REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds lined up Friday for a Donald Trump rally in far Northern California, but the atmosphere in the city of Redding was far calmer than in San Jose the night before when protesters pounced on Trump supporters, throwing punches and eggs.
There were no protesters in sight ahead of an afternoon rally at the local airport.
“They’d be more outnumbered I think,” said local resident Bruce Russell. “It’s a more conservative area.”
The region is fertile ground for Trump’s insurgent candidacy, where rural conservative residents often feel slighted by government officials in the state capital of Sacramento, 150 miles to the south, and Washington, D.C.
“It’s about representation and it’s about making America great again,” said Jan Hanks of Shasta, a small town to the west.
In San Jose, a dozen or more people were hit and car windows were broken Thursday night. Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire on the ground. At least one woman was pelted with an egg.
Police stood their ground at first but after about 90 minutes moved into the remaining crowd to break it up and make arrests. At least four people were taken into custody, though police didn’t release total arrest figures Thursday night. One officer was assaulted, police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.
There were no immediate reports of serious injuries and no major property damage, police said.
Thursday night’s crowd, which had numbered over 300 just after the rally, thinned significantly as the night went on, but those who remained near the San Jose Convention Center were rowdy and angry.
Some banged on the cars of Trump supporters as they left the rally and chased after those on foot.
Mayor Sam Liccardo, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments had to deal with.
“At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,” Liccardo told The Associated Press by phone.
Clinton and Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders also have scheduled campaign stops in California on Friday as they look to Tuesday’s state primary.
Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, spoke for about 50 minutes at the rally, sniping at Clinton and calling her speech on foreign policy earlier in the day “pathetic” and “sad to watch.”
Protesters before the speech included Adam Rivas, a 22-year-old community college student who was born and raised in San Jose. He was holding a spray-painted sign that read “Dump Trump.”
Rivas said he was particularly disturbed by Trump’s remarks about Mexicans.
“For any one Mexican here he bashes, there are about 20 Mexicans out there who are hard-working and just doing their job,” he said.
Trump supporter Debbie Tracey, a U.S. Navy veteran from San Jose, said she came to hear Trump speak, and left his rally with two hats, a T-shirt and a handful of signs that said “Veterans for Trump.”
Passing in front of a wall of protesters, many chanting in Spanish, she said she supported Trump’s call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I’ll go help build the wall because if you are going to come to this country, land of opportunity, you should be here legally,” she said.