupts every three minutes, every four minutes, every five or so, making it virtually impossible for him, for Trump to complete his thoughts. [Fox News, America's News Headquarters, 3/12/16]
Right-Wing Conspiracy Website InfoWars: MoveOn.Org “Has Taken Credit For The Violence” And “Promised Similar Violence” To Come. Alex Jones' right-wing conspiracy website InfoWars.com claimed on March 12 that MoveOn.org “has taken credit for the violence at a cancelled Trump event” and “promised similar violence and disruption will occur at future Trump political events.” The article further noted, “The violent demonstration in Chicago on Friday may represent a precursor to the sort of activity the organization will engage in as it tries to 'shut down' its political enemies”:
Ilya Sheyman, a failed Illinois contender for Congress and the executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, has taken credit for the violence at a cancelled Trump event last night in Chicago. He promised similar violence and disruption will occur at future Trump political events leading up to the election.
The violent demonstration in Chicago on Friday may represent a precursor to the sort of activity the organization will engage in as it tries to “shut down” its political enemies and elect either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. [InfoWars.com, 3/12/16]
Wash. Examiner Reporter: “MoveOn Celebrating Violence In Chicago Outside #TrumpRally.”
-- Ariel Cohen (@ArielCohen37) March 12, 2016
Fox's Ed Rollins: MoveOn.Org Is Creating “Chaos” And Needs “To Be Basically Blamed For This.” During the March 13 edition of Fox News's Sunday Morning Futures, Fox contributor Ed Rollins alleged that MoveOn.org organized the Trump protests to “get on television and ... to create whatever chaos they can,” before saying “they need to be basically isolated and they need to be basically blamed for this.” Fox frequent guest Julie Roginsky added that “MoveOn.org is playing into” Trump's provocative rhetoric that incites “a lot of the protest violence.” [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures, 3/13/16]
Conservative Radio Host Hugh Hewitt: MoveOn.Org Protesters In Chicago “Were There To Start A Riot.” On the March 14 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said that MoveOn.org, not Donald Trump, was “to blame [for] the fire” of the protests, analogizing that MoveOn.org sent “in the gasoline and the matches” to “start a riot”:
HUGH HEWITT: Donald's very right by the way, the people going to his rallies are not going there to protest, they're going there to disrupt. And I was frankly shocked that Jennifer Granholm is on this station encouraging what is in essence an invitation to violence at these rallies.
Donald Trump is absolutely right, these protesters are not protesters. They are going to his rallies to cause disruption, and I'm shocked that Jennifer Granholm said go, MoveOn.org, go ahead with your --
Hillary Clinton last night said that Donald Trump is an arsonist. Well what I just saw with Jennifer Granholm and MoveOn.org, that's the arson. I mean they want to blame the fire on Donald Trump, but they're setting it at MoveOn.org and Jennifer Granholm is setting it. And Hillary set it last night. So I don't know how you build this giant pillar of dry wood and then you send in the gasoline and the matches via MoveOn.org and Hillary steps back and says, oh my this is terrible. Donald Trump is exactly right that they should stay away from his rallies or they should peacefully protest. But I have seen the tape. You have seen the tape. Those people in Chicago were there to start a riot. Classic Alinsky tactic. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 3/14/16]
Bill O'Reilly: “Far-Left Agitators” Like MoveOn.Org “Drove A Situation That Could Have Become Violent.” On the March 14 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly assailed “far-left agitators” like MoveOn.org for “practicing” fascist philosophies, adding that the “far-left agitators” were at fault for driving “a situation that could have become violent”:
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): The far-left stalking Donald Trump and his supporters, trying to provoke violence. Also the media may be helping them out, we'll explain it all in the Talking Points Memo.
O'REILLY: Donald Trump and violence. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. One of the biggest political stories in years unfolded in Chicago Friday night as hundreds of left-wing protesters managed to shut down Donald Trump's rally at the University of Illinois, Chicago. But if you were monitoring the national media coverage of the fracas, you did not, did not get the entire story, which is grossly unfair to you and an insult to journalism. Here's what really happened. One week ago on Monday, March 7th, about 180 University of Illinois faculty and staff sent a letter to the university chancellor expressing concern about the Trump rally from a liberal point of view.
The same day, the far-left website MoveOn.org, partially funded by radical George Soros, posted a petition opposing the Trump rally in Chicago. All throughout the week, far-left people ramped up the campaign to deny Donald Trump the Chicago forum. Thus, on Friday, it was no surprise that disruptive protesters entered the university pavilion to shut Trump down and confront his supporters. So I ask you, who's at fault here? Who provoked the incident? The answer's obvious, far-left agitators, who do not believe in freedom of speech, drove a situation that could have become violent. There is no question about it. And Mr. Trump was right to cancel the event because people might have been hurt. But the national media almost immediately spun the story, demonizing Donald Trump and his supporters, blaming the incident on inflammatory rhetoric and racist thought. In the process, the press ignored the MoveOn component, essentially condoning a flat out assault on freedom of speech.
Now, there is evidence that some Trump supporters are angry, undisciplined people, some violent. That's true. But some supporters of Bernie Sanders are angry and undisciplined. And here is an interesting footnote, the radical group Black Lives Matter actually shut down a Sanders rally last August. So, there's a trend: radical leftists believing they can disrupt political events at will. Talking Points applauds honest dissent. If you don't like Donald Trump, stand outside his events peacefully. Make a little sign. Chant whatever you want, as long as it's not threatening. Opposition to Donald Trump is not the issue here, true fascism is. We have seen some anti-Trump people use the fascist salute while taunting Trump supporters. But here's a very simple question. Shutting down opposing points of view is totalitarian, right? So some of the very people accusing Trump supporters of being fascist are really practicing that terrible philosophy themselves. Or am I wrong? [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/14/16]
Conservative Activist David Horowitz: MoveOn.Org Assembled A “Mob” Of “Hate-Filled Foot Soldiers.” Right-wing activist David Horowitz wrote in a March 13 TruthRevolt article that the MoveOn.org organized “mobs” of “hate-filled foot soldiers” to focus “their venom on Donald Trump,” writing that the “Chicago mob scene” was “what fascism looks like.” Horowitz wrote that the “political left” organized by MoveOn.org “is driven by racial and class hate, and is utterly contemptuous of the democratic process - hence the effort to ... prevent Trump from expounding his views in Chicago”:
The mob that came to disrupt the Trump rally in Chicago was neither spontaneous nor innocent, nor new. It was a mob that has been forming ever since the Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization in 1999, whose target was global capitalism. The Seattle rioters repeated their outrages for the next two years and then transformed itself into the so-called “anti-war” movement to save the Saddam dictatorship in Iraq. Same leaders, funders and troops. The enemy was always America and its Republican defenders. When Obama invaded countries and blew up families in Muslim countries, there was no anti-war movement because Obama was one of them, and they didn't want to divide their support. In 2012 the so-called “anti-war” movement reformed as “Occupy Wall Street.” They went on a rampage creating cross-country riots to protesting the One Percent and provided a whipping boy for Obama's re-election campaign. Same leaders, same funders and troops. In 2015 the same leftwing forces created and funded Black Lives Matter and lynch mobs in Ferguson and Baltimore who targeted “white supremacists” and police.
Behind all the mobs was the organized left - MoveOn.org, the public sector unions run by Sixties leftovers, and the cabal of anti-American billionaires led by George Soros. The mobs themselves were composed of the hate-filled foot soldiers of the political left. Now these forces have gathered in the campaign to elect the Vermont communist and are focusing their venom on Donald Trump. The obvious plan is to make Republicans toxic while driving a wedge through the Republican Party. The plan is defeat Republicans in November so that the destructive forces they have set in motion in the Democratic Party can finish the wrecking job that Obama started.
One of the professionally produced signs at the Chicago mob scene proclaimed, “This is what democracy looks like.” Actually it is exactly what fascism looks like. As every student of the Thirties knows, the breakup of democratic forums by Nazi and Communist thugs paved the way for Hitler's election. Just like the mobs of the Thirties, today's left is driven by racial and class hate, and is utterly contemptuous of the democratic process - hence the effort to hang the Ferguson cop before the trial and to prevent Trump from expounding his views in Chicago. [TruthRevolt, 3/13/16]