Here is the very, very latest in what’s happening on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day”, Friday May 27th.
More groups have announced they are mobilizing their members to protest Trump’s appearance in downtown. They include the LGBT community, San Diego Human Rights organizations and our very own Light Brigade – which is shining on tonight, Thursday.
The seven-or so networks that have been organizing their protest continue to mobilize, and are showing signs of cooperating with one another.
Police to Set Up Unconstitutional “Free Speech Zones”
In the meantime, San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman has come out with very restrictive – and even un-Constitutional – rules for demonstrations in front of the Convention Center, including threats to anti-Trump (and pro-Trump) protesters.
In today’s San Diego U-T, Chief described her contingency plans, where “effective crowd control is crucial to maintaining order.” While Zimmerman stated:
“We do recognize the First Amendment rights of all individuals of people who protest peacefully. I am going to emphasize peacefully,”
she stated that her department –
is creating two “free speech zones” across Harbor Drive from the convention center.
Both are on the grassy strip between Harbor Drive and San Diego Trolley tracks, with the anti-Trump area to the southeast and pro-Trump zone to the northwest, separated by Fifth Avenue. Large portions of both zones have fences and barriers on both sides.
She said protesters on either side who leave the zones would be subject to arrest.
The creation of so-called “free speech zones” has been a typical law enforcement tactic over the last 20 years or so. San Diego Police established such a fenced-in space during the 1996 San Diego Republican Convention – near the Convention Center.
Since then, courts have declared that these zones that regulate and restrict the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment. The framers never intended for people protesting to be walled off behind tall fences and barriers – and the Courts have agreed.
Update: Reader poll about Free Speech Zones at U-T
New Groups Plan Protests
And new organizations have joined the fray and will mobilize their members to show Trump their contempt of him.
First off, however, is something that is happening tonight, Thursday, on the eve of Trump’s visit. The group Overpass Light Brigade – San Diego is staging their new installation called “Love Trumps H8 Light Brigade” at the Taylor Street overpass at 7:45 pm.
On Friday, rallying at the US Grant Hotel at 11 am, will be members of the San Diego LGBT Community, which will then head to the Convention Center. They are asking their supporters to bring Rainbow flags, anti-Trump Signs and American Flags. They say that “Peaceful protest is much more effective than violence.”
Other networks that are organizing to come out on Friday are some of San Diego’s Human Rights organizations, including the Human Rights – San Diego SDC Community Group which is rallying their 200 members at 10:00 am at the Convention Center. They state:
Donald Trump made racial remarks about Mexicans, Blacks and Hispanics. San Diego is a culturally diverse and dynamic border community that is fueled by the contributions of immigrants and citizens alike.
Coalitions Continue to Organize
As they have all week, the original networks or coalitions that called the protests continue their work, their outreach, their social media. But there have been some changes to some of their plans.
The San Diego County Democratic Party plans to rally at
12 noon 11:30 but they have changed the location – down to Harbor and Front Street to the southeast corner of the Gaslamp Trolley Station Plaza, near the cul-de-sac at the south end of Sixth Ave. This could place the Democrats on the other side of the Trump supporters from the main protests. More Dems have signed on and now their facebook page, states that nearly 200 are going, over double what it said 2 days ago. They are planning a press conference for noon.
A rally at Chicano Park continues to being planned for 1 pm by the Union del Barrio. When appropriate, the rally will turn into a march, over to the Convention Center. The numbers of people signing up on their facebook event page has tripled to 225 or so. Their organizational home page has over 1,500 likes. A Union del Barrio organizer told this reporter that the buzz in Barrio Logan is strong and that they may see many more out than they originally thought.
Down in front of the Convention Center, on the grassy area, will be a series of protests. One of them will begin at noon, being sponsored by the Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network. This network’s slogan is “Tear down the walls” and is sponsoring a peaceful, non-confrontational protest. It’s facebook page has 60 members. The group is having a press conference at 1pm.
Sign and Banner Making Party
Several groups have coalesced their resources into a sign and banner-making party – this will happen at the Grassroots Oasis, 3130 Moore Street, near Old Town, starting at 5pm. It is being hosted by the center and the Love Trumps Hate network – which has even set up an event page for the party banner making party, .
Another group, Stop Trump – San Diego, says that it is organizing their members to get inside the Convention Center and have tickets. They plan on being there at 11:30 am. Their webpage shows their sign-ups have doubled to almost 200.
Dump Trump, another network that is mobilizing for Friday, has increased its attendance to over a hundred on their facebook page. They say:
“We are going to show Trump that San Diego rejects his bigotry and his bold-faced lies. We will not be pandered to by a flip-flopping celebrity blowhard. He’s a hateful fool who has lied to the public too many times. This is a bipartisan event. We do not condone violence. We support peaceful protest and demonstrations. We know our rights and will not be silenced.”
The largest sign-ups on an anti-Trump protest website or event page on facebook has been the Smash Trump San Diego network- which is staging their protests at 1:30 pm in front or near the Center. Their facebook page now states that nearly 700 people are going.
And don’t forget the Justice for Janitors campaign which is also mobilizing its SEIU members and supporters. They will rally at One America Plaza, and then march through the streets south to the Convention Center.
Friday, May 27th, could be an historic day for San Diego, the day the city showed Trump the door.
Editor Note: Non-partisan National Council of the Raza was incorrectly included among other groups mobilizing members in the original article and has been removed.