CHICAGO, IL — Several Democrats who had run for Republican ward committeeman in Chicago shut down the organizational meeting of the Chicago Republican Party Wednesday night. They gathered in the room in which the meeting was to take place and refused to leave.
Among the protesters were a number of the 13 committeemen who had been barred from participation in the party because of a history of voting in Democratic primaries.
“We asked the protesters to leave and they refused. The owner of the restaurant also asked them to leave, but they yelled that she was a racist for wanting them out, so she backed down,” said Chris Cleveland, Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party.
“We had anticipated a problem and hired off-duty police officers to handle security, but they couldn’t act unless the owner was willing to sign a criminal complaint. After the accusation of racism, she said she couldn’t do anything for fear of having her restaurant look bad.”
Cleveland announced the cancellation of the meeting shortly thereafter. “Per our bylaws, we are prohibited from conducting an organizational meeting with non-committeemen in the room,” said Cleveland.
The Chicago GOP meeting was to take place shortly before the bi-annual Convention of the Cook County Republican Party in the same location. After Cleveland announced the cancellation, several of the protesters left, and the Cook County meeting was able to proceed.
The Chicago GOP meeting is expected to be rescheduled for the near future.