Protesters in the northern Phoenix area of Arizona took action on Saturday to shut down a scheduled Trump rally. Nearly 300 individuals gathered and some strategically parked their vehicles along Shea Boulevard, a main transportation route, to block oncoming traffic entering Scottsdale’s Fountain Hills. The area was backed for miles — prohibiting entry to Trump’s rally at Fountain Hills Park.
Around 100 of the protesters lined up along westbound Shea Boulevard, known as State Route 87, forcing some of the frustrated motorists to park and walk to the rally. Three miles out, a second group of protesters, numbering around 200, blocked the eastbound lanes of Shea Boulevard. Three protesters were chained to their parked vehicles.
The protesters could be heard chanting, “Donald Trump, shut it down. Phoenix is a people’s town.”
Some angered drivers exited their vehicles to confront protesters, but according to AZ Central, no violence was reported.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy Joaquin Enriquez took time from attempts to control the chaos to report the severity of the actions to CNN.
“This is causing huge issues for us. We obviously have to get this road open.”
Enriquez later informed CNN that three of the protesters were arrested and two of the cars were towed to make room for commuters traveling to the area.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 20, 2016
Although protesters delayed Trump’s arrival, they were not successful in stopping his rally. Arriving behind schedule, he was accompanied by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former-Governor Jan Brewer, and Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit. Former lawmaker and 9/11 “truther” Karen Johnson offered a prayer to kick off the rally. Trump, in his usual angry tone — according to local news publication, AZ Central — continued his platform to “make America great again” by taking action against illegal immigration.
“I want to tell you so much about illegal immigration, and so much has been mentioned about it and talked about it and these politicians are all talk, no action, they’re never going to do anything. They only picked it up because when I went and when I announced I’m running for president, I said, ‘you know, this country has a big, big problem with illegal immigration.’ And all of a sudden, we started talking about it and then had lots of bad things happening. Crime all over the place and for the first time people saw what was going on.”
Donald Trump, who was recently endorsed by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has remained adamant about taking efforts to prevent illegal immigration. Including building a wall to divide the United States from Mexico.
“So much crime. Drugs pouring through the border. People are now seeing it. And you know what? We’re going to build the wall and we’re going to stop it. It’s going to end. Unless you have a border, you don’t have a country. Remember that.”
Protesters blocked the highway leading to Donald Trump’s rally in Arizona today: https://t.co/eZwQFQ2WDa
— Mashable (@mashable) March 19, 2016
“We’re taking proper action, I think a few cars are blocking the road… and we are removing the cars. Anybody that violates the law is going to jail. My main mission is to take care of the safety, security of Trump plus everybody else that lives in that town,” the sheriff added.
Trump’s rallies have repeatedly resulted in violence and chaos among supporters and protesters. The billionaire real estate mogul stated if he is not elected to run on behalf of the GOP, he believes his supporters will retaliate with even more violence.
If Saturday’s events in Arizona offers an inkling of what the future may hold, is it possible that protesters will also resort to more violence if Donald Trump is chosen to represent the Republican presidential candidate?
[Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]