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#StopTrump Protesters Lock Themselves to Ladders to Block Traffic Outside Trump Rally in Washington

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On Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made his first campaign visit to Washington state, where he addressed thousands of supporters in Spokane and later in Lynden. He decried the loss of manufacturing jobs, and vowed to win Washington state in November. He also warned of the threat posed by Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, outside the rally, dozens of #StopTrump activists blockaded a highway in Lynden as Trump held a rally in the rural community near the Canadian border. Three activists were arrested after they used chains and PVC pipe “lockboxes” to form a human chain across two lanes of traffic. They said their action was a protest against what they described as a campaign rooted in fear and hatred. The protest held up traffic for more than a half-hour, delaying many Trump supporters. Democracy Now! was at the protest.

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

AMY GOODMAN: We’re on the road in Portland, Oregon. On Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made his first campaign visit to Washington state, where he addressed thousands of supporters in Spokane and later in Lynden, on the Canadian border. He decried the loss of manufacturing jobs and vowed to win Washington state in November. He also warned of the threat posed by Syrian refugees.

DONALD TRUMP: We should build safe zones for Syrians. But we can’t bring them to Washington state. And you don’t even know where they’re going. You know, you saw what happened in Paris. You saw what happened at the World Trade Center. You saw what happened in California with the 14 people that they worked with—shot, killed, many people in the hospital, right now, many, many people in the hospital. These are people that nobody knows who they are, and they’re going to be in your community. You can’t do it.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, outside the rally, dozens of #StopTrump activists blockaded a highway in Lynden as Trump held a rally in the rural community near the Canadian border. Three activists were arrested after they used chains, PVC pipes and ladders to form a human chain across two lanes of traffic. They said their action was a protest against what they described as a campaign rooted in fear and hatred. The protest held up traffic for more than a half-hour, delaying many Trump supporters. Democracy Now!’s Laura Gottesdiener was there.

JOSEFINA MORA: When indigenous rights are under attack, what do we do?

PROTESTERS: Stand up, fight back!

JOSEFINA MORA: When indigenous rights are under attack, what do we do?

PROTESTERS: Stand up, fight back!

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: This is Democracy Now! We’re here in Lynden, Washington. We’re in the middle of a two-lane highway. And just about less than a mile that way, there’s a big Trump rally just about to start. But right here in the street, pretty much the main thoroughfare headed to the Trump rally, as we can see, there’s protesters locking themselves to each other and blocking the entire road. So right now we have three people who have locked themselves to each other; two of them are also locked to ladders. Traffic is entirely backed up, and some of the cars are parked sideways. So, why don’t we go see—see what they have to say?

THOMAS KAPLAN: Hi, my name is Thomas. I’m here to support folks that have been organizing here locally against fascism and Donald Trump. We’re in Lynden. This is a rural community near Bellingham, Washington. It’s the northwest corner of the United States.

DRIVER: Go back to Seattle!

THOMAS KAPLAN: It’s a community where white supremacy has been rampant since—since it’s been colonized. And we’re particularly drawing attention to Lynden, because here has been the center of Ku Klux Klan rallies and organizing for at least a hundred years, and right now it’s a hotbed for racism against farmworkers. We’re not going allow Donald Trump to come to our community and spread hate and try to encourage the detention or the terrorism towards people of color and undocumented persons.

JOSEFINA MORA: My name is Josefina Mora, and so right now I have my arms in two tubes, each side. And on my right, there is Nia. She is chained to a ladder. And on my left, there is Thomas, and he’s also chained to a ladder. So we’re blocking about 80 percent of the street, and so we also have a couple vans that are blocking the road for the cars that are stopped. So we’re getting pretty mixed reviews, I guess. Mostly negative. Not surprising for Lynden, Washington.

LYNNE COOK: My name is Lynne Cook. This is my husband Mike. My family, we’re from Bonney Lake, Washington, my husband and my daughter and her friend. We’ve come to the Trump rally. And this is what we find, and now we can’t get across. And it’s going on as we speak, and we’e over here stuck.

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: Some people have criticized—for example, over there, where people are blocking the route that you’re trying to take, they have been criticizing, you know, his solutions to the immigration issue, that he would deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. Do you—what are your thoughts on that?

LYNNE COOK: Well, you know, I haven’t—I don’t know what all his plan is. You know, I think he’s kind of going as he’s going along. He’s got these really super advisers and intelligent people, like himself. They’re going to help him solve some of these problems. But the way it’s going now is disastrous, and it’s just a matter of time before we have a Paris situation here, because our borders and the drugs and everything else are a mess. And they’re coming over faster now than ever, since they’ve heard Donald Trump is so—you know, there’s quite, I think, a lot of people getting behind him, Democrats included, because of his plan to stop that, because of what’s happened all around the world and then, recently, the Paris thing. So, I think that—you know, I think he’s going to—I don’t know why these people—I think they’re paid by probably the powers that be just to cause this, so we can’t support Donald Trump. I don’t think they—what is their substance?

PROTESTER: We are with the blockers! We are with the blockers! We are with the blockers! We are with the blockers!

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: So, you can see now there’s about a dozen, if not more, law enforcement officers. We’ve got state patrol, we’ve got county patrol. We’ve got people in slightly more heavily riot gear-type equipment. And they have removed—they are in the process of removing the chains from some of the protesters. It looks like they’re having trouble removing them from her neck, because she keeps saying “Ow.”

PROTESTER: We love you guys! We love you so much!

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: One of the women’s arms being bent back right now.

TRUMP SUPPORTER: Some people have jobs. Some people have things to go do, right?

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: Yeah.

TRUMP SUPPORTER: Regardless of whether you vote for Trump or not, doesn’t matter.

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: Where are you headed right now?

TRUMP SUPPORTER: To the Trump rally. But that’s not the point.

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: Do you mind just introducing yourself?

TRUMP SUPPORTER: No.

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: OK.

TRUMP SUPPORTER: I’m a veteran. In my opinion, Bernie and Hillary do not care about veterans. That’s, you know, my personal opinion from what I’ve seen, what they’ve said. Trump cares about veterans. And Trump’s tax plan is a lot better than everyone else’s. Me personally, I don’t want to pay more taxes. Right? Especially for people who don’t have jobs. If you don’t have a job, you shouldn’t get free handouts. You shouldn’t get anything. You know, we don’t need you.

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: Obviously, they’re protesting right now saying that they’re against, you know, Donald Trump’s plan for deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants. They’ve also said that the total ban on Muslims entering this country wouldn’t be helpful. You know, what are—what are your responses to some of that criticism?

TRUMP SUPPORTER: You know, Theodore Roosevelt said that if you want to come into the country, that’s fine, but you have to come in to be an American. You know, it’s a melting pot. You can’t come in and be Mexican or be, you know, Pakistani or anything like that. I don’t care where you’re from. If you come into America, you’re coming to be an American. Like everyone else, you need to contribute to society. So, if you come in and you want to, say, you know, fly the Mexican flag, then go back to Mexico.

MARU MORA VILLALPANDO: My name is Maru Mora Villalpando, and I’m with Mi Gente and Not1More, Community to Community, Latino Advocacy and many organizations based here in Whatcom County.

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: It’s pretty much secured now that he’s going to be the Republican nominee. What do you think that says also about the country at large?

MARU MORA VILLALPANDO: I think the country is at a standpoint. We now see that the Republican Party has been this way for a really long time. It’s now that they’re actually saying it, they are bold about it, they don’t care anymore. And it tells us that there’s also a big fraction of people in the United States that want to stand for that. And that’s why this is not the first action against Donald Trump. It won’t be the last.

LAURA GOTTESDIENER: So, and passing us now is one of the cars leaving the Trump rally. It has a very big Confederate flag displayed on top of it.

PROTESTERS: This will be hate-free land! This will be hate-free land!

AMY GOODMAN: Democracy Now!'s Laura Gottesdiener and John Hamilton at a blockade in Lynden, Washington, by the Canadian border, just down the street from where Donald Trump was speaking. This weekend was Trump's first campaign trip to Washington state. When we come back, another protest here in the Northwest. This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back in a minute.

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