Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, is in Dallas today trying to round up some donations, and he will stage a rally this evening at Gilley’s South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St. (It took Trump at least a week to find a place for his rally, Irving turned him down, as did Grand Prairie.)
There is also a counter-protest planned outside Gilley’s, and Dallas Police are planning ahead to try and avoid as many problems as possible, considering the violence that has become part-and-parcel of Trump rallies and protests. To that end, police are asking businesses in downtown Dallas to help out by sending their employees home early, encouraging everyone to vacate the downtown area by 3 p.m., in anticipation of major traffic delays and for safety reasons.
Police have since issued a statement saying they will begin closing streets around Gilley’s — between the 1000 block and the 1300 block (at Belleview) on Lamar — about 2 p.m. in preparation for the 7 p.m. rally.
Longtime Dallas activist (attorney, former city councilman and former state representative) Domingo Garcia, one of the lead organizers of the counter-protest, said the rally will begin outside Gilley’s at 6 p.m. Organizers are asking that those attending the protest rally wear white shirts to promote peace. And if you want to carry a flag, make sure it is an American flag, not one from Mexico or any other country. Those who bring flags representing any country other than the U.S. will be asked to leave, Garcia told Dallas Observer.
He also said the rally is being staged “to send a message to Donald Trump that his campaign of hatred, bigotry and division is not welcome in the United States or North Texas.”
DPD said in a statement that the department is “committed to protecting every person’s right to free speech and to assemble peaceably.” The statement went on to warn, however, that “there will be no tolerance for individuals who engage in criminal activity or attempt to incite violence or civil disorder. In order to accomplish this, a significant number of police officers, both uniformed and undercover, will be utilized to maintain order.”