In one of the presidential campaign year’s more grisly spectacles, protesters in New Mexico opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades.
Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center. During the rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who shouted, held up banners and resisted removal by security officers.
The banners included the messages “Trump is Fascist” and “We’ve heard enough.” Trump lashed back at protesters, tweeting Wednesday: “The protesters in New Mexico were thugs who were flying the Mexican flag. The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals!”
At one point, a female protester was physically dragged from the stands by security. Other protesters scuffled with security as they resisted removal from the convention center, which was packed with thousands of loud and cheering Trump supporters.
Trump responded by telling the protesters to “Go home to mommy” as they were being dragged out by security guards. Trump’s supporters responded with chants of “Build that wall!” Trump later tweeted “Great rally in New Mexico, amazing crowd!” The altercations left glass at the entrance of the convention center smashed. Albuquerque attorney Doug Antoon said rocks were flying through the convention center windows as he was leaving Tuesday night. Glass was breaking and landing near his feet.
“This was not a protest, this was a riot. These are hate groups,” he said of the demonstrators.
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