After Encouraging Disruption of Trump Rally, MoveOn.org Now Raising Funds Off That Disruption

By Susan Jones | March 14, 2016 | 10:54 AM EDT

A protester tears up a campaign sign for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally Sunday, March 13, 2016, in Bloomington, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(CNSNews.com) - After encouraging students and local commuity organizers to disrupt Donald Trump's rally in Chicago on Friday, the liberal activists at MoveOn.org are using the disruption -- and the outrage directed at them by Trump supporters -- to raise funds.

In a Saturday email to supporters, MoveOn.org noted that Trump "abruptly cancelled" the Chicago rally "in the face of massive and overwhelmingly peaceful student-led protests." (Those protests, far from being peaceful, required a massive police presence to keep violence to a minimum on both sides.)

"We're being flooded with aggressive emails and social media posts from Trump supporters. Some of them are threatening," MoveOn wrote on Saturday. "We refuse to be intimidated by Donald Trump, Fox News, or anyone else."

MoveOn said it wants the public to understand that Trump is encouraging the violence, looking for scapegoats such as MoveOn, then "perversely trying to paint himself as the victim."

Trump says he was the victim -- of professional disrupters who infringed his right to free speech.

MoveOn.org said it needs to show that America is "better than Trump's bullying...and incitements to violence."

"Will you chip in $3 to help our campaign?" the Saturday email asked.

"We must decisively reject Trump's fascist rhetoric and this rising tide of hatred," the email said. "We are committed to nonviolence, but we will not be silent. We will not be invisible.

"So here's the plan: We'll support MoveOn members to call out and nonviolently protest Trump's racist, bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic, and violent behavior -- and show the world that America rejects Trump's hate."

Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveO.org Political Action, also issued a statement on Saturday, saying that "MoveOn proudly supported University of Illinois at Chicago students and local organizers in their courageous nonviolent protest outside the event. We helped student leaders by printing signs and recruiting MoveOn members to attend the student-led protest.

“But let’s be clear about one thing, the protest Friday night was a direct result of the violence that has occurred at Trump rallies and that has been repeatedly encouraged by Trump himself from the stage. There is only one person to blame for the chaotic and often violent nature of Trump rallies: Donald J. Trump."

Sheyman said MoveOn.org will not back down.

"For as long as Donald Trump is a presidential candidate, MoveOn members will continue to call out and nonviolently protest his racist, bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic, and violent behavior...Trump and those who peddle hate and incite violence have no place in our politics and most certainly do not belong in the White House."

Trump told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, "It would have been easier for me to go and make the speech (in Chicago), and you would have had a clash, because you had professional disrupters, thousands of them, from Sanders and to a smaller extent Hillary.

(MoveOn activists support Sanders and Clinton.)

Trump said he deserves a lot of credit for canceling the rally.

"My supporters have tremendous love of this country. They're tired of our country being ripped off by everybody. And I will tell you, you would have had a tremendous clash. And a lot of people would have gotten hurt or worse. And by canceling it, everybody dispersed beautifully. The police did a great job. The Secret Service was fantastic.

"And there was no injuries, no nothing. So, I should get credit, not be scorned..."

Trump said the media treats him unfairly, and he said there is a double standard:

When liberals disrupt Trump rallies, "You know, everybody thinks I'm a bad guy, when, if my people went into one of his (Sanders') rallies, they'd say, oh, this is a terrible thing. They would be arrested and all sorts of things would happen to them.

"If conservative Republicans ever went into his rally, you would see things happen that would be unbelievable. And Bernie would be, oh, poor, Bernie, isn't that a shame?"