Just a day after protesters at a Trump rally in New Mexico hurled rocks and bottles at police, yet another Trump rally — this one in Anaheim, California — got out of hand when anti-Trump protesters clashed with Trump supporters and law enforcement. A small group of protesters remained outside the rally after larger crowds dispersed, setting a trash can on fire and throwing objects at police, the Los Angeles Times reports. At least eight people were arrested at the scene.
Police issued a statement the day before the rally noting that, “While we recognize and respect the First Amendment rights of all individuals to express their viewpoints and protest peacefully, we will not tolerate violence or disobedience of the law.”
Sergeant Daron Wyatt, an Anaheim police spokesperson, told the Times that officers were able to break up fights fairly quickly. “I think a lot of it was the planning and preparation,” he said. “We had a very strong uniformed presence from the beginning, which I think set the tone. It helped by keeping the protesters away from the attendees as well.”
Nevertheless, there were a few tense moments between protesters and Trump supporters:
Before the rally, two men were positioned at the main entrance of the convention center, holding a sign calling for an end to abortion and Islam while a few people holding signs denouncing Trump looked on.
One man with a loudspeaker was pacing in front of a police line, screaming a series of pro-Christian, anti-gay messages, and a small crowd of people chanting against Trump began trying to shout him down.
One Trump backer engaged in a verbal exchange with protesters.”Are you an illegal?” the man repeatedly asked the anti-Trump crowd members.
One person was reportedly ejected from the rally itself for causing “some sort of disturbance,” while inside Trump boasted: “The safest place to be in our country is a Trump rally.”