Donald Trump held a campaign event at the OC Fair & Event Center in California on Thursday night, attended by both thousands of riled up supporters and protesters alike. One always hopes that if you were to mix together two crowds of opposing thought, a civilized exchange of ideas would take place. But, after news broke that a Trump supporter attacked a black protestor in North Carolina last month, nothing seems unimaginable during this presidential race. In fact, political agitation catalyzing violence seems to be becoming the norm.
As supporters cheered on Trump's usual, if somewhat elementary, rhetoric, the streets outside the event center filled with scores of protestors who blocked traffic in a main intersection (Fairview Road and Fair Drive). Police officers dressed in riot gear arrived on site and attempted to disperse the agitated crowd. The Orange County Sheriff's Department tweeted that approximately 20 people were arrested, while several fights broke out between protestors and supporters, with the former calling the latter 'racists.' Images were released of one Trump supporter who was left bloodied after a particularly physical confrontation.
During the peak of the political frenzy, several people went on to damage a police car, smashing its windows and kicking in its doors.
Rojelio Banuelos, a 26-year-old student who was there protesting Trump's political agenda, told CNN:
"I'm against Trump's nativist and nationalistic agenda, which divides people and is very hateful of the other."
Protestors claimed their aggravated actions were a direct result of "messages of hate" spouted by the presidential hopeful.