Arizona Protestors Block Road to Donald Trump Rally

March 19th 2016

Kylie Cheung

Dozens of immigrant rights activists assembled on Saturday morning to block off an Arizona rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in a Phoenix suburb. Protesters closed the eastbound lanes of Shea Boulevard, the main route into the suburb, parking vehicles sideways while chanting, "Donald Trump, shut it down. Phoenix is a people's town," according to Arizona Central.


This couple got a smattering of boos as they walked by. #DonaldTrump #TrumpRally

A photo posted by Stephanie Elam (@stephelamtv) on

Protesters blocking the road received a warning at 10:20 am in local time from law enforcement threatening to arrest them after issuing two more warnings, but Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. Ann FitzGerald told Arizona Central that most protesters cleared quickly without any arrests being necessary.


A photo posted by Anni Ma (@annima.1016) on

However, CNN reported that traffic backed up for miles due to the blockade and that authorities were "in the process of towing the vehicles."

Carlos Garcia, director of the immigrant rights activist group Puente Arizona, spoke about plans for the protest to NBC News on Friday. "We're coming together to stand up against the hate and the violence that Donald Trump is inciting towards our people," he said. Garcia also stated that he and other protesters did not intend to "antagonize or ... be anything less than nonviolent," but regardless, law enforcement remained determined to keep roads open.

Trump has attracted the ire of immigrant rights groups due to his xenophobic rhetoric when discussing Mexican immigrants, whom he has called criminals and rapists. Trump supporters have largely adapted these ideas: His hard-lining on immigration is a key reason many of his supporters back him, and some of them have been moved to violence, including two men who beat and urinated on a homeless Mexican man in Trump's name. Trump responded via Twitter, disapproving their actions.

The Saturday morning protest in Arizona follows a slew of contentious confrontations at Trump rallies, including a Friday night run-in as secret service and police officers shut doors on protesters attempting to interrupt Trump in the middle of a Salt Lake City, Utah rally. Just last week, protesters in Chicago assembled with strong numbers and clashed with Trump supporters, leading the candidate to cancel the rally. Analysis of Trump's penchant for encouraging violence suggests that he does in fact call for supporters to be violent during rallies, even while denying blame for the attacks themselves.

This latest protest in Arizona should prove to Trump and his supporters that backlash over the candidate's intolerant statements and policies isn't going to let up any time soon.