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TikTokers plan to reserve empty seats at Donald Trump’s upcoming rally

The Tulsa event was originally scheduled to take place on Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the freeing of slaves, amid nationwide anti-racism protests

Donald Trump’s upcoming rally, his first in months, has been criticised by many, not only because of the obvious coronavirus risk, but also because it was scheduled to be held on June 19, or Juneteenth – a holiday that commemorates the freeing of US slaves – in Tulsa, the site of what’s been called “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history”. Of course, this also comes amid nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

Nevertheless, since the free event (now taking place a day later) was announced, Trump has claimed that “almost one million people” have requested tickets for one of the auditorium’s almost 20,000 seats.

Not all of those ticket requests are necessarily from Trump supporters though, as TikTokers have been making an effort to claim them with no intention of turning up.

One user especially, Mary Jo Laupp, has been spreading the idea, posting a TikTok last week in which she points out the inappropriate timing and setting of the rally, calling it “a slap in the face to the Black community”.


Did you know you can make sure there are empty seats at Trump’s rally? ##BLM.

♬ original sound - maryjolaupp

Laupp – who worked on Pete Buttigieg’s campaign last year – then goes on to explain how to request seats for free, adding: “All of those of us that want to see this 19,000 seat auditorium barely filled, or completely empty, go reserve tickets now and leave him standing alone there on the stage.”

In a subsequent TikTok video, she’s also called for the Twitter handles of K-pop stans to help with the protest. (Recently, K-pop stans have also shown support for the Black Lives Matter movement, spamming a police “snitch” app and making sure the movement stays trending).

As a CNN article points out, there’s unfortunately quite a good chance that the effort is in vain, as ticket requests usually only serve to give an idea of the numbers that will be attending. Making a reservation also requires handing over your contact details, which is… probably not the best idea, even if it is in the name of sending a message to the Trump administration.