Serb Hall rally for Trump ends in scuffle as crowd can't accept Milwaukee Health Department safe practices

Elliot Hughes Ricardo Torres
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A Black Lives Matter supporter and a Trump supporter argue on the sidewalk outside Serb Hall on Saturday.

A brief struggle at a rally outside Milwaukee's Serb Hall on Saturday ended with the venue's general manager on the ground, where he says he was kicked by supporters of President Donald Trump.

A "Defend Your Vote" rally broke up when Nick Alioto asked protesters to comply with the city's public health order aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus, saying, "I'm not going to lose our license" over this.

In video captured by Fox6, people in the crowd yelled obscenities at Alioto and told him to "get out of here," even though they were using his lot. Within seconds, Alioto was surrounded, and one man grabbed him from behind, apparently trying to take the microphone from his hands. 

Knocked off balance, Alioto fell to the ground, visibly stunned.

A few people attempted to help him up, while others continued to berate him and start a "USA, USA" chant.

Alioto said several people kicked him in the ribs and chest, though that is not visible on the video.

One of two health inspectors at the event was also "pushed around" by attendees, said Jeff Fleming, a spokesperson for the Health Department. The inspectors left immediately afterwards

“It was a fairly respectful event, but the people in attendance were upset with the city health code requirements,” said Alioto, who was not seriously injured. “There were people whose emotions were very high.”

Efforts to reach the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, which sponsored the event, were not successful Saturday.

As many as 500 Trump supporters turned out for the rally to protest the election of Joe Biden as president.

At one point, former Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, bullhorn in hand, pumped up the crowd, which chanted: "Take it back! Take it back!"

No evidence has been produced in Wisconsin or elsewhere that there was voter fraud in the election. State leaders and election officials — many of them Republican — in crucial swing states have assured voters again and again that there were no signs of fraud, despite what Trump and his supporters have alleged.

In Washington, D.C., thousands of pro-Trump protesters pushed the same fictional line Saturday. 

The Milwaukee event was going on for about an hour when Milwaukee health inspectors arrived to enforce the city's health order imposed in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The event surpassed the maximum 100 people allowed under the order, and participants were not wearing masks, social distancing or staying in their seats provided to them by Serb Hall, all in violation of the order, Fleming said.

Fleming said Alioto cooperated with health inspectors after they pointed out the violations. Nevertheless, he said, Serb Hall will likely receive multiple citations.

"The Health Department has changed its policy," he said. "There are no longer warnings given.”

It’s the second time in two weeks that Serb Hall has hosted a demonstration for Trump supporters.

After the rally broke up, Trump supporters got into some tense discussions with Black Lives Matter supporters outside Serb Hall about the results of the presidential election. Social media captured at least one physical altercation between attendees.

Many Trump supporters carried Trump and American flags. Many Black Lives Matter supporters showed up with signs saying “you lost.”

Milwaukee police said one person was given a citation, but no one was physically hurt while the two groups confronted each other.

Contact Elliot Hughes at or 414-704-8958. Follow him on Twitter @elliothughes12.