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"Donald Trump, Go Away": Amid Violence at Trump Rallies, New Yorkers Take to Streets Against Racism

March 21, 2016
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As protesters in Arizona blocked a highway leading to a Donald Trump rally outside Phoenix Saturday, as many as 2,000 people rallied against Trump in New York City, condemning his racist rhetoric and violence at his rallies. The actions came the same day a Trump supporter was arrested for sucker-punching a protester at a Trump rally in Tucson, Arizona, while Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was caught on video grabbing a protester by the collar. In New York City, demonstrators marched from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Columbus Circle to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. Three people were arrested and a number were pepper-sprayed amid a heavy New York City police presence. Democracy Now! was there.


TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: As protesters in Arizona blocked a highway leading to a Donald Trump rally Saturday, as many as 2,000 people rallied against Donald Trump in New York City, condemning his racist rhetoric and violence at his rallies. Demonstrators marched from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Columbus Circle to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. Three people were arrested, a number were pepper-sprayed amidst a heavy New York City police presence. Democracy Now!’s Amy Littlefield was there and spoke with those who attended the protests.

PROTESTERS: Donald Trump, go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay! Donald Trump, go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay!

MANGO VEGA: My name is Mango. I never thought that I would live in a society where the KKK is running around in the daytime. That’s what people before me marched for. Hate crimes are up on the rise. So many violent attacks are happening at his rallies. He’s like, "Back in the good old days, we would carry them out on stretchers. Back in the good old days, they wouldn’t jump back." Who, what and who are you talking about? He wants to deport people. He wants to kick the immigrants out. Look, OK, it’s 2016. This country would be nothing without immigrants. You wouldn’t have no sushi. You wouldn’t have no Thai food. You wouldn’t have no trends. You wouldn’t have no colorful dances. You wouldn’t have nobody to take care of your bratty-ass children. You wouldn’t have nothing. America would be nothing without immigrants and the diversity that is the fabric of this country.

PROTESTERS: Don’t give in to racist fear! Immigrants are welcome here!

RICARDO ACA: My name is Ricardo, and I’m here because I was offended by the racist comments that Donald Trump said about the Mexican community, which also—he meant not just the Mexican community, but he also meant like Latinos and immigrants in general. So I want to show that that’s not who we are. I work at one of the Trump buildings. I work for the restaurant at the Trump Soho building. And so, then, I wanted to respond with what I know how to do best, which is photography. And so I did a photo series in response to his comments, saying signs that we’re like DREAMer, leader, Americans, and then that we are not a criminal, not a rapist, not a drug dealer. He did reply to The New York Times saying that he was not going to press my employer to punish me for what I did, but I cannot take that, I guess. And like, I mean, I still have my job, but he still wants to deport me and 11 million of undocumented immigrants.

AMY LITTLEFIELD: What does your sign say?

RICARDO ACA: "DREAMer," so because I’m an undocumented immigrant under the DACA program.

TRUMP SUPPORTERS: Built the wall! Build the wall!

AMY LITTLEFIELD: There’s a handful of people holding signs that say things like "build the wall" and "we want Trump." Let’s go hear what they have to say.

SARAH MacDONALD: I’m Sarah MacDonald. I’m here because I support Trump. We don’t like the viewpoint that Trump supporters are violent. I mean, we’re having a peaceful protest here, and we just wanted to show people the other side. So far there was somebody who kept on coming closer and closer, screaming at us, "Fascists! Fascists! Fascists!" Thankfully, there’s been a lot of police here, so hopefully nothing worse will happen.

AMY LITTLEFIELD: Trump’s been criticized for some of the rhetoric at his rallies. People say he’s sort of incited violence by, you know, encouraging people to beat protesters up or to get them out or saying he’ll pay their legal fees. Do think that’s true?

SARAH MacDONALD: I think that when a woman is raped, I think that it’s wrong if you say that she was asking for it based on how she was dressed. I think it’s very similar to people saying that it’s Trump fault—Trump’s fault that anti-Trump supporters are violent.

TIMOTHY ROSEN: Timothy Rosen.

AMY LITTLEFIELD: What does your sign say?

TIMOTHY ROSEN: It says, "Build the wall."

AMY LITTLEFIELD: And that’s a reference to the wall that Trump wants to build.

TIMOTHY ROSEN: Well, I’m not—personally, I’m not a Trump supporter, but I do agree with him that we need to secure the border. And if he’s bringing that to people’s attention and he’s bringing it up in the media, I’m glad he’s doing that. I don’t like his language sometimes. I’m not necessarily a Trump guy. I’m not. But, hey, at least he’s bringing this to people’s attention.

MARIE DELUS: My name is Marie Delus, and I’m here in order to fight against Trump and his racism and his bigotry and his lies and his insensitivity and his cruelty. My sign says, "90 a day shot and killed in America. Enough." And the reason why—another reason why I was here is because Trump felt that it was funny for him to say, it was a joke for him to say, that he could stand in front of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and get—and he’ll still get votes. Well, I lost my nephew due to gun violence. His name was Pierre Paul Jean-Paul. And his jokes have consequences.

AMY LITTLEFIELD: It looks like police have just pepper-sprayed some of the anti-Trump protesters.

ANTI-TRUMP PROTESTER: This is just an example of what they do to activists that protest fascism in this country. They answer with more fascism, pepper spray, clubs. They push them.

PROTESTERS: Donald Trump, go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay! Donald Trump, go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay!

SALMA METWALLY: My name is Salma Metwally. I’m a Muslim immigrant. I’m an immigrant. My entire family was born in Egypt. We moved here for a better life. I’m currently a college student studying to be an industiral pharmacologist to work for the American society. And that is more than Donald Trump can say. This country was built on the foundation of immigration. They came here, they kicked the Native Americans out, and they took over. So they have no right to kick other people out.

PROTESTERS: Don’t give in to racist fear! Immigrants are welcome here!

AMY GOODMAN: Special thanks to Amy Littlefield, Charina Nadura and Robby Karran for that report. Meanwhile, at a Trump rally in Tucson this weekend, a Trump supporter was arrested for sucker-punching an anti-Trump protester as the protester was being led away. Another video showed Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbing a protester by his collar. Lewandowski has previously been accused of grabbing reporter Michelle Fields’ arm, leaving her bruised.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we hear the story of two Harlem activists arrested, one an adviser to Mayor de Blasio. Stay with us.


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