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Donald Trump in Anaheim: Protesters arrested after clashing with Republican’s supporters following rally

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Welcome to Essential Politics and our coverage of Donald Trump’s appearance in Anaheim less than two weeks before California’s presidential primary. We covered what happened inside and outside the rally with video, photo and social media. Warning: some explicit language and images below.

  • Anaheim police made several arrests after the rally concluded
  • Early in the day, police outnumbered the protesters
  • Trump’s event is in the same location Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigned Tuesday, just across the street from Disneyland.
  • Looking for news about state politics and what’s happening in Sacramento? Find us over here

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more, or subscribe to our free daily newsletter and the California Politics Podcast

Video: Police out in full force

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Arrests made in Anaheim after clashes

Supporters and critics of Donald Trump squared off Wednesday as the presidential candidate held a rally in Anaheim, with police making several arrests after some demonstrators threw objects at them.

After Trump departed, a small group of protesters remained in the area, ignoring orders by police to disperse. At least one trash can was set on fire, and large groups of police were trying to push the remaining demonstrators away.

Lines of mounted police moved through the streets near the Anaheim Convention Center with several dozen protesters in front of them.

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Trump tosses out red meat in blue California

Donald Trump showed no sign of letting up on his harsh immigration rhetoric Wednesday as he returned to California with a message decidedly out of step with a state that has roundly rejected a hard-line approach to the issue.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee no longer faces a competitive California primary on June 7, but he nonetheless played to his party’s base of conservative white voters at a campaign rally in Anaheim.

“Build that wall!” Trump chanted with the crowd at the Anaheim Convention Center, playing up his vow to seal the border with Mexico.

Trump’s rally came as he prepared to tape an episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday afternoon in Hollywood, followed by a private campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles. He plans to return to the state Friday to meet with farming executives in Fresno and hold rallies there and in San Diego.

In Anaheim, Trump took shots at his presumed Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who faces a tight California contest against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“She doesn’t have the temperament to be president,” Trump told a few thousand supporters. “She’s got bad judgment. She’s got horribly bad judgment. And that was stated by none other than Crazy Bernie.”

Trump criticized Clinton for voting to authorize the Iraq war when she was a U.S. senator and called her handling of Libya as secretary of State a “catastrophe.”

“If she wins, you better get used to it, because you’ll have nothing but turmoil,” he said. “And you’ll have nothing more than four more years of Obama, and you can’t take that. Our system and our country can’t take it.”

Trump suggested Clinton had recently broken her habit of shouting in an attempt to appear more presidential.

“I’ll be honest with you, I cannot listen to her,” he said.

Most notable, however, was Trump’s emphasis on illegal immigration at a time when he is trying to broaden his appeal for the general election, particularly in a state where Republicans have paid a heavy price for their tough rhetoric on the issue. The opening speakers at Trump’s rally were family members of those allegedly killed by immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

On stage a while later, Trump pointed to a sign saying, “Latinos for Trump.”

“You’re all here legally,” he said. “You have houses. You have homes. We’re going to keep your houses and your homes. You’re going to have them forever. And your jobs aren’t going to be taken away by people that are just coming across the border. You don’t know where they’re coming from.”

Later, Trump said he loves Mexicans.

“They’re going to vote for me like crazy, the ones that are legally in this country,” he said. “Look, all these Mexicans, they’re voting for Trump.”

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Trump protesters and supporters continue to clash after rally

Following the rally, a large crowd of demonstrators surrounded a group of Trump supporters and followed them from the convention center entrance to a parking lot at the corner of West Street and Katella Avenue.

The protesters set fire to a few Trump placards bearing his “Make America Great Again” slogan, and at one point a protester ripped an American flag from a Trump supporter’s hands and tossed it to the ground.

“We don’t want to fight,” a man in a Trump T-shirt repeatedly shouted at demonstrators.

The crowd continued marching down West Street after an Anaheim police officer in a helicopter circling overhead ordered them to disperse via the chopper’s loudspeaker.

At one point they stopped to exchange insults with a group holding Trump signs who had attended the rally.

“Get a job!” the Trump supporters screamed as police mobilized.

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Police maintain peace outside as Trump rally wraps up

As the rally wrapped up, the scene outside the convention center escalated into shoving matches that were quickly brought under control by police.

A small crowd of Trump supporters who had been hurling racially charged remarks at a large group of demonstrators were escorted away “in the interest of public safety” shortly before 1:30 p.m., said Daron Wyatt, Anaheim police spokesman.

No one was arrested, but the group of about five people were asked to leave the area by police and did so voluntarily, Wyatt said.

The group had been at the center of a tense scene when demonstrators began shoving them before police intervened. Wyatt said the group was asked to leave because police were concerned they were trying to incite the demonstrators.

Two people were ejected from the rally by Trump’s security personnel earlier in the day, but Wyatt said he did not know why. One person was arrested outside the arena for illegally selling shirts without a license.

A second shoving match broke out between a different crowd of Trump supporters and protesters and was broken up by sheriff’s deputies on horseback.

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Protest heats up; police begin to mobilize outside Trump rally

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Trump touches on immigration, 2nd Amendment and his hair

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Trump backers say they support his stance on immigration, independence from PACs

Phillip Sura, a 20-year-old student, said he supports Donald Trump “because we need a wall to protect our borders.” His mother is from Ecuador and had to give up her citizenship in her native country to become an American citizen, he said.

“She had to go through all the process to get her citizenship,” he said at Wednesday’s Trump rally in Anaheim. “That’s the way it should be done and that’s what Trump is standing for. It’s not right to jump the borders.”

Nestor Moto, a recent graduate of Cal State Long Beach, said what he loves about Trump is that he isn’t “bought by the PACs.”

“And he’s finally talking about what people don’t talk about, like illegal immigration,” said Moto, who said he got his bachelor’s in political science.

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Peacekeepers try to calm things down outside rally

Enrique Lopez was at last month’s Trump rally in Costa Mesa and said he was attending Wednesday to help prevent the same chaos from erupting.

Clutching a sign adorned with a pot leaf that read “Let’s smoke bud together,” the 20-year-old Santa Ana resident put himself between protesters and a Trump supporter who began shoving each other near the Convention Center entrance.

“When we react the way they expect us to, we just make Trump bigger,” he said.

Lopez described the Costa Mesa protests as a “mess” and said the protesters hurling insults and shoving each other on both sides were wrong. While he doesn’t agree with Trump’s rhetoric, describing him as a bully, he said allowing demonstrations to descend into screaming matches doesn’t solve anything.

“People just started attacking each other and that shouldn’t be happening,” Lopez said. “You have the right to vote for whoever the hell you want to. ... You shouldn’t have to get punched in the face for it.”

As Lopez finished speaking, a crowd of protesters threw a Trump piñata to the ground and tore it to pieces. Five feet away, a Trump supporter clutching a Bible repeated his claim that the protesters should “burn in hell.”

Edgar Garcia waded through the crowds, shouting out to fellow Trump protesters to help keep the peace.

“We can’t respond with violence. Tell them you love them,” he said of the Trump supporters. “We’re going to have to lock arms and stand between them — the anti-Trump people and pro-Trump supporters.

“We can’t let things get out of hand. We can’t let people get violent. Remember to use your voice.”

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Video: ‘Build that wall!’ chants fill convention center

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Trump supporter couldn’t score a ticket but still attends rally

Darius Davelius, a 22-year-old from Riverside, said he couldn’t score a ticket to get into the Anaheim Convention Center to attend Wednesday’s Donald Trump rally, but he decided to come anyway so he could engage in peaceful conversations with anti-Trump protestors.

He said he believes Trump and his supporters are misunderstood, especially about illegal immigration. Davelius spoke with Alejandro, a 19-year-old from Anaheim who didn’t want to give his last name.

“I’m against the rhetoric Donald Trump uses,” Alejandro told Davelius.

Davelius said Trump never said all people coming illegally from Mexico are rapists and drug dealers, just some of them.

“We don’t need people coming here illegally,” Davelius said.

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Watch: Trump introduced as rally officially starts

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Thousands of Trump fans pack convention center

While protesters outnumbered supporters outside the convention center, inside was a different story. Supporters were out in force, carrying signs and voicing love for the candidate.

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Trump arrives for rally: ‘Women do like me’

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Anti-illegal-immigration group the Remembrance Project out again to support Trump

Speaking ahead of Donald Trump at his Anaheim rally was the Texas-based group the Remembrance Project, which also appeared onstage with the Republican presidential candidate at his Costa Mesa rally in April.

The nonprofit, which according to its website has been operating since 2009, bills itself as a group of “advocates for families whose loved ones were killed by illegal aliens.” The group is led by conservative activist and former Texas congressional candidate Maria Espinoza, who told the Riverside Press-Enterprise at an event this month that Trump “is a listener” and was the only one of the Republican presidential candidates to speak with members of the Remembrance Project.

The group wrote an open letter to the GOP candidates in March, writing in part:

“Violent illegal alien crimes, especially crimes resulting in the killings of American citizens, are like none other in our system of legal justice. In every case, the perpetrator was in the country illegally, enabled by a government unwilling to protect our nation’s border and enforce current laws. We are aware that not all candidates have clearly promised to secure the borders, however, there is some very important unfinished American family business that urgently needs your attention.”

Espinoza told the Press-Enterprise that Trump was receptive to her group’s message.

“Leaning forward, he listened intently as our families, one after another, told him thank you for speaking out,” she told the newspaper.

As they did for Trump’s April rally, Espinoza’s group came with banners depicting victims of crimes allegedly perpetrated by immigrants in the U.S. illegally, part of an initiative called “The Stolen Lives Quilt.”

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One person ejected from Trump rally

One person was ejected from Donald Trump’s rally at the Anaheim Convention Center by the presumptive GOP presidential candidate’s security personnel, according to Sgt. Daron Wyatt, an Anaheim police spokesman.

Wyatt said the man was escorted out. It remains unclear why he was removed and whether he was pro- or anti-Trump.

Naui Huitzilopochtli, seen below, said he had been trying to record the event with his camera when security guards “tackled him” and ejected him.

“I was just listening inside and trying to record with my camera, when I went to the bathroom, the security guards followed me and tackled me,” he told reporters.

The 39-year-old said he was also ejected from Trump’s rally at Costa Mesa.

“This is racist,” he said.

Outside the convention center, an anti-Trump crowd began marching in a circle around the group that had been hurling insults at protesters. A large group of Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies in riot gear stood behind police lines, but Mike Lyster, a city spokesman, said they were simply on standby.

The deployment was organized weeks in advance and was not in response to a Trump rally in New Mexico on Tuesday night, when protesters clashed with police, Lyster said.

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No warm reception for media at Trump rally

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Protesters compare Trump to a Nazi

A large group lined the sidewalk near Katella Avenue, holding signs describing Trump as a Nazi, with the candidate’s face painted like a clown or the Joker.

Tlacaelel Quetzalcoatl, 52, director of Mexica Movement, an education organization for indigenous people in Southern California, held one of the signs.

“Trump is a white supremacist. How dare he say that we should leave the U.S.; he’s the one that needs to leave,” Quetzalcoatl said. “This is our country.”

“He has given a voice to all the racist people in this country and they feel empowered by him, not only against the Mexicans but also the Central American immigrants,” he added.

Police presence is increasing and includes a line of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on horseback. Pro- and anti-Trump groups at the convention center entrance were engaged in some minor shoving.

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One protester’s secret for keeping calm amid the screaming

Terry Juhl, an interior designer from Laguna Niguel, has an angry message for Donald Trump. But he refuses to shout when taunted by Trump supporters.

Juhl said he remembers fans of the presumptive GOP nominee standing close to his face and shouting obscenities when he protested a Trump rally in Costa Mesa. He said he just smiled at them.

He prefers to let his sign speak, he said.

His secret to staying calm in crowds of screaming people?

“I’m old,” he said. “Hey, I’m 73.”

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Protester: ‘This is not “The Apprentice”; this is reality’

Mark Hernandez and his friends George Ramirez and Jesse Baltazar came from Morrison to protest against Trump.

“He’s a racist who doesn’t know our culture. He’s not good for our presidency. This is not ‘The Apprentice’; this is reality,” Hernandez said.

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Rules for protesting at the Trump rally: ‘Do not vandalize, damage, burn or destroy’

When Trump arrived in Costa Mesa on April 28, chaos ensued. Demonstrators blocked traffic and hurled debris at motorists that night, following the rally.

Seventeen people were arrested, one Costa Mesa police officer was struck with a rock and five police cruisers were damaged, officials said.

Anaheim police guidelines include not vandalizing, damaging, burning or destroying any private or public property, as well as staying out of lanes of traffic.

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Fans excited inside the convention center

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Trump supporters and protesters are having their say

As of 10:30 a.m., crowds were thin along Katella Avenue, where Anaheim police were funneling demonstrators. Two men were at the main entrance of the Anaheim Convention Center, holding a sign calling for an end to abortion and Islam, while a few people who held signs denouncing Donald Trump looked on.

One man with a loudspeaker paced in front of a police line, screaming a series of pro-Christian, anti-gay messages. A small crowd of people who were chanting against Trump began trying to shout him down.

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Protester calls Trump a ‘puppet’

Walking under a row of young coconut trees, Anaheim cook Jonathan Yamamoto is the only protester in sight at the edge of Convention Way, near the city’s Convention Center.

“I heard the dude’s coming here, and I had to speak up,” the 25-year-old said. “He’s a puppet. What can a guy like him do for this country?”

Yamamoto said he’s surprised by the lack of people so far showing up to demonstrate ahead of the rally. He offered one reason: Parking is expensive.

After all, it is next to Disneyland.

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Plenty of police, but few protesters ahead of rally

After Donald Trump’s most recent visit to California ended with 17 arrests (and protesters damaging several Costa Mesa police cruisers), Anaheim police were prepared.

But while there was a large police presence Wednesday morning, it seemed to outnumber protesters ahead of the rally. One possible reason: The last event was at night.

The morning was not without its drama, however, with police arresting 26-year-old Rico Jimenez of Costa Mesa for vending without a license.

“I’m selling T-shirts. I’m a Trump supporter, and I’m getting arrested,” he said.

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Not too many protesters ahead of Trump rally

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Follow along

We’ll be posting on Snapchat today and doing updates via Facebook live.

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Meet the ‘Trumpettes’

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Spotted on the freeway

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The first protester

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‘We need to secure our borders’

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‘Mr. Trump loves everyone’

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‘He’ll turn this country around’

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Early scenes as police ready for Trump rally

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Team Trump ready, too

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A familiar location

In a location coincidence that might give residents whiplash, Donald Trump’s rally at the Anaheim Convention Center is the same spot where Sen. Bernie Sanders held his rally Tuesday.

It’s just near Disneyland.

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Prepared for protests, hoping for peace

The Anaheim Police Department is well aware of the violence that has plagued some of Donald Trump‘s campaign events.

Clashes between the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s supporters and rowdy counter-protesters have marked the
businessman’s campaign, and Trump’s most recent visit to California ended with 17 arrests as protesters damaged several Costa Mesa police cruisers.

Sgt. Daron Wyatt, an Anaheim police spokesman, has a simple warning for anyone thinking of re-creating that scene when Trump hosts a campaign rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday.

“We hope that people will counter-protest peacefully, within the confines of the law. If they do, they will have a pleasant experience,” he said. “If they don’t, we are prepared to take swift enforcement action.”

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