Trump complains protesters can't demonstrate near his trial—days after man self-immolated outside courthouse

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‘SO UNFAIR!!!’: Trump complains protesters can’t demonstrate near trial—days after man self-immolated outside courthouse

'America Loving Protesters should be allowed to protest at the front steps of Courthouses...'


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Apr 22, 2024   Updated on Apr 22, 2024, 12:15 pm CDT

Former President Donald Trump complained on Monday that his supporters can’t demonstrate near the New York courthouse where his hush money trial is taking place, saying “America Loving Protesters should be allowed to protest at the front steps of Courthouses.”

But Trump neglected to mention a man had self-immolated outside the courthouse just days prior—and that nearby protests had previously been permitted.

While condemning the anti-Israel protests that have swept Columbia University, Trump argued that it is unfair that those protesters are allowed to demonstrate while his supporters face restrictions.

The escalating situation at Columbia prompted the university to switch to remote classes after efforts to clear an encampment zone in the center of campus by New York Police Department officers clad in riot gear failed, despite over 100 arrests being made.

“Why are Palestinian protesters, and even rioters, allowed to roam the Cities, scream, shout, sit, block traffic, enter buildings, not get permits, and basically do whatever they want including threatening Supreme Court Justices right in front of their homes, and yet people who truly LOVE our Country, and want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, are not allowed to ‘Peacefully Protest,’ and are rudely and systematically shut down and ushered off to far away ‘holding areas,’ essentially denying them their Constitutional Rights,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social.

He continued, adding an appeal to his supporters: “America Loving Protesters should be allowed to protest at the front steps of Courthouses, all over the Country, just like it is allowed for those who are destroying our Country on the Radical Left, a two tiered system of justice. Free Speech and Assembly has been ‘CHILLED’ for USA SUPPORTERS. GO OUT AND PEACEFULLY PROTEST. RALLY BEHIND MAGA. SAVE OUR COUNTRY! ‘THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF.'”

Trump neglected to note that prior to the restrictions near the courthouse, protests had been permitted. But then on Friday, a protester at a park near the courthouse died after setting himself on fire.

The 37-year-old man, who was neither a Trump nor Biden supporter, espoused conspiracy theories, including that the president and Trump were collaborating as part of an “apocalyptic fascist world coup.”

But despite that key difference between what has occurred at the protests at Columbia and near the courthouse, Trump nonetheless doubled down in comparing the situations in two follow-up posts on Truth Social.

“Unlike at Columbia University where the Radical Left Palestinian Protesters sat on the Front Lawn, practically took over the School, and screamed, ‘Death to the Jews, Death to Israel, Death to America,’ and nothing happened to them, Lower Manhattan surrounding the Courthouse, where I am heading now, is completely CLOSED DOWN,” Trump wrote. “SO UNFAIR!!!”

In a separate post, Trump highlighted a Washington Examiner story detailing clashes between protesters at Columbia and Jewish students, saying: “Look at this story. Hamas Protests. But why aren’t Country Loving Republicans allowed to peacefully protest around the Courthouse, where I am right now. It’s like an armed camp. MAGA2024!”

Trump faces a 34-count felony indictment in New York related to hush money payments paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Prosecutors allege that business records falsified in connection to the payments violate state and federal election laws.

Trump has decried the trial as politically motivated—a sentiment he echoed on Wednesday in two posts between his remarks ranting about the demonstrations at Columbia.

One post simply read “ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!” The other, “WITCH HUNT!!!”

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*First Published: Apr 22, 2024, 12:14 pm CDT