At least 20 arrests were made last night after protesters turned violent after a Donald Trump rally in Orange County, Costa Mesa police say.
While Trump was speaking at the Pacific Amphitheater the crowd of protestors was mostly peaceful. One group is said to have taunted Trump supporters as they waited to enter the area, one man holding a Mexican flag and shouting, “Build that wall! Build that wall!”
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) April 29, 2016
A group of seven topless women wearing only Bernie Sanders stickers over their breasts told reporters they were protesting Trump’s silence on issues of women’s rights and gender equality.
“I feel like he wants to make America great again, but certainly not for women, for the LBGTQ community or for the lower class,” said one of the women, Tiernan Hebron, referencing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. “He has, like, done nothing to help with gender equality or women’s rights or reproductive rights or anything.”
It wasn’t until after the rally concluded and supporters began to leave that protestors took to the street and violent clashes ensued. Police on horseback and in riot gear were on the scene. According to officials, there were no major injuries Thursday night.
Donald Trump Protest in Costa Mesa, California 🇲🇽💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/yDkNZy4cS9
— viva la raza (@xicanism_) April 29, 2016
It took three hours after Trump finished his speech for the crowds to disperse. By 11 p.m. they were gone.
The LA Times reports that the protestors stomped on cars, threw rocks at motorists, smashed the window of a police cruiser and slashed the tires of a police SUV. Helicopters circled overhead as protestors carrying American and Mexican flags blocked the roadways, including the entrance to the 55 Freeway and even attempted to flip a police car.
— Revolution News (@NewsRevo) April 29, 2016
In all, the Costa Mesa police say, five police vehicles were damaged.
At least one man had his face bloodied by a protestor as he was trying to drive away from the area, the Associated Press reported.
https://t.co/u0XNv4EkhP Trump supporters beaten to a bloody pulp.
— Fatima Muldoon (@FatimaMuldoon) April 29, 2016
— helga silva (@helgasilvaNOW) April 29, 2016
Inside of the rally itself, Trump was in full-blown xenophobe tyrant mode, egging on the cheering crowd with his plans to make Mexico pay for a border wall and recounting a debunked story of Muslim terrorists who were executed by a U.S. Army general with bullets dipped in pig blood.
On Twitter, Trump supporters have echoed a claim made by the GOP frontrunner that the protesters were paid agitators, or that they had been paid for by George Soros.
These protestors R hired & paid 2 protest against Trump, so as long as Soros keeps hiring them, they will be around. https://t.co/GDFk8MHo8U
— Elizabeth ® (@MissLizzyNJ) April 29, 2016
Violent protestors flying MEXICAN flags. Paid leftist agitators & anarchists vs Trump. Proof Trump is the right man!https://t.co/M1g0v3IMQQ
— Wayne Allyn Root (@WayneRoot) April 29, 2016
No words for protestors line dancing outside the Trump rally in Costa Mesa. pic.twitter.com/R2izVHTJEK
— Nidia Becerra (@nidia_b) April 29, 2016
— PJ Garza (@Garzamatic) April 29, 2016
Back window has been smashed out of a Costa Mesa police cruiser. Protester: "I think Donald Trump did it!" pic.twitter.com/FTj4JoiAdN
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) April 29, 2016