Trumping Up San Jose

Approaching Market Street in San Jose, California, the protesters chants could be heard blocks away. By 5 p.m., they had already congregated in front of the San Jose Convention Center where the Donald Trump rally was set to begin at 7 p.m. Protesters multiplied by the minute. The never-ending chants were shouted from people of every color, race and age. Protesters and Trump supporters had many passionate confrontations.

Both sides wanted their reasons heard, however, one side trumped the other.

At 6:30p.m., without notice, the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) made their way to the doors of the convention center. Members of the group were able to find unlocked doors, and hundreds of anti-trump supporters rushed into the convention center hallways. By the time security arrived, the protesters had already ran through the lobby and met up with the protestors on Market Street. Together, the merging crowds chanted “Fuck Donald Trump” and “Trump eats ass”.

More police teams were called in to help contain the crowd. Eventually, the San Jose Police Department made a human barricade to separate the rally attendees from the protesters. The overwhelming amount of protesters were told to stay on the street so the attendees could walk on the sidewalk to enter the convention center. As more attendees arrived, protesters continued to ridicule the rally attendees, telling them to “fuck off” and calling them names such as racists, bigots and more. The majority of Donald Trump supporters did their best to ignore the rowdy crowd, however some argued back.

Events seemed to escalate quickly once the crowd moved to neighboring streets. Individual Trump supporters were singled out for different reasons, and tensions grew rapidly. A Trump supporter antagonized the crowd by pointing to her Trump jersey, and the anti-trump crowd retaliated. The blonde Trump supporter began to move towards the Marriot Hotel, where she was sandwiched between the locked glass doors of the Marriott and the angry protesters. With nowhere to go, the blonde woman stood with a smile on her face as water bottles and eggs were thrown at her head. One protester was caught on film spitting on her. Throughout the attack, the woman never lost her smile. She continued to wear her Donald Trump jersey, even though the outrage ensued.

Once the protestors were done with the blonde woman, they continued their stampede down San Carlos Street and around the corner of the convention center. Protesters were seen on top of cars and causing a disruption to San Jose traffic. A crowd of protesters also rushed into the convention center parking garage, where they broke the tailgate light of a Trump supporter who was attempting to leave. The driver sped off and did not seem concerned if he hit anyone on his way.

The protesters moved to the other side of the Convention Center, right by the Hilton Hotel where confrontations continued to escalate into fights without warning on Almaden Street. Trump posters were torn and “Make America Great Again” hats were burned and left in the street. Anti-Trump supporters had completely taken over Almaden Street.

Eventually, the crowd became so out of control that it was ruled an “unlawful assembly order” and the police threatened to use force if the protesters did not move as they were directed. No major force was needed, and the protesters seemed to comply with the police.

About every 15 minutes, police pushed the crowd further away from the convention center. The main crowd seemed to have dispersed from Almaden Street around 8:30 p.m., however Downtown San Jose’s streets were still filled with anti-trump supporters. What started out as conversational disagreements escalated into violent acts of rage and hatred that continued on throughout the city of San Jose.