A group of President Trump supporters was asked to leave a gathering at a Chelsea hotel Thursday night, and the group’s leader thinks their ouster was politically motivated, something the establishment denies.
Dianna Ploss, the 55-year-old founder and president of MA 4 Trump, said when her group gathered at the Holiday Inn on Broadway in Chelsea, it was meant to “bring people together and build our team.”
Ploss said she launched the group in 2015 to support then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in the state. This January, the group launched their Trump 2020 campaign with an event in Newton.
“It was a way to bypass the Massachusetts GOP because they don’t support President Trump, so this was our way to bring people together who might not get connected,” she said. “So this was the first event after that launch.”
The Thursday gathering was originally slated to be held at the Winthrop restaurant JW’s, but the restaurant cancelled the event the previous night, said Ploss. Ploss thinks that cancellation came after pressure from the community.
“People didn’t want a Trump event there, in their community,” she said.
A woman who picked up the phone at JW’s Friday evening declined to comment.
The gathering was moved to the Holiday’s Inn’s hotel lounge in Chelsea. Ploss said hotel staff initially told them if they ordered food and drink, the hotel didn’t have a problem with them being there.
She estimated that the pro-Trump crowd consisted of about 15 to 20 people, the vast majority of whom were over 50. The gathering started at about 6:30 p.m. She said there were three or four people who had “Make America Great Again” hats, the piece of campaign garb that is synonymous with Trump.
According to a police report provided to the Globe, at least four Chelsea police officers responded to the hotel for a report of a disturbance. Upon arrival, a hotel worker told police that she saw the group gather in the bar lounge area of the hotel and a woman took out “a large President Trump poster and began a topic of discussion.”
The group, according to the report, “appeared to be hosting a presidential rally inside the lounge.”
The employee told authorities that overnight guests at the hotel “began to feel very uncomfortable as they began to cause a disturbance.”
The worker said she had asked the group to “keep the noise to a reasonable level.” She told police the group “did not cooperate with her commands and continued their loud discussion.”
A hotel manager wanted the group removed from the building since they were not staying in rooms and police approached the group and told them that if they were not staying at the hotel, they had to finish their beverages and food and leave the hotel.
The people said they understood and left the property peacefully, according to the report.
After police asked them to leave, the crowd dispersed within a half-hour, said Ploss. The group went to a nearby bar, The Brown Jug.
“I just think the people that are asking us to leave don’t realize what they’re doing could happen to them if they keep this up,” said Ploss on Friday. “It’s basically communism.”
However, Colette Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Holiday Inn, disagreed. She said the group was asked to leave the hotel because they were meeting in the hotel’s lobby lounge, which isn’t supposed to host group functions.
Phillips said the hotel called Chelsea police because the group had started to “act out” when staff asked them to leave.
“They started behaving poorly,” she said. “The staff didn’t want to escalate things or get into any kind of an altercation with them and they did exactly the right thing.”
Phillips said the group’s political affiliation had nothing to do with them being asked to leave.
“They were noisy, they were acting out, they were using their slogans,” she said.
Ploss denied that the crowd was “acting out.”
“I’ve never had a Trump event where there were unruly people,” she said.
She added, “Almost everyone was over 50. It wasn’t a big drinking crowd.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the group had a bullhorn at the hotel.
Danny McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.