Trump Train De-Railed in San José;

Blame Falls on the City, “Illegals”

Arturo Hilario / El Observador

On June 2nd Donald Trump hosted a Rally in downtown San Jose which drew much more attention because of the subsequent hostile and at times violent response of certain protestors that gathered outside than of what the presidential candidate had said. The San José Police Department, Mayor Sam Liccardo, the protestors and Donald Trump all had their fare share of blame for the incidents. Since the incidents last week, four men have been arrested in connection with their acts of violence, and one for attacking a police officer.

Out of the estimated thousands that showed up to the protest, it was a small percentage that acted out physically towards Trump supporters, but with that handful of people the negative media spread regarding the protest in general.

Shortly after the rally was over, social media began to buzz with the hashtags #SanJose and #TrumpRally, among others. This was in response to the photos, videos and live streams that were revealing the extent of the protests and of the violence.

Mayor Liccardo had previous commitments in the East Coast during this time, so he was not physically able to address the city until he returned. He did however, provide the following statement:

“San Jose police officers performed admirably and professionally to contain acts of violence and protect individuals’ rights to assemble, protest and express their political views. While it’s a sad statement about our political discourse that Mr. Trump has focused on stirring antagonism instead of offering real solutions to our nation’s challenges, there is absolutely no place for violence against people who are simply exercising their rights to participate in the political process.”

After backlash from many on how the violence was handled by the police, which was that those upset believed that the SJPD did not intervene attacks and just stood idly, Mayor Liccardo released a supplemental statement. Mayor Liccardo is a known supporter of Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, so in this follow up he stepped back on his statements on Donald Trump and focused more on the follow up the SJPD would do on finding all those responsible for their actions.

“I condemn all acts of violence committed against people who exercise their rights to free speech and assembly, regardless of their political views.   Nothing that Donald Trump says absolves those individuals of responsibility for their violent conduct last night,” said Liccardo.

He did however, still add some words towards the Donald Trump camp within this statement, saying, “I think we all need to acknowledge that each of us – presidential candidates, local leaders, and individual citizens – have a responsibility for our own speech.  It is regrettable that this has become a pattern for cities hosting Mr. Trump across the nation.”

Gabriel M. Nuanez of San José, was in the middle of Thursday’s protest taking photos among other youth, families and a diverse group of people. He says, “most attending the protest were young adults and teenagers. It’s good that we get involved and support what we believe in; however, the amount of violence was on a whole different level.”

During the protests Nuanez took photos of the general groups that gathered, documenting the protest up until it turned ugly. “As I walked in the crowds with my camera, I witnessed several violent events. Hats labeled “Make America Great Again” were being burned, Trump supporters were being threatened and chased away, and many of the police officers were being harassed. Not only were protesters causing a stir-up, but also some Trump supporters caused some tension.”

In the social media sphere, depending on where you looked, Twitter had supporters of Trump claiming “illegals” where causing mayhem, and that this exemplified why Trump’s views on deportation and immigration reform were warranted. Others laughed at the short videos of a Trump supporter being chased around for a brief moment, then being tackled before running out of view of the camera.

“I specifically remember being right in the mix of an argument and seeing this tall, muscular gentleman with his hands up in a fist formation, getting ready to fight. Right before he got in this position, I see one young girl hit the floor hard, and another girl crying. The girl that hit the floor got punched by this man, and I overhear the girl crying say she got punched by him too. Man, what have we gotten into?” Nuanez adds.

The actions of a few individuals mucks up the intentions of protestors to peacefully gather at these rallies, which is their right as American citizens, at the same time these incidents are seemingly  happening within the world of Donald Trump’s pursuit of candidacy, and thus far no violence of this caliber has occurred at any of the other candidate’s rallies.

Nuanez ends the recollection of his experience by saying, “this was the first time I’ve ever been in an event or situation like this. Boy, was it an experience. I just hope everyone got home safe and no one else got hurt.”