As the Republican National Convention and likely coronation of Donald Trump as Republican presidential nominee approaches, the numbers of protestors showing up at Trump events have swelled. So have arrests.
Yesterday, more than 1,000 protestors demonstrated outside a Trump rally in San Diego.
By their own estimates, police arrested 35 protestors, some of which they claim entered areas off-limits to them. Ironically, many of these protestors were there specifically to oppose Trump’s racist and cruel immigration policies (San Diego shares a border with Mexico).
The Associated Press reported that at around 4 p.m. local time, protestors and Trump supporters became physically aggressive—throwing trash cans at one another, for instance—at which point police in riot gear intervened.
CBS News posted footage on Twitter of police hitting protestors with batons:
The numbers of protestors showing up to and being arrested at Trump events has been steadily ratcheting up this week. On Wednesday, about 100 peaceful protestors showed up to a Southern California rally. The Anaheim Police Department arrested seven of them on the on a range of charges including unlawful assembly and selling T-shirts without a permit.
The day before, police reacted to a protest of a Trump event in Albuquerque by deploying smoke bombs and pepper spray. Albuquerque police swiftly attempted to justify their actions with claims, via Twitter, that protestors had been throwing rocks at them. Trump also got on Twitter after the protest to describe the protestors as “thugs who were flying the Mexican flag.”
After last night’s rally, Trump tweeted the following at the San Diego Police Department.
.@SanDiegoPD- Fantastic job on handling the thugs who tried to disrupt our very peaceful and well attended rally. Greatly appreciated!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2016
For a while now, Trump rallies have been well attended on both sides of the barricades.