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Trump to Visit Chicago on Monday

President Donald Trump will visit Chicago on Monday, in what will be his first official visit since he won the 2016 election.

NBC5 Chicago reports Trump will speak to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, whose annual convention begins at McCormick Place on Saturday, and then appear at a fundraising luncheon. The fundraiser is hosted by Republican National Committee finance chair and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, who also serves as chair of the Trump victory committee. Ticket prices begin at $2,800 a person for the lunch and rise all the way to a whopping $100,000 for a roundtable discussion with the president.

Demonstrators outside Trump Tower in Chicago at a 2017 protest demanding President Trump release his tax returns. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

Though Trump and his loyalists often spend time denigrating the City of Chicago, the president himself has barely visited since his campaign canceled his speech at a rally at UIC in 2016 where thousands of people protested. Trump only returned once later that year in September to speak to the Polish National Alliance and later at a fundraiser in suburban Bolingbrook.

When Trump spoke to the IACP in 2018 he invoked Chicago, advocating for “stop and frisk” procedures to curb gun violence.

“The crime spree has a terrible blight on that city, and we will do everything possible to get it done,” said Trump at the time. “It works and it was meant for problems like Chicago. It was meant for it. Stop and frisk.”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “stop and frisk” procedures in Chicago disproportionately affect communities of color and often do not do anything to curb gun violence.

The last time the IACP held their annual conference in Chicago was in 2015. Hundreds of protesters shut down the streets surrounding McCormick Place during the conference, with some using lockboxes, PVC pipe, and chains to tie themselves together. More than 65 people were arrested.

Chicago police get ready to arrest protesters using lockboxes to shut down traffic outside the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in 2015. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said earlier this week he would not attend the president’s speech.

“I look forward to hosting America’s police chiefs and collaborating on the best ways to keep our cities safe in the upcoming week,” Johnson said in a statement. “However, I will not be attending the president’s speech because the values of the people of Chicago are more important than anything he would have to say.”

More than two dozen groups plan to protest the Trump visit. A Facebook event, which has more than 2,000 people listed as “interested” in attending, says the protest will begin at 11:30am Monday at Wacker and Wabash.

“We will be out in full force to protest Trump’s gleeful bashing of our city, his ridiculing of the very real violence promoted by his pro-gun policies, and his attempts to thwart us and all Sanctuary Cities as we protect our immigrant neighbors,” Marj Halperin of Indivisible Chicago told Politico’s Playbook on Friday morning.

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