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Protesters Disrupt Donald Trump Speech At Plaza Hotel Luncheon

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- About a dozen protesters stormed a $1,000-a-plate New York City luncheon where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was delivering a speech Friday.

Trump may have dodged the hundreds of protesters outside the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan when he entered quietly through the garage, but he couldn't avoid everybody, WCBS 880's Stephanie Colombini reported.

Four protesters chanting "Trump is trying to bring us down, targeting people black and brown,'' tried to storm a side entrance into the speech as security staff pushed them away. The protesters were affiliated with various Arab-American and Muslim-American groups, as well as groups for racial equality.

PHOTOS: Protesters Disrupt Donald Trump Speech

One of the protesters, Jorge Gonzalez, fell down a flight of stairs after a hotel security worker pushed him. He said he was uninjured. Another was thrown to the ground in the hotel lobby and two reporters from The Associated Press were also forcibly removed from the hotel lobby.

"We got inside the event, and we were physically pushed down to the floor. We were grabbed, we were pinched, we were shoved, we were cursed at," said 23-year-old protester Natalie Cassal.

Later in Trump's speech, about nine other protesters from various advocacy groups stood up to denounce his recent comments to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the U.S., protesters said.

"I'm really frightened by that kind of rhetoric,'' said Martha Acklesberg, 69, a member of the group Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. Acklesberg, along with Judith Plaskow, 68, paid to hear Trump's speech and then disrupted it in protest.

"I paid my $1,000 and I got up and spoke," said Margery Fine, also of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.

Fine began to recite a Bible verse from the Book of Leviticus before she was escorted out by security, Colombini reported.

"'Love the stranger as thyself for you are stranger in the land of Egypt.' Which to me makes total sense. We're immigrants, our country is full of immigrants," Fine said.

"Trump's message is dangerous because it's a lie, and because it makes thousands of his supporters fear people that they wouldn't otherwise fear," said former Marine Jacob Bridge, who bought a ticket to the event and was later offered a full refund.

Trump briefly stopped his speech during their protests and quipped, "'when you're the front runner you get a lot of attention,'" said Acklesberg.

Despite the disruptions, at least one man said he still stands with Trump.

"He's the best candidate and the best man to make America great again," the man said.

The event, sponsored by the Commonwealth Club, a Pennsylvania Republican group, was closed to the press.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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