tulsa police trump rally

Tulsa Police Arrest Peaceful Protester Outside of Trump Rally

Oh look, more fascism from the police.

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As crowds of MAGA people gather for Trump’s rally/Coronapalooza tonight, the Tulsa police are leaning into their authoritarian instincts. The police arrested a lone woman protester, Sheila Buck, who was sitting quietly while wearing a shirt in support of Black Lives Matter that read “I Can’t Breathe.” The police told Buck she was trespassing in an area for ticket holders, when Buck in fact had a ticket for the rally. After refusing to move, the cops hoisted her up and arrested her, dragging her away from the rally.

In a Facebook post after the arrest, the Tulsa Police Department posted that “Ms. Buck was in an area that is considered a private event area and the event organizer, in this case the Trump Campaign, can have people removed at their discretion.” They ended up booking her on obstruction, and her $500 bail has since been paid.

The police also said that Buck was trespassing on a “sterile area” of the rally, which is ironic since the crowd largely eschewed masks or social distancing. Trump himself will not wear a mask, and his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has said she won’t wear one either. In fact, 6 of Trump’s campaign staffers working the rally have tested positive for COVID-19, and health officials have warned citizens that the rally could very well be a super-spreader event.

This comes after Trump threatened “protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes” via Twitter with a violent response. This also comes as countless people across the globe are marching to protest police brutality.

Trump’s Tulsa rally is his first since the pandemic, and the president is clearly desperate to get back in front of his adoring crowds. The rally was originally scheduled for Juneteenth, but was then rescheduled for today. Trump has since claimed publicly that he was responsible for making “Juneteenth very famous.”

But this treatment of protesters is hardly surprising. Between Trump’s authoritarian tendencies, COVID-19, and the militarization of an unchecked police force, the rally is unsafe for both Trump supporters and protesters alike. I shudder to think what the police would have done if Buck were Black.

Let’s call this plainly what it is: the police doing the bidding of their fascist president and arresting American citizens for no reason. For all the crowing conservatives do about their First Amendment rights, they have been shockingly silent in the face of an actual First Amendment violation.

Buck’s arrest incensed people online, and many responded via social media:

(via MSNBC, image: MSNBC)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.