Crowds outside a Donald Trump rally in California on Thursday waged what the local newspaper called “the biggest and most violent political protest San Jose had seen in decades.”
As Trump unleashed an attack on Hillary Clinton on stage, police in riot gear struggled to contain the clashes among hundreds of demonstrators outside, the San Jose Mercury New reported.
Dozens of fights erupted, according to the newspaper. Protesters jumped on cars. One young woman was struck in the forehead by a flying metal parking barricade, and police were pelted with traffic cones and water bottles.
Inside the hall, meanwhile, Trump supporters chanted “Build that wall, build that wall,” as the presumptive Republican nominee repeated his call to erect a concrete wall along the border with Mexico, the newspaper reported.
Videos and pictures show crowds of rowdy demonstrators — some waving Mexican flags, some wearing clothes bearing Trump’s name — in various altercations.
A woman in a Trump football jersey was pummeled with tomatoes and eggs.
Watch: The moment a Trump supporter, surrounded by protesters, is egged in the face, hit by other food. pic.twitter.com/qYFdwJWvrS
— Jacob Rascon (@Jacobnbc) June 3, 2016
A man in a white shirt was punched and fell to the ground as his attackers yelled obscenities.
I called 911 but no one answered. Donald trump protest in San Jose, CA pic.twitter.com/LwaWyeYZfq
— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) June 3, 2016
A man with a wound on the side of his head was surrounded by television cameras. He said he was attacked for carrying a Trump sign by people who “said I was a racist and stuff.”
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) June 3, 2016
The Mercury News reported that it was unclear who was involved in the violence, but numerous demonstrators were Latinos who said they opposed the violence and condemned Trump for touting racism. The city’s Mayor Sam Liccardo criticized the billionaire businessman for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments have to deal with, the paper reported.
Trump played down the altercations in a Friday morning tweet, describing a scene that stands in stark contrast to local news reports and Twitter videos shared thousands of times Thursday morning.
“Rally last night in San Jose was great,” he tweeted.
Rally last night in San Jose was great. Tremendous love and enthusiasm in the hall. Big crowd. Outside, small group of thugs burned Am flag!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2016