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How to Handle Protesters at Trump Rallies

I have a solution for this problem of disorderly and violent protesters at future Trump events. As a conservative activist, I have attended a number of protest demonstrations against Bill, Hillary, etc. The police always have a protest section walled off some distance from where the target would be, in some cases, a block away. I do not know what would happen if we did not stay inside the protest zone because we always obeyed.

The solution is to have a fenced-in protest zone for demonstrators which can be expanded as needed outside the arena, some distance from the entrance. A Trump rally is a private event with tickets (even if they are free.) There should be printed rules of conduct on them indicating that anyone who shouts, curses, commits violence, creates any disruption, etc. will immediately be removed. If they resist, they will be arrested. That is how orderly protest is handled. They cannot be permitted access to the inside or even to be physically near attendees on the outside. Disruption outside the sanctioned area must result in arrest after a warning.

Anti-Trump protesters descend on NBC headquarters over SNL appearance

Anti-Trump protesters descend on NBC headquarters over SNL appearance | Photo: The Guardian

This process has actually been used successfully already. On November 5, 2015, Donald Trump hosted the live television show “Saturday Night Live.” There were protesters for the event, but they were excluded the studio audience. As the photo shows, the protesters were cordoned off in a fenced-in protest zone. The live event went off without a hitch.

Even protests on the streets which do not involve tickets can be well controlled by police with fences and rules. Last summer I attended a protest outside my Congressman’s office against the Iran deal. There were actually three separate fenced areas for each type of protester, maintained by the police.

Protesters properly managed behind fences. | Photo: AP

Protesters properly managed behind fences. | Photo: AP

The First Amendment rights of the protesters will be honored, too. They can protest as much as they like within the fenced-in area controlled by the police, like many other protests have done for years.

Many people misunderstand the meaning of how the First Amendment protects free speech. The right to free speech refers to stopping the government from preventing free speech. However, anyone renting a private venue can limit the behavior and expression of the people they invite as they see fit.

Protests at Trump rallies are not only dangerous to the attendees, they also threaten the life of Donald Trump himself. There was an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Trump at his Dayton, Ohio rally on March 12. The would-be assassin was not only a Bernie Sanders supporter, but has also been featured in pro-ISIS videos.

I suggest new tickets be issued for all future rallies with the conditions of attendance and consequences of failure to observe them (ejection or arrest) on the tickets. Attendance at a rally with a free ticket is a privilege, not a right. The Constitutional basis is the right to freedom of assembly, part of the First Amendment. This right permits the exclusion of those who do not meet the conditions of attendance for a controlled-entry event, i.e., an event with a ticket. Mr. Trump paid for that microphone so he can admit whoever and only whoever he chooses.

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