Sacramento police broke up a fracas outside a Tea Party “Build the Wall” dinner Saturday night at a downtown restaurant where protesters confronted supporters of President Trump.
About a dozen protesters, some wearing bandanas, gathered outside the Claim Jumper restaurant and shouted “immigrants are welcome here” at Trump supporters attending the sold-out dinner. The Tea Party Caucus hosted the dinner to denounce the “GOP establishment” for its poor showing in the midterm elections and to push for more support of Trump’s policies.
The state GOP was holding its annual convention down the street at the Hyatt Regency, where former White House spokesman Sean Spicer was the keynote speaker.
At one point, protesters outside the Claim Jumper confronted some of those attending the dinner. Police stepped in and broke up the fracas. One person was believed have been taken into custody.
Jill Barto, a GOP convention delegate from El Cajon, said she was inside the restaurant when protesters began banging on the window. She said she and other diners went outside to ask the protesters to stop, fearful they would break the window.
"Right away, one of them came up to me and said, 'F--- you,' she said. "They were calling us fascists and KKK when all we wanted to do was sit down for a planned dinner."
Barto said a man wearing a black bandanna and sunglasses loomed over her and grabbed the scarf she was holding in her hand, then snatched a Trump pin and a red, white and blue pin off her shirt.
"We had no idea who they were and when a police officer showed up, I told him I wanted to file a report,” she said. The man who grabbed her scarf and pins, she said, “was trying to intimidate us."
She said she returned to the restaurant and that several people later escorted her back to the hotel to ensure her safety.