-DEMONSTRATORS STORM CALIFORNIA GOP CONVENTION TO PROTEST TRUMP
-Trump was forced to walk into the hall
-Police have taken 20 demonstrators into custody
DEMONSTRATORS STORM CALIFORNIA GOP CONVENTION TO PROTEST TRUMP
Demonstrators in their hundreds stormed the venue of the California Republican Convention on Friday protesting Donald Trump as he arrived to deliver his speech there.
The demonstrators whom a good number of them had bandannas over their faces and carried Mexican flags reportedly blocked off the road in front of the Hyatt Regency here, forcing the GOP front-runner’s motorcade to pull over along a concrete median outside the hotel’s back entrance. Trump and his entourage got out and walked into the building.
“That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made,” Trump said once he began speaking at the convention, adding, “it felt like I was crossing the border.”
According to CNN, at one point, about two dozen protesters tried to rush barriers near the hotel. Police officers then rushed to the building’s doors, successfully blocking the protesters from getting in.
Several physical altercations, including shoving, could be seen between protesters and police officers, who were using batons to push them back.
After Trump arrived, protesters took down a barrier and flooded the entrance outside the hotel, where police again blocked them from entering. They protesters reportedly chanted, “Get him out.”
Burlingame Police Lt. Jay Kiely estimated the crowd to be in the hundreds, though he did not have a precise figure. He said one individual was detained and there was an initial report of a non-serious injury, but he did not provide further details, CNN reported.
Protesters have disrupted Trump’s rallies across the country for months, but have rarely escalated into mass street demonstrations. Many protests have focused on Trump’s rhetoric on illegal immigration.
“I came out here to support my people and my father,” Adrian Olivares, a 23-year-old college student who was draped in a Mexican flag, told CNN. He said his goal in protesting Trump’s appearance was to display his country’s flag “as loud as I can.”
Olivares speaking with CNN said his father came to the United States legally in the 1980s, became a citizen and created a home cleaning business in Sonoma County.
“He’s very successful,” Olivares said. “And for Trump to come out and say we’re just a bunch of rapists, f— him.”
Meanwhile, inside the hotel, a few dozen convention-goers and journalists watched the chaotic scene through the front windows, but otherwise most people hardly noticed. Instead, they perused convention exhibits or waited in line for the luncheon.
Even as a group of police in riot gear suddenly sprinted through a long hallway, people continued to go about their business, CNN reported
Richard Marshall, GOP chairman for Siskiyou County, was calmly strolling around in the hotel atrium and talking to friends, unfazed by the protesters who were trying to storm the entrance just feet away.
“It’s part of the business, isn’t it?” Marshall said. “I mean, I think it’s unfortunate they don’t want to have freedom of speech for everybody and want to have it all for themselves.”
Earlier Friday, bare-breasted protesters, men and women, some of whom were associated with the progressive group Code Pink, chanted “Stop hate” as they marched.
Nancy Mancias, a Code Pink protester, was kicked out of the convention after yelling into a bullhorn that the Republicans should “dump Trump,” causing a stir inside the already energized state convention.
Mancias told CNN afterward, “My message here today is ‘Stop hate and dump Trump.'”
Police have however announced that about 20 demonstrators have been taken into custody