Several hundred protesters opposing Donald Trump gathered on Friday outside the hotel where he was scheduled to speak to California Republicans, and a large contingent of police sought to head off violence like what followed a rally in Southern California the night before.
A man wearing a red, Trump-campaign “Make America Great Again” hat was struck while being jostled by a group of shouting protesters.
“It went gangbusters. They attacked me,” said Chris Conway, who identified himself as a mortgage broker from San Mateo, California.
Trump was escorted to the venue by a fleet of black SUVs and police. He had to enter through the back surrounded by scores of security personnel.
Here’s how Trump had to venture toward the hotel:
WATCH: Trump forced to jump over barrier & up small dirt hill to get in rear door of event due to protests. https://t.co/e8GmYvEse2
— CNBC (@CNBC) April 29, 2016
“That was not the easiest entrance,” Trump joked. “It was like I was crossing the border,” he said during a speech at the California Republican convention.
A dozen protesters linked arms to block the road in front of the Hyatt Regency hotel in the city of Burlingame, just south of San Francisco International Airport. No one was using the street because police had already closed it to traffic. Protesters also draped a large “Stop Hate” banner outside the hotel.
Five people were arrested and one sheriff’s deputy was injured in the chaos, local news station KTVU reported.
The station identified protester Cat Brooks as the one who organised the event on Friday. She told a reporter: “We’re here because Trump has used the largest platform in the world to issue a message of hate and invite violence against marginalized communities.”
More than 10,000 people apparently replied to a Facebook invite for the protest at the hotel.
Despite having to take evasive measures when he arrived at the event, Trump appeared to take it all in stride at the convention. He told attendees that he’s not worried about getting the entirety of the Republican Party to stand behind his presidential campaign.
“Could I win without it? I think so because they’re going to be voting for me,” he said on Friday.
The demonstrators bristled at Trump’s signature immigration rhetoric, in which he calls for a wall on the Mexican border that he says Mexico should pay for. Demonstrators waved Mexican flags and held signs adorned with swastikas and expletives disparaging the GOP frontrunner.
One man could be seen wearing a Trump-style hat that read “Trump = Nazi.”
Twenty people were arrested after demonstrations turned violent during Trump’s appearance in Southern California on Thursday night.