Eight protesters arrested at Trump rally in California

26 May, 2016 9:24 am

ANAHEIM – Some 100 people staged a boisterous but largely peaceful demonstration outside a Southern California rally by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, at times taunting his supporters before police moved in and arrested eight people.

The activists carried signs such as “Stop Nazi Trump” and “Dump Trump,” and beat a pinata made to resemble the presumptive Republican nominee outside a convention centre in Anaheim, just a few blocks from Disneyland, before they were driven from the scene by police on horseback.

A spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department said seven adults and one minor were arrested on charges ranging from selling T-shirts without a permit to unlawful assembly.

The arrests came one day after a Trump event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, erupted into chaos after hundreds of protesters tried to swarm the convention centre where Trump spoke, knocking down barricades, waving Mexican flags and hurling rocks and bottles at police officers in riot gear. Police responded with smoke bombs and pepper spray.

Albuquerque police said they made arrests both outside and inside the rally, where demonstrators continually interrupted Trump’s speech. The police department’s Twitter feed said officers were treated for injuries caused by thrown rocks.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Trump called the protesters in Albuquerque “thugs who were flying the Mexican flag.” “The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals!” he said.

In Anaheim, police warned in advance that they would take “swift” action if protests got out of hand, and the roughly 150 officers and sheriffs deputies on hand may have outnumbered the protesters.

Inside, Trump was interrupted by hecklers as he spoke, including one man who waved a Mexican flag. “Do not hurt him,” Trump said as a man was led out of the arena. “I say that for the television cameras. Even though he is a bad person.”

Many of those who protested outside the arena expressed anger over Trump’s views on immigration, at one point ripping apart a piñata resembling the candidate and spearing the paper-mache head on top of a flagpole with a large Mexican flag. -Reuters

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