More violence erupts outside Trump rally | News | DW | 29.04.2016
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More violence erupts outside Trump rally

Rival political supporters have clashed outside a Donald Trump campaign rally in southern California. Local police reported at least 20 arrests as the flamboyant media mogul campaigns on the West Coast.

Police in riot gear faced down hundreds of protesters Thursday night during a raucous anti-Donald Trump demonstration as the Republican Party frontrunner campaigned in the US state of California for his party's nomination to run for US president.

The Los Angeles Times reported that some demonstrators hurled rocks at passing vehicles and vandalized cars, smashing at least one patrol car's window and puncturing the tires on a police sports utility vehicle, while trying to overturn another police car.

Television cameras also showed the aftermath of what appeared to be brawls between rival political supporters that left several bloody and bruised.

The Trump campaign estimated 31,000 supporters attended the rally. Police did not estimate the size of the counterdemonstration.

Dozens of cars - including those of Trump supporters trying to leave the rally in the city of Costa Mesa, 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles - were stuck in the street as several hundred demonstrators blocked the road, waving Mexican flags and posing for triumphant selfies.

"I feel like he wants to make America great again, but certainly not for women, for the LGBTQ community or for the lower class," protester Tiernan Hebron, topless aside from stickers for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders covering her breasts, told The Associated Press. "He has, like, done nothing to help with gender equality or women's rights or reproductive rights or anything."

Television news channel ABC7 showed one car dangerously spinning donuts around demonstrators in the street. Amazingly, no one was struck.

The Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa was filled to its capacity of about 18,000 and many hundreds more were turned away.

Ly Kou, 47, of Ontario, California, said she supported Trump because he has vowed to put the country's interests first.

"It's obvious that America loves Trump," Kou, who is originally from Laos, told AP as she pointed at the waiting throng. "This thing about him being racist? Look around the crowd."

Local authorities reported 20 arrests after declaring the unrest over at about 11 p.m. Thursday (0600 UTC Friday).

A Trump rally in nearby Anaheim, California turned contentious when his supporters and counter protestors clashed, leaving several people struck by pepper spray. Trump was not present during that melee.

As the most populous US state, California is absolutely crucial in Trump's push to secure the delegates he needs to prevail at the Republican Party's contested party convention in July.

jar/kms (AP, AFP, dpa)

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