A Day of Rage as Trump Comes Back to Town

Adam Elmahrek/Voice of OC

A protester at the Trump rally in Anaheim Wednesday.

Hundreds of protesters expressed their rage at Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump outside his rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday, taking to the streets, throwing rocks at police and attacking cars on the road.

Protesters first gathered at a spot adjacent to the convention center, but eventually spilled into the street. They were quickly met with a massive presence of police officers in riot gear, and by around 1:30 p.m. the police had declared the protest an unlawful assembly.

The scene was far angrier than the protest last month outside a Trump rally at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. That event, save for the thrashing of a police car, felt more like an unruly block party as protesters sang and line danced.

It was different this time. Trump supporters did not shy away from the protesters, with the confrontations at times leading to violence. A woman smacked a Trump supporter in the head with her wallet, and a protester kicked a large dent into a van full of Trump supporters.

However, the violence outside the Anaheim event didn’t reach the level reported in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where cops were injured in a melee with protesters the previous night. Police there also fired pepper spray and smoke canisters into the crowds.

In Anaheim, protesters set a “Make America Great Again” hat on fire, and they tried but failed to set a trash can ablaze. They ripped apart a piñata bearing Trump’s resemblance and filled with Mexican candy, and they raised its head on the end of Mexican — and then American – flagpoles.

A journalist with the Spanish-language Estrella TV fell and hit his head on a sidewalk curb amid the shoving, and his station claimed that one of the police horses – there were dozens of mounted officers – had injured him. He soon fell into a seizure, and a few people trying to help the man pleaded with a line of officers to assist, but the officers didn’t move. Eventually, officers cleared the area around the man and, after about 15 minutes, an ambulance arrived.

Wednesday’s rally came 13 days before the June 7 California presidential primary. And though Trump has all but locked up the GOP nomination, his events are still drawing large crowds. The thousands packing the convention center dwarfed the crowd Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton drew earlier in the day at an event up the road in Buena Park.

It is not at all surprising that a Trump rally would lead to violence in Anaheim, a town that is more than half Latino. He launched his upstart campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and killers, and he’s also called for a ban on Muslims entering the country. His rallies in the months since have often triggered unrest.

In the clashes between supporters and opponents of Trump outside the Anaheim rally, those who were pro-Trump at times accused protesters of being illegal immigrants. “Are you even a citizen of this country?” one shouted.

Earlier in the day, protesters surrounded a preacher with a megaphone who was calling on them to repent and accept Jesus Christ. Nearby was a tall black flag calling on the country to “stop abortion, stop sodomy” and to “halt Islam.”

“All I’m looking at now is a bunch of little devils in people,” the man yelled at the protesters mocking him. “When [Jesus] comes, he won’t be coming with mercy! He’ll be coming with fire!”

Meanwhile, at the entrance to the rally, a handful of protesters argued with Trump supporters, who claimed that Trump’s detractors were distorting his comments.

A Donald J. Trump supporter argues with a protester outside of the Anaheim Convention Center, where Trump held a rally.

Kaitlin Washburn/Voice of OC

A Donald J. Trump supporter argues with a protester outside of the Anaheim Convention Center, where Trump held a rally.

Jake Towe — a 17-year-old Trump supporter who said he attends Trump rallies across the country to “shut down the protesters” – said Trump isn’t racist and only called “some” Mexicans rapists, and noted that some white people are also criminals.

Towe said he supported Trump because the country is facing a real threat from Islamic terrorists who are “chopping Christians’ heads off” and turning girls into sex slaves.

Towe accused the Trump protesters of hypocrisy. “You talk about love, but there’s literally a song called Fuck Donald Trump,” Towe said in a reference to the rap song by YG & Nipsey Hussle that has become the anthem of anti-Trump protests.

Police slowly pushed the protesters down Katella Ave., and by late afternoon, most had dispersed.

A couple dozen remained, however, occasionally throwing rocks at officers. A line of police behind a row of bushes tried to sneak up on a few protesters shouting anti-police obscenities, but the protesters spotted them and ran off.

Anaheim police officers arrest a protester outside the Trump rally.

Kaitlin Washburn/Voice of OC

Anaheim police officers arrest a protester outside the Trump rally.

Police spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt said that a total of nine adults and five minors were arrested.

Please contact Adam Elmahrek directly at aelmahrek@voiceofoc.org and follow him on Twitter: @adamelmahrek

  • Smeagel4T

    A little extra background. For whatever it’s worth. A whole lot of conflict between Trump words and actions.

    Trump’s Advisors:

    Steven Mnuchin, Finance Chair: Banker and CEO of hedge fund Dune Capital. Used IndyMac Bank to foreclose on homeowners and while relying upon taxpayers to carry the risk.

    Paul Manafort, Campaign Chair: Top tier Washington lobbyist. Specializes in being paid to get candidates elected, and also getting paid to then have those candidates do the bidding of high paying special interests. Lobbied for a HUD grant to rehabilitate Upper Deerfield, NJ while making absolutely no improvements but doubling rents. He’s worked for a Lebanese arms dealer, Zaire’s dictator, and an Angolan guerilla leader who engaged in bodily mutilations, sexual slavery, and child kidnapping.

    Laurance Gay: Worked with Manafort on the Upper Deerfield scam.

  • Tall Talk

    this is the repressed anger of people who think they deserve something. this anger is all around us all the time. donald trump triggers it by telling the truth.

  • Ed Romero

    Where were the Riot Police when the neighbors of that former O C Chief Probation Officer use to call them about all the Marijuana fumes floating over to their house’s from the Chief Probation Officer’s house. Her neighbors use to call our Probation Records Unit complaining about all the Marijuana fumes (I handled one of those calls), I also called my Office Manager because other Clerks were also getting calls. I remember actually calling the Chief Probation Officer, I spoke to that corrupt Asst. Chief Probation Officer who had her very own Gang of Drug Dealers that use to make Drug Deliveries right into her Office while on duty, she use to Smoke so much Marijuana while on duty that all 5 floors of the Probation Department were full of Marijuana fumes. At times the cafeteria was full of Law Enforcement Officers from various Cities and NO ONE SAID OR DID A THING ABOUT IT. I remember that Deputy Sheriff/Security Guard that use to say “Someone is Smoking Marijuana on the 5th floor (Admin Unit) and I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Apparently his boss didn’t know either.

  • Teresa Trujillo

    How could you call the Costa Mesa event an “unruly block party”? I have never been to a block party where the participants destroyed police cars and threw tantrums anything other than a violent riot.

    These violent protesters are terrorists. They are using physical force and intimidation to silence others. You are promoting this violence and terrorism with your kind words.

    Your bias is unrelenting.

    • Hi Teresa, while inserting photos into the post I inadvertently deleted a reference to the trashing of the police car in Costa Mesa. It’s back in now. My apologies.
      David Washburn, editor.

  • InTheKnow

    Adam,
    Your pro-illegal immigrant, anti-Trump bias comes through in every article you write. At least you mentioned the fact that the violent anti-Trump mob was waiving the Mexican flag. You missed the action where the mob was burning the American flag. Or did you? Some reporting of that fact wouldn’t exactly fit with your agenda though.
    You have been reporting on the Santa Ana City Council for years and have never attempted to explore or write about their obvious bias when it comes to non-Hispanic residents (code phrase “the usual suspects”) and employees.

    • Vern Pat Nelson

      “Burning the American flag.” Pretty sure that never happened. I was there the whole time, and didn’t see that or hear of it. We anti-Trump people had plenty of American flags, and were waving them (and putting a Trump piñata on top of one.)

      • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

        It did, I think, in Albuquerque.

        • Vern Pat Nelson

          He was attempting to say “Don’t – STOP – protesting Trump.”

          • Scott

            They’re angry that Trump is going to enforce American law and secure our borders. Hmm…I wonder why?

          • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

            LOL. Me-thinks a Sharpie and cardboard would have been less painful. But that’s just me, older, cautious.

  • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

    Everyone has a voice that can and should be heard. But when you cause violent drama and throw rocks at horses and riders and follow the TV cameras to try to make it on air time, then I wanna know who is signing your paycheck for the day. If you got paid to play, your voice is dead silent. And you just helped your opposition. Silly clown guy, tricks are for kids.