Trump's first Southland rally makes Americans fight again

As it usually does, live entertainment appeared at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa California on the night of Thursday. People cheered, danced around, and chanted in sync with one another all in tune to their favorite entertainer: Donald Trump. But mere moments after the fanfare died down, the chaos began as hundreds of Anti-Trump protestors turned raucous and violent outside of the event grounds.

The billionaire mogul and Republican front-runner's first major rally in Southern California began peacefully enough. In the morning, thousands of supporters lined up hours in advance of Trump's appearance, ripe with anticipation.

Amidst the murmur of the waiting crowd, there was a quietly building excitement in the air for many of the attendees, several of whom came with their small children. Others held signs that read “Trump for President," and “Black Christian Women for Trump.”

A 21 year-old student from USC named Mike Feehan took a moment to explain why he felt that Donald Trump was the right man to become the next President of the United States:



















When asked about his views on immigration, a Mexican-American supporter of Trump named Jorge Herrera said, “We need a process to make it easier [to enter the country] legally. They need to play by the rules and they need to pay taxes. It’s the law. And there is nothing racist with that idea.”

Herrera held a sign that read “Latinos for Trump," expressing his agreement with many of the policies Trump has stated at rallies across the country. At the same time, some of those in attendance admitted to not being in full agreement with Donald Trump's views. Lisa Keezell, a Trump supporter, said, “I don’t agree with his abortion policy, I don’t agree with [him when] he says things that are a little outlandish.”

After an prideful introduction by Tony Beall, the Mayor of Rancho Santa Margarita, Trump finally stepped onto the stage at 7:30 p.m. to cheers from the waiting crowd:

After inviting supporters on stage to talk about their frustrations with illegal immigration Trump delved into his stump speech. The presumptive republican nominee did not disappoint his audience when it came to aggressive rhetoric, addressing his primary competition during this year's run for the White House as “Crooked Hillary” and “Lying Ted”. Trump also made sure to reiterate his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, although he did not elaborate on the specifics other than insisting that Mexico would float the bill.

Trump's speech continued as it had in many states prior to his appearance in the Southland, focusing on pointing out the problems America has such as an alleged $505 billion dollar trade deficit with China. Trump brought up many problems with taxes, American businesses leaving the country, and the Department of Veteran Affairs, often exciting his audience to cheers and jeers, though he failed to provide concrete solutions to the numerous issues raised. At one point, the New York-based billionaire encouraged his audience to turn against the national media for their failure to accurately represent the Trump Campaign.

In reaction, the already angry and confrontational crowd began booing the attending press in their designated media booths. One Hispanic audience member capturing video on his phone was berated by an older woman who promised his deportation upon Trump's attaining the Presidency.

After a night of poking fun at his competition and welcoming people to protest against him, Trump soon got what he was asking for.

Supporters leaving the event were met by a swarm of over 100 angered protesters flooding the streets and surrounding vehicles and attendees trying to leave the night's event. Primarily composed of younger men and women, many of whom were masked and waving Mexican flags, the anti-Trump crowd was heated. Some had sprayed graffiti saying, "Fuck Trump" on entrance signs at the southern entrance to the Amphitheater.

The riled up anti-Trump protesters seemed passionate but confused. When approached for interviews, few could elaborate on their reasons for showing up to the event other than to shout epithets at Trump and his campaign. Other protesters were more articulate and peaceful, but their calm was dwarfed by the anger of those that surrounded them.

As the anti-Trump protesters continued to yell at attendees leaving the rally, local police began issue warnings to disperse the area. When the crowd refused to leave the scene, police formed a riot line and began marching to disperse the crowd on horseback, from behind riot shields, and with tear gas at the ready.

Individual fights between Trump's supporters and protesters broke out, and multiple arrests were made after police cruisers were vandalized, their windows shattered and tires deflated.

At one point, a melee broke out between several anti-Trump protesters and one of Trump's supporters. After a brief scuffle with one of the protesters, the surrounded Trump supporter was hit directly in the face by another man. The blow knocked the man to the ground amidst cheers from onlookers, many of whom were recording the event on their phones as he fled shortly thereafter:

Amidst the raucous chaos, one female protester who had fallen to the ground began complaining of not being able to see. She turned to the police to yell, “You’re supposed to be protecting us!”

Police were not given much of a choice to use force, as the unruly crowd forced them to take action. By 11:00 p.m. the Orange County Sheriff's Department was reporting that there had been around 20 arrests at the event.

Todd Nims, a local resident wearing a shirt that read “Fuck Trump," that was observing events, was asked about his thoughts on the situation. Nims reply was short and to the point as he said,“Take a look around.”

This article has been edited from its original version to add more up to date information, as well as the video below, which goes further in-depth into the day's events.