The mayor of Tulsa has declared a civil emergency and set a curfew ahead of President Donald Trump’s first rally since the coronavirus pandemic began. The mayor warned that organized groups involved in “destructive and violent behavior in other states” are planning to create unrest in Tulsa for Trump’s rally.
President Trump’s first rally in more than three months is garnering much interest. There have been more than a million ticket requests for the event on Saturday night, according to Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager. The rally is being held at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa, which has a maximum capacity of 19,000. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum (R) is expecting crowds of 100,000 in the area during the rally.
Bynum signed an executive order establishing a curfew for the area around the BOK Center from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. The Trump rally begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“As part of our preparations for President Trump’s Rally this Saturday, we are working on making the area secure for everyone’s safety,” a tweet from the Tulsa Police read. “As posted earlier, the area illustrated in this map will need to be free of vehicles and pedestrian traffic.”
The tweet included the mayor’s executive order and a map of the curfew area.
“I have received information from the Tulsa Police Department and other law enforcement agencies that shows that individuals from organized groups who have been involved in destructive and violent behavior in other States are planning to travel to the City of Tulsa for purposes of causing unrest in and around the rally,” Bynum said in the executive order.
On Friday morning, President Trump issued a warning to “any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma.” The president stated: “Please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!”
The Tulsa Police said: “If we find anyone in violation of the Executive Order this evening, we will request that they leave the area based on the curfew.”
The Tulsa Police cautioned that anyone who refuses to leave the area “may be cited or arrested.”
“This is an unprecedented event for the City of Tulsa and has hundreds of moving parts, we are asking for everyone’s help in making this a safe event for all citizens,” the Tulsa Police said.
The curfew applies to the Trump supporters who have been camping outside the BOK Center for Saturday’s political rally since Monday.
The rally was originally scheduled for Friday night, which coincided with Juneteenth, the anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States. The Trump campaign changed the date to Saturday following backlash.
There was also criticism of Trump for holding a rally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Face coverings will be optional, and the Trump campaign will supply rallygoers with face masks and hand sanitizer. There will be temperature checks at the door, but people won’t be forced to socially distance at six feet apart, according to the Washington Post. Attendees of the rally will be required to sign a coronavirus waiver.