More than 1,000 people in Huntington Beach marched this past Saturday at a rally in support of President Trump in a region that used to be considered Southern California’s conservative stronghold. But that’s been changing.
The “Make America Great Again” rally in Orange County was held to coincide with other pro-Trump events across the nation, and drew a large crowd to the beach walking path at Bolsa Chica State Park. A fight broke out early between rally goers and protesters, some of whom dressed in black and wore masks over their mouths. A crowd of marchers was pepper sprayed by the protesters, and at least one of the protesters got into a fist fight with a marcher. A reporter and a photographer from the OC Weekly say they were attacked by pro-Trump marchers. At least six people were taken into custody, said Capt. Kevin Pearsall of the California State Parks Police department. Four were arrested. But the march continued.
It’s unclear what exactly sparked the spat of violence. Kevin Pham, 47, said a woman wearing all black threw the flag he was waving and punched him in the face. The Orange County resident pointed to a swollen cut between his eyebrows.
“We just wanted to have a little family event,” he said. “All my brothers are big time Republicans so we decided to come.”
But Pham isn’t Republican, per se. He considers himself to be “purple” or an independent.