Two arrested as Trump supporters and opponents face off at competing rallies in Hollywood
At least two people were arrested on Saturday afternoon during duelling rallies staged in Hollywood by supporters and detractors of US President Donald Trump.
The arrests stemmed from a scuffle among competing demonstrators outside the busy Hollywood and Highland shopping complex. An anti-Trump protester who received a minor laceration during the skirmish was given medical aid from a rival demonstrator.
This is the second time Trump supporters and detractors have squared off along Hollywood Boulevard. In March, dozens of activists on both sides rallied. Tensions were high, but the demonstrations were relatively peaceful, ending with at least two arrests.
Trump supporters began gathering about 1pm on Saturday near Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star in front of the shopping centre. Nearly two hours later, an anti-Trump rally and march started at the same place. Police officers on bicycles were forced to shut down a portion of Hollywood Boulevard.
The groups were separated after the skirmish, with the officers standing between the two sides. Meanwhile, tourists watched as the demonstrators continued to chant and wave signs.
Trump backer and rally organiser Randi Berger of Encino told The Los Angeles Daily News that she was “calling all patriots” to help protect the former reality television personality’s Walk of Fame star from being vandalised. Her event was called “Arrest More Liberals at Their Anti-Trump March”, the paper reported.
In October, a man damaged Trump’s star with a sledgehammer. In June, the star was covered with stickers during the LA Pride Resist March.
The anti-Trump protest, one of several taking place around the country on Saturday, was organised by RefuseFascism. Dozens of people were expected to take part, according to organisers.
“The Trump/Pence Regime daily escalates its fascist attacks on immigrants and Muslims, on health care and the poor, on Black and Brown people, on women and [gay] folks, on the media, on the environment, on the right to protest, on the truth,” the organisers stated on their Facebook account.
Similar protests were scheduled in at least 15 other US cities, according to organisers. The anti-Trump group planned to march east on Hollywood Boulevard, then south on Vine Street, west on Sunset Boulevard and north on Cahuenga Boulevard to end up back at the Hollywood and Highland complex, according to City News Service.
The Los Angeles Police Department said it was aware of the rallies and would plan accordingly to make sure they remained peaceful.