Donald Trump wasn’t feeling the love in California on Friday when hundreds of anti-Trump demonstrators gathered at the California Republican Convention to protest the former reality TV star. As CNN reports, Donald Trump was scheduled to give a speech at the convention, and demonstrators didn’t make the appearance easy for the republican presidential front-runner, whose speech was delayed when he had a hard time getting from his car to the stage.
Donald Trump arrived at the California convention only to have the road leading to the entrance of the Hyatt Regency blocked by hundreds of anti-Trump protesters. Many of the protesters had disguised their faces with bandanas and carried Mexican flags in protest of Donald Trump’s harsh words on Mexican immigration and plans to build a border wall and “make Mexico pay for it.” Ultimately, The Donald’s motorcade was unable to pull into the front entrance of the California convention location and was forced to pull in alongside a concrete median outside of the hotel’s back entrance instead.
It was only then that Donald Trump was able to get out of his car and enter the vehicle, flanked by his entourage. When he finally made it into the venue to begin his speech, Trump made light of the situation to the republican crowd. He even used to opportunity to poke fun at those forced to cross the U.S. border illegally.
“That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made, it felt like I was crossing the border.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 29, 2016
By Saturday morning, though, Donald Trump seemed to be feeling a bit mouthier with regard to the protest at the California event. He took to social media to vent his anger and spew venom against the anti-Trump demonstrators.
The "protesters" in California were thugs and criminals. Many are professionals. They should be dealt with strongly by law enforcement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2016
Not surprisingly, many Donald Trump supporters seemed to agree with the former reality TV star.
@realDonaldTrump you handled it like a true leader getting into the venue, we love you President Donald Trump! You are our voice!
— Lil Trump (@USAneedsTRUMP) April 30, 2016
@realDonaldTrump Mexican AMERICANS flying a MEXICAN flag in AMERICA is NOT a true AMERICAN! They should have flown the US FLAG! LIARS!
— ☢FuturisticHub☢ (@FuturisticHub) April 30, 2016
Before Donald Trump arrived at the California event, the anti-Trump protests had already begun their demonstration against him. At one point prior to Trump’s arrival, roughly two dozen anti-Trump protesters attempted to rush barriers near the hotel, forcing police officers to rush to the venue’s doors. Ultimately, the officers on hand were able to prevent those protesting against Donald Trump from getting into the California convention, although some of the hotel’s doors had to be handcuffed from the inside to keep anti-Trump protesters out.
At several points during the protest, the demonstrators got into physical altercations with police. Instances of shoving were witnessed, as well as police officers using batons to keep protesters at bay.
Protesters tearing down barricade pic.twitter.com/Pqu92LsgKP
— Tom LoBianco (@tomlobianco) April 29, 2016
After Donald Trump arrived at the California Republican Convention, the protests got even more heated as protesters once again tried to storm his speech. According to reports, as Donald Trump was speaking from the podium, anti-Trump demonstrators actually removed a barrier and “flooded” the entrance to the hotel. Once again, police were able to keep the protesters outside and away from Trump. Officers couldn’t, however, stop them from chanting loudly in protest of Trump’s California appearance.
“Get him out!”
Those protesting against Donald Trump in California also reportedly got violent with Trump supporters, with at least one Trump fan claiming to have been physically assaulted. Fifty-one-year-old Chris Conway, who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap at the event, says he was punched, kicked, and even spit on by people protesting against Donald Trump’s appearance in California. The Trump supporter chose not to seek medical attention, but police reportedly had to pull him away from the crowd for his own safety. Conway told the media that he was “not surprised” by the way he was treated by the anti-Trump protesters.
“To be honest with you, I’m glad it was me and not like an 8-year-old girl being pepper-sprayed or something like that.”
Despite the heated nature of the demonstration, Donald Trump’s wish that the police deal “strongly” with the “thugs and criminals” protesting his California appearance was not, reportedly, granted.
Burlingame Police Lt. Jay Kiely told the media late Friday that the protest resulted in only five arrests, including one of those who tried to rush the hotel’s entrance. One person was also injured, but officer Kiely didn’t know whether that person was a Trump supporter, protester or a member of the police force. According to the officer, hundreds of protesters and an indeterminate number of police were at the demonstration, and authorities handling the situation showed “incredible restraint.”
Many of the anti-Trump protesters at the California convention were fueled by their outrage against Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. At least one protester, Adrian Olivares, said he was there to “support my people and my father.” According to the anti-Trump demonstrator and college student, his father came to the U.S. legally in the 1980s and ultimately became a citizen and business owner in California. While Olivares spoke to the media, he was draped in a Mexican flag.
“He’s very successful, and for Trump to come out and say we’re just a bunch of rapists, f— him.”
Trump pinata pic.twitter.com/mEONRExrfv
— Tom LoBianco (@tomlobianco) April 29, 2016
Another protester, who was also concerned about Donald Trump’s immigration plans and comments, brought a Trump pinata to the California protest.
[Image Courtesy Of Ramin Talaie/Getty Images]