San Diego, May 28 (EFE).- The visit of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to San Diego sparked angry and nearly violent protests that resulted in at least a dozen arrests.
The police chief of this Southern California city near the Mexican border, Shelley Zimmerman, said at a press conference that a minimum of 12 people had been taken into custody for different reasons, including refusing to abandon the area.
Protests began early Friday outside the San Diego Convention Center and the situation between Trump supporters and opponents turned particularly tense after the candidate finished his speech at the rally, prompting the San Diego Police Department to declare the gathering an “unlawful assembly” and ordering the area evacuated.
Hundreds of police were deployed, but there were no reports of officers injured or property damaged.
Zimmerman said the vast majority of the thousands of people at the site behaved peacefully, but that the police had to intervene due to the actions of a few violent individuals.
Trump kicked off his bid for the presidency last year by denouncing Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug smugglers – though acknowledging that some of them might be “good” – and calling for a giant wall on the southern border.
That message is particularly controversial in San Diego, which has a large Hispanic population.
“It’s important to denounce Donald Trump’s message of hate,” Enrique Morones, the director of the Border Angels, a non-profit organization that, among other things, sets up water stations in the desert to reduce migrant fatalities and advocates for humane immigration reform.
“Normally a lot of people come (to these types of events) to support a candidate, but in this case a lot of people have come out to tell this candidate that he’s not welcome here,” he added. EFE
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