Thursday night Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is making a campaign appearance in Burlington, Vermont; a city right in Democratic candidate Bernie Sander’s backyard. This event likely will not go down as planned, for several reasons.
Firstly, Sanders supporters have organized a protest on Facebook urging opponents of Trump to reserve seats at the venue but not show up for the event. Many supporters, even one of my friends, have done so.
The Trump campaign, however, has distributed about 20,000 tickets to the event tonight. The venue, however, can only hold 1,400 people. While some of the distributed tickets may be ghost-Sanders tickets, it’s likely that the venue will be over capacity leaving an overflow up Trump supporters in quiet Burlington. The Trump campaign indicated that it expects about 6,500 people to show up at the event’s venue. The Burlington police officials have already raised concerns about the event. The local police are working with the Secret Service and have already implemented road closures and parking restrictions.
Huge crowd expected tomorrow night! VT Police say first come, first serve. Arrive early!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2016
Both the Trump and Sanders campaigns have had to deal with multiple protests at events during this cycle. Black Lives Matter protesters controversially shut down a rally for Bernie Sanders in Seattle this past July. This prompted a change in tone for the Vermont senator on the campaign trail. Recently, a lone Trump supporter also disrupted a Sanders event. Donald Trump has had his share of disruptions as well. In November a lone Black Lives Matter protester disrupted a Trump event in Alabama leading to scuffle leaving the protester shoved, punched, kicked and verbally assaulted.
Given the potential for violence at such an event, let us all hope that everyone is safe in Vermont.