Anti-Trump protesters rally in New York, block Arizona road
NEW YORK – Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoHundreds protested U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in New York and blocked a major road March 19 in the southwestern state of Arizona, where a demonstrator was punched and kicked at a rally.
The latest attempts by opponents to disrupt the campaign of the top U.S. Republican White House hopeful resulted in a handful of arrests, police and witnesses said.
In Tucson, Arizona a protester with a sign showing Trump’s face and the words “Bad For America,” was kicked and punched by a member of the audience while being escorted out of the venue by security, video posted online by NBC showed.
The network reported that the audience member was handcuffed and taken away before being charged with assault with injury, according to police.
Ahead of Trump’s Tucson event, Arizona protesters blocked a major thoroughfare on the outskirts of Phoenix, in an attempt to prevent his supporters from reaching an area rally.
Trump was in the state ahead of its primary on March 22.
The estimated 50 protesters held a banner across the width of Shea Boulevard with the words “Dump Trump” as long lines of traffic backed up in the suburb of Fountain Hills.
Controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who openly endorsed and supports Trump, said he would do everything possible to ensure the event would go ahead - and Trump subsequently took the stage.
Deputy Joaquin Enriquez told AFP that three people were arrested and that two vehicles were towed.
“These arrests were made because they were blocking a public roadway, not for protesting,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, demonstrators who gathered at Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, near one of the billionaire real estate mogul’s luxury buildings overlooking Central Park, shouted the slogan “Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay.”
Amid a considerable police presence, protesters held up signs that read “Deport Trump” and “Build a wall around Trump.”
Also spotted in the crowd were placards which read “Don’t let bigotry Trump our constitution,” and “Will trade 1 Donald Trump for 25,000 refugees.”
At least one person was arrested on the city’s famous Fifth Avenue during a brief skirmish that was quickly brought under control by police.
The demonstration was organized by a group called Cosmopolitan Antifascists, with others joining in.