Trump rally Chicago
Demonstrators cheer after Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump cancelled his rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters

The protester who managed to get on stage at a Donald Trump rally in Chicago, Illinois, was racially abused and told "to go back to Africa" by supporters of the controversial front-runner of the Republican's presidential candidate race. Jedidiah Brown, 29, managed to get to the podium before being wrestled away by security and scenes turned ugly as he was led away, with punches being exchanged.

A scuffle broke out between Brown and a Trump supporter carrying a star-spangled banner. Brown maintained that he was peaceful and only retaliated as an act of self-defence.

"We were peaceful," Brown said on 12 March. "The Trump supporters are the physical ones, they're the violent ones," he added. The event was cancelled following the frantic scenes.

Trump supporter sucker punch

Earlier this week, 78-year-old John Franklin McGraw was charged with assault after he punched black attendee, Rakeem Jones, in the face at a Trump rally in North Carolina. Jones was being escorted from the venue when he was assaulted. On 1 March, University of Louisville student Kayisha Nwanguma was also repeatedly pushed at another Trump event.

Explaining his decision to attend a Trump rally, Brown told Sky News he wanted to find out if the narrative in the media was correct. He claimed that it was, but the "media did not fully capture it" before being informed that he might not want to repeat the racist slurs aimed at him on live TV.

Describing the experience, Brown said: "Seeing Muslims and Hispanics and blacks being treated a certain way in the whole mindset [of] 'we're going to make this country great again' – it was so much hatred. They spit on us, I got bottles thrown at me at different points, it was a very troubling experience."

The demonstrator said his aim wanted to communicate the message that, "America is already great without the hate – and that's what I was saying when I was on the podium."