Clinton rally at East LA College stays short but not quite sweet

Most people spend their Cinco De Mayo at a family gathering, a festival, or the local bar. For East LA College, their Mexican holiday was spent at a rally for former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton. While most in attendance were there in support of Clinton, not all who showed up were fans of the former first lady, nor in a festive mood. There was a pronounced and sustained protest that occurred during and after Clinton's short speech that drew as much attention to the event as her speech itself.

On Thursday, hundreds lined up at the doors of the gym at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) in Los Angeles. Hillary Clinton supporters wielded signs and sported t-shirts in support of Donald Trump’s likely competition in the upcoming general presidential election. Squads of police screened and organized the attendees and stayed on high-alert as they formed lines heading into the ELAC gym, where the speech was held. Inside of the gym, people sat on bleachers and stood in a crowd awaiting their hopeful presidential candidate. The sea of Angelenos chanted "Hillary" over and over to pass the time.


















The event started with a mariachi band who took the stage to perform Mexican style music. After a few songs, and encouraging applause from the audience, multiple local politicians said a few words of support for Clinton. They included Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman Xavier Becerra, and LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis. In a statement clearly aimed at Donald Trump, Garcetti said, “I don’t want a president who is obsessed with the size of his hands. I want a president obsessed with the size of the middle class.”

Garcetti was referring to the Republican debate that took place back in March. Congressman Becerra also spoke out by stating that “this election is personal” to him because of his Hispanic heritage and how he believed that Trump posed a threat to Latinos. California Senator Kevin De Leon also had a few choice words for the event saying, "This is California . . . we don't build walls here. We tear them down."

After the endorsements, Clinton finally took the spotlight and was warmly received by a full house. In an attempt to strengthen her Latino vote Clinton, reiterated her plans for comprehensive immigration reform and repudiated the campaign of her Republican rival Donald Trump. Most in the crowd cheered in agreement, although not everyone there was in support of her campaign.

Several protesters attempted to interrupt her speech. According to a police officer working at the event, at least 10 protesters were removed from the crowd.

After a short speech that lasted around 15 minutes, partially due to the interruptions, Clinton thanked the crowd once again and took her leave.

Outside of the rally, there was plenty of opposition to Clinton's appearance. Anti-Hillary and pro-Bernie Sanders protesters awaited the Clinton supporters by the exits calling them “sell-outs” and “traitors." This included a march where protesters chanted,"Who's streets? Our Streets!"

The protesters formed long lines along the exits of the venue, shouting at and shaming those exiting the event as they attempted to leave.

After recent protests against Donald Trump proved violent, the police presence by the LAPD was kept high. Police in full riot gear kept patrolling the crowd and took key positions in order to make their presence known.

Though the tension was high between supporters and opponents of Clinton, and there was plenty of yelling and waving of banners, the event remained non-violent. The crowd dispersed not long after the supporters were escorted to the exits.

Clinton now looks on to further horizons, traveling to Northern California and then Texas before heading into the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia on July 25.

This story has been updated from it's original publication to include direct video and pictures of the event from Corsair reporters at the scene.