Watch CBSN Live

Protests, unrest outside large Trump rally in Southern California

Police say 20 people were arrested
Police say 20 people were arrested 02:08

There were massive protests outside a large Donald Trump rally in Costa Mesa, California Thursday night, CBS News' Sopan Deb reports.

Inside the GOP front-runner's first campaign stop in California since August, the scene was harmonious - the crowd chanting his name, applauding his promises to build a wall, and nodding heads to a debunked story he included in his speech regarding General Pershing and a pig's blood.

But outside, a different story. Massive amounts of protesters blocking a street intersection. A police car being smashed. Scuffles breaking out between Trump supporters and protesters.

The scene outside was chaotic, with lines of police officers, many of them on horses, forcing protesters away from the venue in an attempt to clear the streets.

The makeup of the crowds outside was diverse, but mostly on the younger side, Deb reports. One woman was seen yelling, "Whose streets?" A surrounding crowd chanted back, "Our streets!" After a couple of rounds, the woman upped her rhetoric to "Whose [bleeping] streets?" The surrounding crowd did the same.

There was a duality to the protests. On one side of the street, there were was a crowd chanting peacefully and occasionally breaking out in the song and dance. On the other, there was a police vehicle with smashed windows.

At one point, a man climbed the vehicle and jumped on top trying to cause more damage to the car. After he got off the car, a group tried to flip it over.

A Los Angeles Times reporter tweeted about it:

Other protesters were blowing air horns or holding up signs that said "DUMP TRUMP!" Some signs had expletives directed toward him. There was even a man walking around in a banana costume yelling that GMOs are safe to eat.

One group of protestors carried benches and blocked the nearby entrance to the 55 Freeway. Some tosses rocks at vehicles passing near the on-ramp.

Some of the protesters were objecting to Trump's immigration proposals and the comments he's made about Mexicans during the campaign.

Police in riot gear form line to break up group of protesters, one with a Mexican flag, outside Trump's rally in Costa Mesa
Police in riot gear form line to break up group of protesters, one with a Mexican flag, outside Trump's rally in Costa Mesa REUTERS

A report described the protests as "very large and very aggressive." Police officers in patrol cars, on horseback and on foot tried to control the scene.'s report said, "Officers, who are heavily outnumbered, are not being aggressive. They have set up a line and told protesters not to cross it."

When things quieted down, Costa Mesa police told CBS Los Angeles they had arrested and released 17 people -- ten males and seven females -- on charges of failing to disperse. Two patrol cars were damaged. No major injuries were reported.

The GOP front-runner's rally at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa packed the Pacific Amphitheatre to capacity, with about 18,000, according to the Associated Press, which also noted that hundreds had to be turned away.

Trump put the number much higher:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.