As presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump continues to stump throughout the United States, his latest visit brought him to the Albuquerque Convention Center. About 1,000 peaceful protesters convened outside, but things quickly turned as people threw bottles, burning T-shirts, and rocks at the police trying to control the crowd, according to The Washington Post.
New Mexico is home to a large Latino population – almost half of the state’s residents are Latino, and news outlets believe many of the protesters were Latinos. The crowd chanted “Fuck Donald Trump,” CNN reported. They knocked down barriers and jumped on cop cars. A total of 600 police officers were called in, though the Albuquerque Journal notes that some protesters tried to keep things peaceful. When police launched smoke into the crowd, some dispersed.
Even after Trump left the convention center, the crowd remained tense. Rally attendees were forced to leave through a different exit, but they were still met with protesters. Both sides hurled insults at each other, and the night finally ended by 11:30 p.m. – with only about 120 police officers left resting after the chaotic night.
The police is calling the event a riot. And though things certainly got out of hand, it’s a clear sign of people reacting to the inevitable fact that he’ll represent the Republican party in this year’s election. Outside the venue, there were people with legitimate concerns. Like Karla Molinar, a University of New Mexico student, who said that he’s using undocumented immigrants – like some of her relatives – as scapegoats for all of the country’s problems, according to the Los Angeles Times. And 24-year-old Matthew Vargas and 20-year-old Ashley Escobar also attended because they don’t like what he stands for. “He’s bringing ignorance,” Ashley told the Washington Post.
And of course, it’s not just because of his stance on immigration that people oppose Trump. A group of midwives attended the rally, and displayed their anti-Trump signs.
On Wednesday morning, Trump took to his Twitter account to reduce all the protesters to thugs. “The protesters in New Mexico were thugs who were flying the Mexican flag,” he said. “The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals!” It’s similar to what happened earlier this year when protesters forced Trump to cancel his Chicago rally.
Check out more from the event below: