Presidential candidate Donald Trump held a rally in downtown San Jose yesterday at the San Jose Convention Center. About 5,000 people cheered “USA! USA!” as Trump called for bolstered protections of the Second Amendment and building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. But outside, hundreds of anti-Trump protesters donned picket signs and megaphones, condemning his hateful rhetoric.
They chanted, ripped up Trump signs and burned hats that read “Make America Great Again.” Many yelled “Nonviolence!” and held signs that said “Stop the Hate,” but that didn’t stop other protesters from getting in fights with Trump supporters and damaging nearby parked cars.
Over 250 police officers in riot gear responded from San Jose, Campbell, Palo Alto, Milpitas, Gilroy and other agencies. During a press conference on Friday, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said, “In hindsight, we wouldn’t say it was enough.”
To break up what the police called an unlawful assembly, they used a tactic known as kettling, in which officers form human walls to corral people into a limited space. Yesterday, it was a two-block area between West Santa Clara Street and Park Avenue. The protest began at 8 p.m. when the Trump rally was over, and police prevented people from leaving until about 10 p.m. The crowd included elderly people and families with small children, but the majority of protesters were young adults.
Police made four arrests — one for illegal assembly and three for assault with a deadly weapon.