CHICAGO (CBS) — President Donald Trump will be in Chicago on Monday for the first time in three years.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported Sunday night, police are expecting large crowds from both sides of the political aisle.
On Sunday night, protesters were set up outside Trump Tower with an altar and music for what was billed as a freedom walk.
“We are here to change hearts and minds,” said Pastor Emma Lozano.
Lozano is an activist with an immigrants’ rights group, who believe the president’s policies have trampled on the freedom of people trying to lawfully immigrate into the United States.
“We should celebrate our immigrants, because they have built this city and built this country,” Lozano said. “We all have come from somewhere else. We’re the descendants of immigrants.”
Their protest was happening amid the watchful eyes of numerous heavily armed police.
Safety barriers have been staged along the Chicago River and Wacker Drive. They can quickly be moved to impose rolling street closures as the presidential motorcade speeds through town.
Trump will arrive in Chicago on Monday morning. He will first be addressing the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference, which will be held at McCormick Place. He will then attend a fundraiser at Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave.
That crowd should be more subdued than the last one to gather for a Trump speech in Chicago that never actually ended up happening.
On March 11, 2016, a political rally Trump had planned to hold at the UIC Pavilion – now renamed the Credit Union 1 Arena – was called off minutes before he was set to take the stage. The rally was canceled amid a firestorm of protests both for and against Trump.
Back at the time, Trump said he was “postponing” the rally after a throng of his supporters was already inside the stadium – though he did not make any more appearances in Chicago during the campaign and has not done so since he was inaugurated as president, until now.
Things were tense during the 2016 gathering following the announcement inside the UIC Pavilion that Trump was not coming, as throngs of anti-Trump demonstrators ringed the building. A Chicago Police officer was seen bleeding from the head, but it wasn’t immediately clear what had happened. Other police officers could be seen clashing with demonstrators.
Police rushed from their posts outside the UIC pavilion where they found officers struggling with a protester. Eventually the protester was subdued on the pavement of a nearby intersection, but not before being bloodied in the melee. A handful of other activists were also seen taken away by police.
Police also shooed everyone out of the stadium while trying to keep peace.
Five people were arrested at the 2016 rally, and four people were injured – including two police officers.
At that time, about 300 police officers were on hand for crowd control. This time, as many as 1,800 officers will be at the ready.
City officials declined to talk on camera Sunday night, but did say, “Plans are in place to ensure the safety and security of the city and any first amendment activities that may occur.”
The luncheon at Trump Tower is for well-heeled supporters, with tickets ranging from a couple thousand dollars to well into the six figures.
During his first campaign for president, Trump also came to Chicago in July 2016 for a private fundraiser at Chicago’s Trump Tower. He also campaigned in Chicago on Sept. 28, 2016, speaking at the Polish National Alliance in the Sauganash neighborhood and also attending a fundraiser in Bolingbrook.
And while Trump has not been to Chicago since he was elected, he also visited downstate Illinois twice last year – speaking at a U.S. Steel plant in Granite City and headlining a rally for Republican candidates in Murphysboro, according to published reports.