Hispanic activists are planning even more violent protests as US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump moves his campaign into California, one of the most heavily overrun states in the country.
The promise of more protests follows serious unrest last week when large crowds of nonwhites engaged in extended street violence outside Trump rally venues in Costa Mesa and the Burlingame hotel.
“I think it’s going to get worse if he gets the nomination and is the front-runner. I think it’s going to escalate,” said Luis Serrano, a nonwhite invader who “works” with a group called the California Immigration Youth Justice Alliance.
“We’re going to keep showing up and standing against the actions and the hate Donald Trump is creating. We are going to continue to just show up in numbers and stand together.”
The nonwhites smashed the window of a police car and blocked traffic outside a Trump campaign event in Costa Mesa, and on Friday, they blocked the entrance of a hotel hosting the California Republican convention in Burlingame, forcing Trump to halt his motorcade and go through a back entrance to deliver his speech.
In Costa Mesa, protesters performed screeching burnouts in their cars or did doughnuts at intersections. Others kicked at and punched approaching vehicles, shouting expletives.
Ranchera and hip-hop music was blasted throughout the streets. At least 17 people were arrested, and both a Trump supporter and a teenage anti-Trump protester were hurt.
In Burlingame, five protesters were arrested and a sheriff’s deputy was injured during the Trump protest there.
Protest organizers in Southern California said the anti-Trump demonstrations spread through word of mouth and involved mostly young people, including many high school and college students.
They brought with them Mexican flags, which were once discouraged at immigrant rights rallies for fear they would be regarded as un-American.
On Sunday, thousands of Hispanics marched through Los Angeles in a May Day rally that featured a strong anti-Trump theme.
Members of the crowd carried a large blow-up effigy of Trump holding a Ku Klux Klan hood, along with signs that read: “Dump Trump.”
“He’s threatened that should he become president of the United States, in his first 18 months in office, he fully intends to deport all 11 million-plus undocumented persons in the United States. We don’t take that lightly,” Juan Jose Gutierrez, of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, told the media.
Others waved Mexican flags or signs that called for immigration reform and an end to deportations.
The protests have successfully proven the point that the 2016 US Presidential election has become all about race.
Although Trump certainly did not intend the contest to hinge on this issue—and still does his best to present a multiracial campaign front—his call for an end to illegal immigration alone is enough to have racially charged the election cycle.
It is also increasingly clear that while Trump may now win the Republican nomination, the coalescing racial alliance against him means that he can only win a presidential election if unprecedented numbers of whites vote for him in November.
* Trump has a substantial lead in the California Republican primary polls, and is set to sweep that state when it votes on June 7.
* Trump said on Sunday he will have essentially sealed the Republican nomination if he wins Tuesday’s contest in Indiana, where he holds a big lead over chief rival Ted Cruz.