Thursday night, after a campaign rally for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, protestors took to the streets which ended with the worst violence since last month’s cancelation of a campaign event in Chicago. Protesters took to the streets, blocking traffic, then fights broke out and some protesters were heard chanting, “Racists go home”, all the while smashing a police car while more officers had to be dispersed in riot gear while using tear gas.
A Twitter message by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said about 20 people were arrested, but the possible charges were not immediately clear. According to AP News, there were “dozens of cars—including those of Trump supporters trying to leave that were stuck in the street as several hundred demonstrators blocked the road, waved Mexican flags and posed for selfies. Police in riot gear and on horseback pushed the crowd back and away from the venue. The crowd began dispersing about three hours after the speech ended.”
The evening also saw protesters earlier before Donald Trump’s campaign visit when about a half-dozen anti-Trump protesters taunted those waiting to get into the venue. According to AP News, “Trump supporters surrounded one man who waved a Mexican flag and shouted “Build that wall! Build that wall!”—a reference to Trump’s call to create a barrier between the United States and Mexico to stop illegal border crossings.”
Trump spoke in Costa Mesa and was surrounded on stage with people carrying photos of family members they say were killed by immigrants in the country illegally. Trump spoke again about his promise to make Mexico pay for a wall along the U.S. border. Trump also spoke on the issue of torture and that he believes that some measure of torture is needed and that there are benefits for its use. One glaring mistake though was when Trump repeated a story about a U.S. Army general executing Muslim terrorists with bullets dipped in pig blood more than a century ago. This story has never been confirmed and has been repeated without proof.
California’s primary could Trump the win he needs to be the Republican nominee on June 7th. A Fox News poll of likely California primary voters released late Friday shows Trump leading the Republican field with 49%, leading both Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is at a distant second with 22%, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 20%. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Trump can’t reach the 1,237-delegate threshold to clinch the nomination on a first-ballot convention vote without winning California delegates.” Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., a bipartisan voter-data firm said that “There are two ways that Trump can win, by engaging in the hand-to-hand combat of campaigning in each one of the congressional districts.” Continuing Mitchell said that “The other strategy is to run a traditional, statewide California campaign.” Whichever style the Trump camp takes it will have to work hard to win those delegates that could bring the nomination to Trump in Cleveland.