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Monday, 25 January 2021

Trump threatens protesters ahead of Tulsa rally

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Trump threatens protesters ahead of Tulsa rally
Trump threatens protesters ahead of Tulsa rally

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday warned protesters that they would face a 'different scene' at his weekend re-election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a threat that his campaign later said was not directed at peaceful demonstrators.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

On the day thousands marched across the country to mark Juneteenth and protest against police brutality and racism, President Donald Trump on Friday threatened unspecified action against any protesters at his Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In a tweet, Trump said: "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis.

It will be a much different scene!" The ominous tweet sparked public backlash, prompting a Trump campaign spokesman to clarify that the president was referring to agitators, not peaceful protesters.

Also drawing heavy criticism, which compelled Trump to reschedule, was Trump's original plan to hold the Tulsa rally on the Juneteenth holiday in a city known for one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history.

The 1921 Tulsa Massacre resulted in the deaths of about 300 people in the historically Black district of Greenwood, where white rioters destroyed 23 churches, more than 2,000 Black-owned businesses and homes, and 36 square blocks of the neighborhood, according to the Greenwood Cultural Center.

Greenwood coffee shop owner, Dwight Eaton told Reuters that he thinks the rally is giving local people a reason to unite against Trump's policies.

"Well, for the community itself, ironically, it mobilizes the community to get them to come together to collectively plan for the development of the community.

So as it would be counteroffensive but on the flip side it allows people to understand where they are and the place within respective of Trump's policies." Other Black residents of Tulsa are hoping to use Trump’s visit to spotlight racial inequity and push for reparations for victims of the 1921 massacre, either through money, scholarships to local colleges or returning land that was taken from victims.

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