Police arrested five protesters and another was injured at a demonstration protesting Donald Trump and his immigration policies outside the Burlingame hotel where Trump spoke Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The demonstration of several hundred activists from across the Bay Area was mostly peaceful, though at one point a group overwhelmed the barrier designed to keep them away from the Hyatt Regency hotel.
“We are going to debrief the whole thing, but preliminarily, this went successfully ... with the number of protesters,” Burlingame Police Lt. Jay Kiely said.
Blockading the street ahead of Republican frontrunner Trump’s lunchtime speech, demonstrators waved Mexican flags and locked arms in protest of the New York businessman.
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Surrounded by a heavy police presence, the group marched outside the Hyatt Regency hotel where the California Republican Party kicked off an intense 24 hours, punctuated by speeches from Trump and rivals Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Carly Fiorina.
A police helicopter hovered while much of the attention from the activists, including people from labor, Latino, and Black Lives Matter groups focused on Trump. It was the second day of demonstrations, though it lacked the energy of Thursday’s events in Orange County.
Jesus X. Zapata, 27 of Oakland, criticized Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“When I think about the wall ... I think about the Berlin wall,” he said. “And we have to understand it didn’t work. It failed.
Zapata said his truck broke down so he borrowed his brother’s car. But the car had troubles of its own, so Zapata said he found himself crawling at 40 miles per hour across the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.
There is injustice and we need to understand that we can’t change the world with a leader like this, somebody that doesn’t have values or morals.
Adilene Jezabel Moreno, 16, of Hayward
Things remained relatively peaceful, with a small brass band playing and a gaggle of topless women walking Old Bayshore Highway.
At one point, a young woman instructed her peers that “If you see a delegate in a suit, yell at them.” A man in a signature red Make America Great Again hat was pushed against a guardrail and screamed at as he made his way though the crowd.
Another young woman put down her megaphone to hold up a sign that read “More like make America racist again.” Variations of the sign made their way into a revolving list of chants.
The charges didn’t sit well with Cheryl Tapp, who sported a Trump shirt. Standing beside the demonstration, she admonished a young supporter of Democrat Bernie Sanders for her harsh language.
Tapp, of Burlingame, said she’s been familiar with Trump since the 1980s when she saw him on “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee.” “He has a heart,” she said.
As the crowd grew into the hundreds, one organizer suspected that the hotel’s isolated location, miles away from easily accessible public transportation, may have contributed to the smaller-than-expected gathering.
Adilene Jezabel Moreno, 16, of Hayward, wore a Frida Kahlo t-shirt said she’s getting involved with the 2016 presidential campaign to “change the world.”
“There is injustice,” she said, “and we need to understand that we can’t change the world with a leader like this, somebody that doesn’t have values or morals.”