On May 27, the working class of San Diego came out to show their opposition to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The actions were organized by several groups and organizations that all convened at the San Diego Convention Center where Trump was speaking. The Party for Socialism and Liberation joined the action that was held at Chicano Park and was called by Union del Barrio. This park has significance to the Chicana/o community, not only in San Diego, but across the United States. It was at this location that the same community came together to protest the construction of a Highway Patrol Station in 1970.
There were other actions happening as well, most notably one called for by Immigrant Women Rising Against Trump and Corporate Greed, who are janitors represented by Service Employees International Union. They marched in downtown on 7th and B Street and ended at the Convention Center. The demands were for wages, health insurance, immigrant rights, and protection against sexual assault and other abuses.
From Chicano Park, the marchers made their way down Harbor Drive toward the convention center. The majority of the marchers were Chican/o, however, the crowd was very diverse in ethnicity, gender, ability and age. The march was led by Mexica Dancers and flags from all over South, Central and North America.
The mile-long march made its way to the convention center with very spirited and militant chants building momentum to confront the police barricade.
When arriving at the convention center, the protest continued, but was blocked by police from getting directly in front of the entrance to building. This allowed Trump supporters to freely enter the building. For hours, the protesters continued with singing, dancing, chanting and engaging in peaceful demonstration. There was one incident when an individual attempted to instigate a confrontation in order to give police an excuse to attack people, but he was swiftly removed from the protest where he was warmly greeted by the police.
After Trump’s hate speech ended, many of his supporters began to exit the building and were lead directly into the anti-Trump protesters that remained. It was at this point that things became more disruptive. It was apparent there were many Trump supporters looking to start problems who became very confrontational toward protesters causing reactions and scuffles to breakout with some people being arrested. Eventually, the police ordered all people to disperse and started grabbing people out of the crowds and arresting them. It is unclear how many of those snatched by the police were Trump supporters.
It was very evident that the San Diego Police Department was there to protect the ruling-class Donald Trump and allow him to spew his neo-fascist rhetoric. The thousands of dollars and resources that were used to protect this man and his bigotry is indicative of the type of society we live in—where hate speech is protected and defended by the state.
The Convention Center could have denied the Trump campaign a space. The City of San Diego could have made a statement that Trump was not welcome here in our city, but instead it dedicated thousands of police officers in riot gear to protect him. Those resources are paid for by the working class people of San Diego.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation stands against racism and any attempt to divide the working class. We oppose his message and don’t believe he should be allowed to speak anywhere in this country. We don’t believe there is room for racism, immigrant bashing, homophobia or anti-Muslim speech, regardless of the hypocrisy of so-called freedom of speech in this capitalist country.