Not every protest needs to end in a violent confrontation, as one Wisconsin law enforcement official proved last week.
A member of the Janesville Police Department effectively and respectfully disbanded a group of anti-Trump protestors without using violent force.
On March 28, an anti-Trump sit-in began at the Holiday Inn Express and Janesville Convention Center in Wisconsin. Showing Up for Racial Injustice affiliates had come to protest a Donald Trump rally that was scheduled to be held at the hotel the next day.
In a video uploaded to YouTube on April 5, the protestors can be seen sitting in a circle—locked together with PVC piping—in the hotel lobby, repeatedly chanting “no hate in our state” and “no host for hate.”
Usually, when authorities arrive at a protest scene, the incident turns ugly. This time, however, thanks to Sergeant Michael Blaser it did not.
Sergeant Blaser introduced himself to the protestors, telling the demonstrators he understood why they were protesting, but that they would have to leave.
“The problem we have inside this venue right now,” continued Blaser, “is that this has now become an unlawful assembly. This is a private business.”
Anticipating such an event, Blaser says, his police department set up “a designated protest location,” decked out with everything protestors would need to keep them safe during their demonstration.
“We’ll help you guys. We’ll get you to a place where you can protest lawfully,” insists Blaser.
While reluctant, some demonstrators—approximately 60, according to a March 29 police press release—can be seen peacefully leaving the Holiday Inn lobby. Six protestors, though, were arrested for disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer, and trespassing.
Earlier in the video, 61-year-old former FBI agent Don Albracht—a member of Donald Trump’s private security team—can be seen aggressively removing a sign from a protestor and shoving his cellphone in several demonstrators’ faces.
Another video, uploaded the same day, and which can be viewed below, captured the first part of the demonstration, where the protestors demand that the Holiday Inn cancel the Trump rally, stating that the Republican frontrunner “invites racism, hate, and violence everywhere he goes.”
The Trump rally went ahead as planned.