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Marchers protest Rep. Rohrabacher’s support for Trump’s policies

Hundreds of people marched down Main Street in Huntington Beach on Monday as part of a now-weeks-long movement against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and his support for President Trump’s policies.

Local activist groups Oak View ComUNIDAD, The Beautiful Resistance and Hugs Not More Walls were the primary organizers of Monday’s rally. The Arab American Civic Council was also present, as was Indivisible OC, a left-leaning group that has planned a series of gatherings at Rohrabacher’s office — at 101 Main St. — since Trump’s election.

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Indivisible OC was an organizer of the rally. While Indivisible OC had a presence at the event, activist groups Oak View ComUNIDAD, The Beautiful Resistance and Hugs Not More Walls were the primary organizers.

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Indivisible OC’s aim has been to coax the Republican representative into holding a town hall meeting to discuss what they believe are troubling directions being taken by the White House, including a travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, the unclear future of the Affordable Care Act and Trump’s friendliness toward Russia.

Last week, a scuffle at Rohrabacher’s Huntington Beach office resulted in injury to a staff member and a 2-year-old girl, who was knocked in the head by a door. Rohrabacher responded to the incident by saying the activists were involved in “political thuggery.”

Rashad Al-Dabbagh, founder of the Arab American Civic Council, said he hoped the rally would signal to Rohrabacher that minority groups want their voices heard.

“He needs to understand that he doesn’t just represent those that voted for him,” he said.

Demonstrators Monday met at Triangle Park, at 521 Main St., and then marched down the street to the pier.

People carried American flags and signs reading “Immigrants Make America Great” and “Bridges not Walls,” both references to Trump’s promise to beef up border security with the building of a wall.

A few people held milk cartons bearing a picture of Rohrabacher and reading “Missing.”

People chanted “Together united, we’ll never be defeated” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

Toward the end of the rally, a group of participants lined up on the sand in such a way that they spelled out “resist,” a reference to an emerging national movement pledging resistance to Trump’s policies.

Wayne Self, 47, of Aliso Viejo said he was marching because of his concern over what he believes are Trump’s and Rohrabacher’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Helen Molles, 74, of Seal Beach said she’s worried about Rohrabacher’s views on the Affordable Care Act, which Trump has promised to repeal and replace.

“I have family that have been saved by the [ACA],” she said.

Rose Molina, 57, of Huntington Beach said she just wanted to raise awareness of Trump’s and Rohrabacher’s “hateful rhetoric.”

Molina said she has written to Rohrabacher on several occasions regarding concerns she has with the treatment of minorities nationwide.

“Rohrabacher is supposed to represent his constituents and he isn’t,” she said.

About 20 people showed up to counter-protest.

“There’s another point of view in this community,” said Ron Higby, 79, of Huntington Beach, who added that he also wanted to monitor the event after a protest at University of California, Berkeley turned violent a few weeks ago.

“There’s a difference between peaceful protest and anarchy,” Higby said.

The two groups became embroiled in a few verbal confrontations, including the trading of obscenity-laced jabs, but Monday’s march was nonviolent.

Indivisible OC members said they will continue visiting Rohrabacher’s office at 1 p.m. Tuesdays.

Rohrabacher represents California’s 48th District, which includes Seal Beach, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Fountain Valley and several other cities.

benjamin.brazil@latimes.com

Twitter: @benbrazilpilot


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