2 students recount ejection from Trump rally
Though Saqib Javed stridently opposes many of Donald Trump’s positions, he still attended a rally for the Republican presidential candidate Friday in Warren to hear the billionaire businessman up close.
The 22-year-old Wayne State University student hardly expected to cause a commotion — or to be ejected from the crowd simply for speaking out.
“I got threatened to be arrested for voicing my opinion — that’s crazy,” Javed told The News on Friday night.
Javed is among a group of attendees Trump ordered security personnel to remove from his event at the Macomb Community College Sports & Expo Center.
University of Michigan-Dearborn student Lauren Underwood claims she and a companion also were forced out despite having remained silent throughout the candidate’s speech and even cordially interacting with a supporter.
“Every 15 or so minutes, a scene would happen where the crowd would yell about protestors and Trump would scream, ‘Get them out, send them out of here!’ and the crowd would scream ‘USA, USA, USA’ until the attendees who were asked to leave were escorted out,” Underwood wrote on her Facebook page. “So, about 45 minutes to an hour into his speech, a group of teenage boys (who had been harassing us the entire time while we ignored their comments) screamed and pointed at us, yelling for us to be kicked out.”
Underwood wrote she “wore a shirt bashing Trump.”
Trump has drawn ire for the tactics surrounding the ousters of people attending his rallies.
Police are investigating at least two alleged assaults against protesters at a recent Kentucky rally. One, captured on video, involves a young African-American woman who was repeatedly shoved and called “scum.”
Friday in New Orleans, Trump’s rally was interrupted by a near-constant stream of protesters, including many from the Black Lives Matter movement. At points, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was spotted personally assisting police as they escorted protesters out of the building. Members of Trump’s personal, private security detail were also on hand to assist.
And on Monday, black Valdosta State University students were escorted out of a campus event in Georgia before it began. Ameer Junious, 19, said police directed him to the back of the arena — with no explanation given — before Trump arrived. Videos shot by Junious show a person who appeared to be police officer telling him, “They asked me to have y’all moved,” adding, “I can’t explain that, OK?”
Javed said a similar scene played out while he was a few feet away from Trump at MCC in Warren.
After about 40 minutes, the student said he couldn’t hold his tongue when the real estate developer “was talking about how much money Mexicans are taking, how much money China is taking.”
At that point, Javed started raising his voice and denouncing some of the stances for which Trump has been criticized during his campaign. “I was like: ‘Not all Mexicans are rapists! Not all Muslims are terrorists!’ ”
In a brief video clip Javed shot and posted on Twitter, he is then seen being surrounded and escorted out by at least one uniformed officer while some audience members are heard shouting “Get him out of here!”
“They were so aggressive — they were holding me so tight, like I was going to hit Donald Trump,” Javed said. “I could’ve been walked out peacefully. I wasn’t resisting.”
In her Facebook post, Underwood wrote: “As the two men walked us out, one explained that if we returned we would be arrested. Stephanie quickly asked why that was. The man replied with ‘They don’t want you here,’ to which she said ‘Isn’t it a constitutional right to silently protest?’ The officer replied ‘Not here.’ ”
Javed, a Muslim American of Pakistani descent who attended the rally in a traditional garment, blasted his removal and arrest threat.
“That is injustice,” he said. “Freedom doesn’t exist anymore — is that what Donald Trump is saying?”
Despite the dust-up, Javed is thinking of another reaction.
“There’s a lot of hatred in the world. We don’t need Trump to use fear tactics to gain votes and use fear tactics to get people against each other,” he said, adding: “Before I even know what my religion was, I was human. I had morals, I had values, I was taught right and wrong. ... People should not forget their human morals, their human intuition, being kind to people, being respectful, their human values that are there.”
The Associated Press contributed