Police and sheriff's deputies attempted to separate protesters from rally attendees as the convention center began to empty.
  • Police and sheriff's deputies attempted to separate protesters from rally attendees as the convention center began to empty.
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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign stop in San Diego on Friday (May 27) resulted in a full day of pandemonium downtown, with thousands of protesters representing several agendas converging on the convention center where thousands more gathered in hopes of cheering the candidate on at a rally inside.

Trump supporters file into the convention hall as Darrell Issa warms up the crowd.

Police were a dominant presence even hours before either group began congregating, with hundreds of officers and sheriff's deputies, many equipped with full riot gear, lining the streets.

Access to the convention-center grounds was tightly restricted, with officers demanding evidence of rally tickets on approach; the availability of online tickets accessible via a few smartphone clicks even as opening speakers were onstage led to the event being overbooked by at least a thousand Trump fans, who waited in line outside until a few minutes before the rally concluded.

Enrique Morones (left)

photo by Marty Graham

"How dare anybody talk about Mexicans like me as if we're rapists, criminals?" asked Enrique Morones, a leader with Border Angels, at a counter-rally organized by the local Democratic party. "Those are words of hate, and words lead to actions of hate. We've absolutely seen a rise in hateful behavior with the rise of Trump." Meanwhile, signs hoisted by protesters made barbs including "Without immigrants, Trump would have no wives."

The largely Hispanic janitors' union showed up in force

While only a hundred or so showed up early for the Democrats' event, more began streaming in as members of the local janitors' union marched through the Gaslamp and immigrants' rights activists arrived following their own rally at Chicano Park.

The event remained largely peaceful in the lead-up to and for the duration of speeches by Trump and other Republican figures, including Sarah Palin and local congressmembers Darrell Issa and Duncan D. Hunter.

Police and protesters clash as water bottles fly

At one point, several water bottles were flung toward police from a pen that had been set up and designated a "free speech area" on Harbor Drive, which was closed near the convention center. The offense led to brief skirmishes between police and protesters who climbed the bank between Harbor and the center driveway. A similar zone was established by police on the north end of the street for counter-protests; it went unused as supporters were mostly able to gain entry to the convention center.

Afterward, as Trump supporters began streaming out of the rally, the situation grew tense. Arguments, and sometimes fights, broke out among the crowd, a minority of which lingered long after Trump was reportedly on his jet and bound for the next stop by about 4:30.

By 6:30, police had declared remaining protesters part of an unlawful assembly and began attempts to force those remaining to leave. At least 3 arrests and 18 injuries related to the event had been confirmed as of Friday evening. By Saturday morning, the number of arrests numbered over 30.

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CaptainObvious May 28, 2016 @ 9:30 a.m.

I love it when Democrats let their true colors show. So racist against whites.


shirleyberan May 28, 2016 @ 10:46 a.m.

Trump incites his crazies to violence in his nutball speak, then cowardly shrinks away under secure protection.


Bob_Hudson May 28, 2016 @ 12:37 p.m.

Did you miss the fact those were the left's crazies inciting violence?


amorpheous May 28, 2016 @ 11:08 a.m.

Compare this to the Bernie Sanders rally at the Convention Center. There were way more Bernie supporters than at Trump's rally, even including all the protesters, and it was peaceful and joyous. Total police at the event was about 10 to 20.


jnojr May 31, 2016 @ 3:19 p.m.

Because why would Sanders supporters attack other Sanders supporters? They save their violence and hatred and intolerance for those who do not agree with them.


shirleyberan May 28, 2016 @ 1:19 p.m.

Takes two to tango Bob. No matter how flat you make a pancake it still has two sides (Dr. Phil).


shirleyberan May 28, 2016 @ 2:52 p.m.

Wonder which side has the most sitting in jail today (;€)


AlexClarke May 29, 2016 @ 6:01 a.m.

The chaos at the Democratic Convention will be inside. The chaos at the Republican Convention will be on the outside. The candidate who wins will be the one who has the least votes against them.


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