Orange County Protest May Signal a Rocky Campaign Month For Donald Trump in California

Lead Photo: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

When YG and Nipsey Hussle recruited volunteers to appear in the music video for their “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump),” 100 people easily came out, despite the short notice. So even before Trump began actively campaigning in California, people sent him a strong message. Delegate-rich California, with its 172 delegates, may play an important role in who the Republican party chooses as its nominee in the first time in a generation, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, California – where Latinos now outnumber gringos – is going to pose a challenge for Trump, whose xenophobic jargon has pushed him to the forefront of the Republican party, but alienated him from an important demographic.

Ahead of the June 7 primary, Trump’s first California event in months was a rally at the Orange County amphitheater. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside, waving Mexican and American flags, according to the Los Angeles Times. Things got intense as group punctured the tires of a police-owned SUV, and others tried to flip over a police car. Five cars were damaged, adding up to about thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times
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Traffic also came to a stop after a bench blocked the entrance to the 55 Freeway along Newport Beach. The LA Times reports that Latinos in their late teens and 20s made up most of the crowd. “I’m protesting because I want equal rights for everybody, and I want peaceful protest,” said Daniel Lujan, 19. “I knew this was going to happen. It was going to be a riot. He deserves what he gets.” At the end of the night, police arrested 17 people – 10 males and seven females – but no major injuries were reported.

Since June 7 is still a little ways away, Trump has plenty of other Californian cities to visit, and he’s going to get a better idea of the climate of activism bubbling up there in reaction to a system that targets and disparages blacks, Latinos, and other minorities. In San Francisco, for example, activists are in the midst of a more than week-long hunger strike as they call for the removal of the police chief, after CNN obtained and released racist text messages sent between San Francisco Police Department officers. The group – called the Frisco Five – plans to stay on strike until police chief Greg Suhr is fired or resigns.

Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner
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Maria Cristina Gutierrez, a 66-year-old grandmother, is fighting for her relative. “We don’t want to die,” she told SF Gate. “But we’re prepared to go all the way.”

Check out more images from the Trump protest and rally on the LA Times.