“Stop Trump” Protestors Stage Illegal Demonstration
“Stop Trump” protesters blocked traffic near a Donald Trump event in Arizona on Saturday, forcing a disabled veteran to walk miles for the GOP front-runner’s rally.
Protesters succeeded in closing the main route into Fountain Hills, near where Donald Trump had scheduled his rally over the weekend. The group parked vehicles sideways on Shea Boulevard, blocking both lanes of traffic into the town.
The blockage backed up traffic for miles. At some points, motorists were forced to drive into oncoming traffic in order to get around the protest. Authorities were thankful the congestion did not prevent crews from reaching any emergencies during the illegal demonstration.
Trump supporters were forced to abandon their vehicles and walk three miles to the rally. Los Angeles Times political writer Seema Mehta published the image of a disabled army veteran who was forced to make the trek. According to her tweet, the man had suffered nerve damage after being shot during his service and now needed a cane to walk.
Army vet who has a cane bc of nerve damage from when he was shot while serving walking to Trump rally. pic.twitter.com/aRk2eJFCRj
— Seema Mehta (@LATSeema) March 19, 2016
Three protesters were arrested Saturday for blocking the road. Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joaquin Enriquez told Time two cars were towed to open the road. (Source: “Trump Protesters Arrested in Arizona for Blocking Road,” Time, March 19, 2016.)
This isn’t the first time the Stop Trump movement has tried to silence the GOP frontrunner. Last week, protesters forced Donald Trump to cancel his rally in Chicago. Agitators outside a Trump rally in Utah tried to breach venue doors on Friday, causing security officers to react in the middle of a Trump speech.
“We’ll do everything possible to make sure we have free speech in this country,” Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio told CNN early Saturday. “Donald Trump has a right to speak out and the people have a right to go in there and hear him speak.” (Source: “Protesters block road outside Trump Arizona event, march in NYC,” CNN, March 19, 2016.)
“If certain groups don’t like it, that’s OK,” Arpaio added. “They have freedom of speech, but they’re not going to violate any laws. They’re going to have to pay the consequences.”
Stop Trump protests in Phoenix could just be a taste of what’s to come. Earlier this month, Black Lives Matter activist Tef Poe warned of riots if Donald Trump wins the presidency. And given how organized activist groups are in upcoming state primaries like California, protests are likely to be even more intense.