The text of the article, unlike the headline, puts the events in what I think is the right order:
Donald Trump hastily postponed his Friday night rally in Chicago because of “growing safety concerns” created by thousands of protesters inside and outside of an arena at the University of Illinois. The decision immediately sparked nasty verbal and physical fights between protesters and Trump supporters who had been eager to see him that night.The protesters created a scene of massive disorder, forcing Trump to stay away, and the Trump supporters experienced a great affront. They'd come out to see their guy, gone through all the procedures and the waiting, witnessed the protests, and then heard that these protesters had crushed their opportunity to listen to a speech and show him their support.
A crowd of more than 9,000 learned of the cancelation at about 6:35 p.m. Central Time, more than half an hour after Trump was scheduled to take the stage. The thousands of protesters immediately burst into cheers and began chanting: "We stopped Trump! We stopped Trump!" Many of Trump's supporters, who had waited hours to see him, seemed stunned and a few tried a chant of their own, without much luck: "USA! USA!" As the two sides reacted to the news, skirmishes broke out in the crowd and spilled out of the arena into a mass protest outside.I'm surprised it wasn't an all-out riot. The Trump supporters were massively disappointed, needed to get out of a crowded arena, and they were surrounded by the people who'd caused the disappointment, people who'd now taken to taunting them, chanting. But there were only "skirmishes." I'd say the Trump supporters showed amazing restraint.
"It sent a message that Chicago is a very liberal city and it will always be a liberal city because it does not promote hate -- it promotes love and it promotes prosperity," said Farris Ahmad, 23, a protester and junior political science major at the College of DuPage. He was cut off by a group of police sparring with a Trump supporter who had ripped away a cloth sign being held by a protester, sparking a profanity-filled tussle.I guess WaPo highlighted Ahmad's shaky lesson in the meaning of "liberal" because of the vivid contrast between his fuzzy-headed proclamation and the police getting after a Trump supporter who could be portrayed as out of control. One guy grabbed a sign. Through the veil of WaPo journalism, I'm seeing surprisingly tame Trumpers.
WaPo tells us that the Chicago police and the University of Illinois police say they didn't participate in the decision to cancel but doesn't provide information about the role of the Secret Service.
After the rally was canceled, demonstrators on the streets could be heard shouting "Bernie! Bernie" as well as "16 shots," a reference to the number of times a white Chicago police officer fired at Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old killed in 2014. Large protests erupted in Chicago after video footage of McDonald's death was released last November.How connected were the protesters to the Bernie Sanders campaign and to Black Lives Matter? These organizations should be pressed to take a position: Do they condone protests aimed at shutting down rallies or do they condemn them? If Trump had something like this happening in his name he would be pressured to denounce, condemn, deplore, and disown — over and over.