Fights break out at pro-Trump rally on California beach

© Reuters. Pro-Trump protesters pretend to handcuff a fellow protester dressed as Hillary Clinton during a beach rally in support of US President Donald Trump in Huntington Beach.

By Patrick T. Fallon

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Reuters) – Supporters of President Donald Trump holding a rally on a popular southern California beach clashed with counter-protesters on Saturday and four people were arrested, law enforcement officials said.

Multiple fights broke out and at least one Trump supporter was pepper-sprayed when pro-Trump protesters marching along Bolsa Chica State Beach encountered a small group opposed to the Republican president who had gathered to denounce the rally. .

Four counter-protesters were arrested, three for illegal use of pepper spray and one for assault and battery, said Kevin Pearsall, a spokesman for the California State Park Police Saturday night.

The fights appeared to start in the early afternoon when about a dozen black-clad anti-Trump protesters refused to move from a bike lane to allow a larger group of pro-Trump supporters participating in the Make rally to pass. America Great Again. The confrontation turned into a fight with more skirmishes quickly breaking out.

At least one person was pepper-sprayed by an anti-Trump protester, Pearsall said. Park police estimated 2,000 Trump supporters flocked to the stretch of shoreline located south of the Huntington Beach coastal community. About 20 counter-protesters attended, Pearsall said.

Known as Surf City, USA, Huntington Beach is located about 40 miles (64 km) south of Los Angeles.

Social media video images uploaded to the Los Angeles Times website showed a chaotic scene with men fighting in the arena and a group of around 20 Trump supporters, some with Trump flags, chasing a man wearing a mask. black away from the beach and beyond. to a highway. The man was stopped by members of the California Highway Patrol, the newspaper said.

The masked man had used pepper spray against a rally organizer and was attacked by a group of Trump supporters, the newspaper reported.

The demonstrations denouncing the Trump administration have drawn hundreds of thousands since he took office in January. Smaller demonstrations have been organized across the country in support of Trump.

On Saturday, Trump praised his supporters.

“Thank you for all the Trump Rallies today. Incredible support. We all MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” He said in a message on Twitter.

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