At Anaheim Protest, Trump Supporters and Opponents...Hugged?!
Can hugs defeat the Beast?
Photo by Brian Feinzimer
Last week’s Donald Trump rally made the typical headlines of a bloviating orange man, rabid fans, and angry protestors who, if you believe the MSM, wanted to riot the way Anaheim always does. But lost in the madness was a stunning moment of camaraderie between both sides that gives hope that this country won't go Mexico vs. Portugal come November.
By the time I got to the Anaheim Convention Center at noon (after a poster mixup; after all, my task was to hand out the infamous Donald Trump Donkey Show Weekly cover created by legendary cartoonista Lalo Alcaraz), the grounds swelled with hundreds of protesters. One protester even brought a radio to the event, bumping “FDT” (Fuck Donald Trump)” by YG and Nipsey Hussle—the unofficial Trump theme song.
But there was a group determined to stand for a third way. Some protestors held signs that read, “Keep da piece,” “More love less hate,” and “Let's all relax, don't hate” (with a big green marijuana leaf painted next to the statement). Among them was Edgar Garcia, a student from Santa Ana College, with a sign that read, “Make friends not enemies.”
“The last rally in Costa Mesa was a disaster in the sense that people rioted,” Garcia said. “We came with the intent to prevent any sort of destruction and to remind people that protesting is supposed to be peaceful not violent.”
Garcia then called out to his group of friends, “If you see anyone who gets emotional, just go up to them and tell them to relax.”
Guys, we love you, but let us copy-edit your signs next time...
Photo by Christopher Toland
Just behind him, Bobbi Coleman told her 16-year-old daughter, “It's all about learning something today. I wanted you to see democracy and the First Amendment in action.” According to Coleman, moments earlier, a religious bigot had just accosted her daughter, Jennafir, by calling her a lesbian and stating that she would go to hell for it.
“Is there any difference between the two of us?” Jennafir told the Weekly. “Why in the hell is this guy saying we should be separated cuz of who we are and what we are. Honestly, this guy should just go away.”
And then, the miracle.
At about 1:30 p.m., a small group of young Republicans wearing red, white and blue bandanas marched into enemy territory waving a giant American flag. Within seconds, the protest grounds had its first real standoff as protesters swarmed them from all sides chanting, “CU-LE-RO!” (“Asshole” in habla). But that’s when Garcia made his way to the lead Trump bannerman and said to the crowd, “Let’s show the world we are standing with each other, not against each other.”
He gave the young Trumpbro a genuine hug and turned the “Fuck Trump” chants into chants of “USA!” by conservatives and liberals alike.
Can we vote Edgar Garcias for President?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts