Skip to comments.UPDATE: Protesters occupy Janesville Holiday Inn
Posted on 03/28/2016 6:51:06 PM PDT by TaxPayer2000
UPDATE: Dozens of protesters entered the Holiday Inn Express on Monday evening as part of an anti-Donald Trump protest, according to Gazette reporter Nick Crow, who was on the scene.
A state Assembly representative is among the 60 or so protesters who occupied the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express in Janesville.
Shortly before 7 p.m., Janesville police on the scene had not moved to remove the protesters, who were chanting and refusing to leave, Crow said.
Hotel staff was not allowing anyone else in the hotel unless they were guests, Crow said.
About 20 more protesters did not go in the hotel and remain outside.
The protest was set to start at 6 p.m. Protesters entered the hotel and then left when asked to, Crow said.
But after some speeches, they returned to the hotel, Crow said.
Some inside sat with legs crossed and hands joined. Others stood. Their chants included No hope for hate.
Melissa Sargent, a Democratic representative to the state Assembly from the Madison area, was among those inside.
We're here to keep hate out of our state, Sargent said.
Most of the protesters had left by 7:15 p.m., but six stayed and were using PVC pipe to link their arms, Crow reported.
Police locked the entrance and are not letting anyone into the hotel.
Crow remains on the scene. This report will be updated.
Trump is scheduled to appear at the Holiday Inn Express on Tuesday.
An organizer told The Gazette earlier that the Monday protest is a last-ditch effort to convince the hotel and/or the city to cancel Trump's appearance in order to prevent violence.
The hotel's owners on Tuesday afternoon issued a statement saying they would not cancel.
Kristen Brock-Petroshius of Madison, a member of Standing Up for Racial Justice, or SURJ, said Janesville community members and faith leaders will be a part of the peaceful protest.
SURJ has been working with the local organizers of the anti-Trump demonstration, set for Tuesday outside the Janesville Conference Center, a part of the hotel.
Brock-Petroshius said local organizers have received death threats, and Monday's protest is an effort to avoid any bloodshed that might be caused by Trump supporters.
Nichole Mittness, one of the organizers of Tuesday's protest, confirmed she has received death threats and other comments threatening violence and said she will attend Monday's demonstration, although she is not involved in organizing it.
Mittness said she and others have been deleting the threats made on the protest's Facebook page but copying them and sharing them with police.
Mittness said Trump supporters have also accused her of being paid to organize Tuesday's protest, which is not true.
Brock-Petroshius said she also is a volunteer, as is everyone she works with at SURJ.
Brock-Petroshius said she has been a member of the SURJ-affiliated Groundwork organization in Madison for 10 years.
She said violence against peaceful protesters at Trump events has become more common as time has passed.
Monday's rally supports an online petition that calls for the Holiday Inn to cancel Trump's event, Brock-Petroshius said.
Some will say that canceling the rally is a free-speech issue, but the First Amendment does not tolerate hate speech, including Trump's anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim speech, Brock-Petroshius said.
A lot of us think, if this was the beginning of Hitler's rise to power in Germany, how many of us would sit by the sidelines and do nothing? Brock-Petroshius said. 'If we can prevent the violence he is inciting from taking hold and become stronger in these coming months, then we've done our job.
Police are aware of the possibility of a protest Monday night and will monitor the situation, said Deputy Chief John Olsen.
"It's hard to tell how many to anticipate," Olsen said.
Those attending Monday's demonstration will bring signs with messages such as "No Hate in Our State," Stop Hate Stop Trump and "White People Against Hate," according to a news release from SURJ/Groundwork.
Olsen said people who plan to attend Tuesday's event will likely begin arriving overnight.
The Trump rally is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Police said doors open at 1 p.m.
The local anti-Trump group, which has been stressing a peaceful demonstration that does not interfere with Trump supporters' rights, says its event starts at 11 a.m.
Other organizations or individuals might also attend but have not announced plans.
The owners of the Holiday Inn Express and Janesville Conference Center do not plan to cancel Trump's appearance Tuesday, as some protesters have called for.
Sanjiv Sud, a partner in Hospitality Guru Group, declined to answer questions but issued this statement.
The Janesville Conference Center is the venue chosen by the Trump campaign to hold the town hall meeting. George Bush and Paul Ryan are among other politicians that have held events here. We offer no interpretation nor endorsement of any political message.
"We also respect the right for people to protest peacefully and will be letting the authorities handle anything of that nature. Overall, we believe high profile events such as these offer benefits to the local economy as well as encourage political awareness. Again, we respect each individual's political views.
Our objective is to provide a professional environment and a high level of service to any event booked at our place of business. This objective fits our vision to be the preferred event facility for the Janesville community for this and future events.
Last updated: 7:28 pm Monday, March 28, 2016
Trump owns Holiday Inn?
Unions own Janesville.
I think Obama is the hate president.
For 15 bucks an hour those morons will “protest” bet they wouldn’t do it for free
No. He’s gonna talk there.
Not really a protest.
More like a riot.
Those anti-trump protestors still haven’t gotten over the Scott Walker victories. This must be a case of misplaced aggression.
It does not appear that Donald Trump owns Holiday Inn, as of yet. He is holding a town hall event at this particular location.
They aren’t protestors, they’re terrorists.
And a Democratic State Senator is in the gang?
Should be arrested and stripped of any position of public trust. She’s attempting to deprive citizens and a candidate of their rights under threat of violence.
Re-reading it..she’s a State Assemblyman.
No matter. Same conclusion.
How come police aren’t using tasers on these clowns?
Times must be tough for George Soros, too.
Hillary Clinton had Qadaffi sodomized in Libya with a bayonet up his behind.
Isn’t that a flagrant misrepresentation of man-love?
Shouldn’t the homosexuals be furious with Hillary equating homosexual acts with death?
They should be stopping Hillary’s hate!
Who knew Snoop and Luda could predict the future.
We’re here to keep hate out of our state, Sargent said.
Too late. Democrats already live in Wisconsin.
Will be interesting to see if Scott Walker endorses Ted Cruz while the same people that protested Scott Walker, protest Donald Trump.
It truly is the 60’s retread.
The irony of it all is just too much for me.
I suspect this is only the beginning. The event doesn't start until 4pm tomorrow.
Cancel Trump or there will be violence?........sounds like a threat........