Feature: Pro-Trump rally, counter-protest gather in Laguna Beach of California

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-21 14:49:29|Editor: Xiang Bo
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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A rally titled "America First" was met with a counter-protest Sunday evening in Laguna Beach of Orange County, a famous tourist place in Southern California in western United States.

Before evening, about 60 demonstrators who oppose illegal immigration started the pro-Trump rally, which is titled "America First! Electric Vigil for the Victims of Illegals and Refugees."

Holding signs reading "No more victims. Secure our borders now," etc, most of the rally participants wear red hats with President Donald Trump's signature campaign slogan "Make America Great Again."

Later by night fall, more than 2,000 people showed in a counter-protest on the beach, 50 km southeast to Los Angeles downtown, chanting "No Nazis, No KKK, No fascist USA."

The tension between the two groups rose to back-and-forth shouting and loudly debating, but no clash erupted.

About 100 policemen, some in riot gear and some on horseback, were on the scene in the early evening, separating crowds and breaking up confrontation.

In the wake of violent clashes between right-wing protesters and groups opposing them in Charlottesville of Virginia on Aug. 12, which left dozens wounded and several killed, Laguna Beach Police Department warned last week that there is a "zero tolerance policy" for Sunday's rally.

Even though the organizer of the pro-Trump rally claimed it is a regular event for several months with no presence of white nationalists, neo-Nazis or members of the Ku Klux Klan, many local residents drew no distinction between the group and the white supremacists marched in Charlottesville.

Stephanie Hammerwold, executive director of Pacific Reentry Career Services, who joined a counter-protest rally on the beach Saturday, pointed out that the Sunday rally is a hate rally targeting immigrants and attempting to instill fear and hatred against immigrants and people of color.

Willson Iszolay, who grew up in the Orange Country, a stronghold of the Republics, told Xinhua on the scene that she showed up there in order to support immigrants "coming all around the world to try to make a better life themselves."

"I agree we should reform our immigration policies, but I don't agree we should build a wall, closing doors to people who are coming for safe case," she said, adding "we should not tolerate hate and violence."

Marina Lynn, 26, told Xinhua she was there in order to show support to Trump and his followers who she believed have been distorted by mainstream media.

"I want to wake people up to know who is the real enemy. Trump is not," she said, emphasizing that "it's sad if people hate Trump, unfortunately, just because he is not a globalist."

"Don't believe mainstream media. They make brainwash to all. They said Trump has no supporters, but we are. Then they attack you, say you are Nazi terrorist," she said.