California protesters surround Donald Trump rally

US Republican presidential hopeful brought in through the backdoor as protesters throw raw eggs at police outside hotel.

    California protesters surround Donald Trump rally
    Police said five protesters were arrested on Friday [Eric Risberg/AP]

    Protests have continued for a second day against US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in California.

    On Friday, protesters tried to block the billionaire businessman from making a speech before the Republican Party Convention in the Hyatt Regency hotel in Burlingame.

    They chanted obscenities and threw raw eggs at police but they were blocked by a line of police in riot gear.

    Several physical altercations, including shoving, could be seen between protesters and police officers, who were using batons to push them back.

    “He’s not a uniter, he’s a divider," one protester told Al Jazeera. "I think he should not run for president, he’s not what America stands for.”

    Some protesters infiltrated the hotel building and hung a giant banner reading, "Stop Hate."

    The Secret Service led Trump into the hotel through a rear entrance.

    Burlingame Police said five people were arrested in the altercations.

    "The protestors here are denouncing Trump as a racist," Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds said, reporting from Burlingame. "They are denouncing him for his inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants and his plan to bar all Muslims from entering the United States."

    'Not the easiest entrance I've ever made'

    On stage, inside the hotel which was still surrounded by protesters, Trump joked about the protesters who had tried to block his motorcade.

    "That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made. My wife called and said there are helicopters following you. And then we went under a fence and though a fence," he said.

    "Oh boy, it felt like I was crossing the border actually."

    A day earlier, police in riot gear and on horseback clashed with anti-Trump protesters and about 20 people were arrested.

    About 20 people were arrested, said the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

    California holds its primary on June 7, and polls show  Trump far ahead of his rivals,Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

    "It probably will be the state that gets Trump either very, very near or over the top" Henry Brady, the dean of Goldman School of Public Policy, told Al Jazeera.

    "So it’s the place where everything will become absolutely crystal clear," he said.

    Regardless of who prevails on the Republican side, California, the most populous US state, leans leftward and seems certain to go Democratic in November’s general election.

    “This is a very Democratic state, Republicans have about a quarter of the political registration," Brady said, "So there's just not many republicans left in this state.”

    Front-running Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is popular in California, leading rival Bernie Sanders by about 7 percentage points in recent polls.

    No Republican has won California in the general election in 28 years.

    New York: Primaries, politics and the press - The Listening Post

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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