Trump Urges Fans to “Be Nonviolent”
Oct. 8, 2015
WATERLOO - A group of Iowans dressed as Rosie the Riveter interrupted Donald Trump’s campaign speech at the Electric Park Ballroom on Wednesday to protest his silence on climate change, with calls to “Mobilize Now!” and take “Climate Action Now!”
The 7-member team was there on behalf of The Climate Mobilization, a national campaign calling on the United States to bring net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and restore a safe climate for humanity through a World War II-scale mobilization of the economy.
Trump initially endorsed the suggestion, saying, “You're right, Mobilize Now is right.”
When the demonstrators continued their calls to “Mobilize Now” and held up signs for "Climate Action," Trump realized he had made a mistake. “Oh, I thought they were on our side!”
Trump supporters became aggressive with the protesters, pushing them and grabbing and destroying their signs. Miriam Kashia, a 72-year-old grandmother from Iowa City, reported being shoved.
“A gentleman behind me pushed me very hard," said Kashia. "It felt like he hit me and pushed me, and almost knocked me over — and knocked me into a couple people — our people, standing in front of me.”
To his credit, Trump urged the crowd “don't hurt those people,” and called on supporters to "be nonviolent” as they ripped the signs from protesters' hands.
As the protesters departed peacefully, Trump thanked his supporters for not escalating further. "You really behaved well! Look at the size of this guy!" he said, pointing to a member of the crowd. "They are so lucky he was so nice. Every once in awhile we talk about nonviolence, right?"
"We knew we would not have any opportunity to politely ask Mr. Trump about his position on the climate crisis," wrote Kashia, in a blog post explaining why she and the other demonstrators decided to disrupt his speech.
"I was frightened. I am 72, and I felt threatened to be roughly shoved and yelled at. But I cannot ignore the blatant disregard of billionaire candidates and corporations who deny this scientific reality and who profit from the ever-increasing extraction, transport, refining, burning and export of fossil fuels."
Kashia reported that as she and the demonstrators walked toward the exits, some in the crowd were hostile, but others offered heartfelt words of thanks. “A woman held out her hands and said, 'Thank you for doing that,'” said Kashia.
“Clearly, Trump supporters are conflicted about climate change,” said Ed Fallon, who organized the demonstration.
Other protesters included George McCloskey and Peter Clay of Des Moines, and Barbara Schlachter and Kristy Medo of Iowa City.
"We must demand accountability of legislators on every level of our government," wrote Kashia. "Like the 'Rosies' of the past, we can, once again, mobilize and create the massive changes we must make while creating new jobs and insuring a livable planet."
CNN: “Trump tells crowd not get violent when protesters disrupt event”
Politico: "Trump heckled by climate change activists"
Iowa State Daily: "Trump talks taxes, trade, and immigration in Waterloo"
EnviroNews: "‘The Climate Mobilization’ Disrupts Trump on the Stump — Elderly Protestor Assaulted by Crowd"
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Margaret Klein Salamon: