‘Shut Down Trump!’: Mass show of force in Burlingame, Calif.

ANSWER organizer Frank Lara leads chants at Burlingame protest

Originally posted on ANSWER Coalition website.

Donald Trump and his entourage were not prepared for the 2,000 protesters who greeted them with chants of “Dump Trump!” as they arrived for the California Republican Convention in Burlingame. The militant show of force by community members and activists, led largely by youth and students, forced Trump’s security apparatus to hop over a barricade and escort the racist candidate through a back entrance.

“Donald Trump Forced to Jump Over Wall,” read the headlines of the NBC Bay Area’s website. Live footage broadcast around the country and beyond showed the right-wing demagogue being forced to sneak in through the back of the hotel from the blocked Highway 101. Trump’s departure was no easier, with KCBS Radio calling it a “pack of suits heading out the back alley.”

CNN coverage of demonstration

“We’re upset at the hate speech and division that this man, Donald Trump, is saying in a time of crisis,” ANSWER organizer Frank Lara told CNN. “We’re out here to make sure that he does not feel comfortable … saying what he is saying.” Read the full CNN story here.

The message was clear: “California, and especially the Bay Area, will not stand for Trump’s hate speech.” The mass protest, with Black and Latino youth at the forefront, stood fearless in the face of riot cops and was a true show of force, proving that the people are determined to fight back against Trump’s white supremacist message.

Protesters sit down to block the road in front of the Hyatt hotel

The Anti Police-Terror Project, the Blackout Collective, the ANSWER Coalition and others had called for activists and community members to come out. Several residents from the Bay Area and beyond came out to shut down Trump without prior knowledge of the planned actions, and Unite HERE! union members and many others joined the demonstration. The two main entrances to the 5-lane road were shut down, and a banner reading “Stop Hate” was dropped from the center atrium inside the Hyatt Regency.

Donald Trump is escorted around protest to a back entrance

The large crowd, decorated by enormous Mexican flags, was anxious in preventing Trump from spewing his divisive words. At one point, the people broke down the barricades and stormed the entrance of the hotel. Immediately, the police began striking people with their batons. Others took to the parking structure to try and enter the building and disrupt the speech. At the end, protestors chanted and cheered in celebration knowing that our message of resistance reverberated through the mass media and social networks. The enthusiasm and resolve of the young people demonstrated what those in power should expect in the coming period.

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