True to their promises, Trump protesters did their best to disrupt rallies for the billionaire GOP candidate.
As Trump made his third visit to Arizona, activists blocked highway access Saturday morning in Fountain Hills in advance of his appearance, backing up traffic for miles with drivers honking in fury. The protesters parked their cars in the middle of the road, unfurling banners reading “Dump Trump” and “Must Stop Trump,” and chanting “Trump is hate.”
The vocal group beat drums and chanted as police struggled to clear the roadway.
“What do we want? Dead Trump!” the rioters screamed at one point.
“Get this clown out of our town,” they later sang.
Protesters were staging in Tonatierra Park and planned to march to the event in a peaceful protest, stating they were carrying a message they wanted Trump to hear.
“We don’t want you here in Arizona,” said protester Salvador Reza. “We don’t want your hate. … We want to make sure that people know that not everyone is in agreement with Donald Trump. There’s more than 50 percent of people who don’t want him. He’s already talking about building walls, not bridges. In the modern era, that’s not acceptable.”
Trump is known for his get-tough stance on illegal immigration.
Reaction to the road shutdown was negative, with some calling it not an act of protest, but an act of terrorism. One witness said there were more rioters than protesters.
Trump’s visit had the support of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
Trump supporters were out in full force, including Tim Tashio. “I want him to undo all the things the previous administration has forced upon us,” Tashio said.
Another supporter, Frank Tortorici, called Trump a leader. “Something we sorely need in this country now. He says what he needs to say.”
Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies were seen directing tow trucks to start hauling the blocking vehicles away. Deputy Joaquin Enriquez said officers will ask the protesters to move and if they don’t comply, they will forcibly remove them.
Three people were arrested before Trump even made it to the rally.
The Arizona Democrat Party tweeted their support for the illegal demonstration.
A Jeep reportedly plowed into the roadblock, but there were no apparent injuries.
A woman who had chained herself to her car on the road blockade told a reporter, “I wanna stop Trump … he doesn’t have a place in this state. He doesn’t have a place in the U.S. We don’t want that.”
The woman admitted she didn’t have a key to release herself. Law enforcement cut the cable and hauled her away.
The activists planned to march several blocks to the rally location.
Making his way toward the rally, Trump’s convoy was forced to drive on the side of the road to avoid the massive traffic jam. He was at least 50 minutes late.
After introductory remarks by Governor Brewer and Sheriff Arpaio, Trump finally mounted the podium to cheers from the crowd.
“I will never let you down, remember,” Trump told supporters. “These politicians are all talk, no action. They’re never going to do anything.”
He referenced the subject of immigration, saying no one talked about it until he brought the issue to the forefront. “For the first time, people saw what was going on,” he said. “We’re going to build the wall and we’re going to stop it. It’s going to end.”
Referencing the massive attendance at all his rallies, Trump said, “There’s nothing as dishonest as the media, that I can tell you. I only wish these cameras would spin around” in order to show how many people were in the crowd.
“We have a silent majority that’s no longer so silent. It’s now the loud noisy majority and we’re going to be heard,” he said. “People are tired of what the politicians are doing to our country … they’re sick and tired of it. … We’re going to make change, but it won’t be Obama change. This is going to be real change. We’re going to have a border. Unless you have a border, you don’t have a country, folks, remember that.”
Trump reiterated his promises to end Common Core and bring education back to the local level. “We don’t want our children educated by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.,” he said
“We are going to protect our Second Amendment,” Trump stated, calling up the strict gun laws in France. “Remember it’s under siege like you’ve never seen before, and we’re going to protect it.” He said no bullets “were going in the opposite direction” during the tragic attacks in Paris in November in which 130 people were killed by terrorists.
“We’re going to be proud of our country again,” he told the cheering crowd. “Nobody and I mean nobody is going to mess with us anymore.”
Referring to his success in business, Trump said, “This is the kind of mentality we need in this country, at least for awhile. … We have $19 trillion in debt, going to $21, they just approved a budget which is a disaster. … It took them twelve minutes to approve the budget. Not going to happen, folks, not going to happen.”
In New York City, left-wing activists converged on Trump Tower on Saturday to protest the billionaire’s so-called “fascist” policies and “white supremacy.” The protest was largely academic since Trump was not in or near the building during the noon protest.