Burlingame, Calif. — Anti-Trump protesters organized to block Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his supporters from basking in the California sun on April 29. Led by the Black Out Collective, Anti Police-Terror Project Bay Area, Black Lives Matter Bay Area and Black Youth Project 100, they came out to the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel where Trump was scheduled to give the opening address to the California Republican National Convention at noon.
Several hundred protesters succeeded in not only delaying Trump’s speech at the convention by at least an hour, but forcing Trump to cross the 101 Freeway on foot and make his way through a convoluted path. The racist bigot had to squeeze between concrete barricades and walk unceremoniously through a short field, having to hop over unlevel ground, all of which was captured on camera and video.
The protesters, using a variety of tactics, locked themselves down across the main access road to the hotel and pushed past police barricades up to the hotel entrance. Some even sneaked inside, where they did a spectacular banner-drop — a bright yellow banner reading “Stop Hate” covered the hotel’s front tower.
“Hate has no place in the democratic process,” said Cat Brooks, from the Anti Police-Terror Project. “Black communities and all communities of color deserve a democracy that respects our vote, our vision and our values, not one that denies our dignity and betrays our basic humanity.”
“The RNC is spreading and encouraging a culture of hate and racism,” said Robbie Clark, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Bay Area. “Donald Trump represents the vile underbelly of [U.S.] democracy where Black people are both disenfranchised and disregarded. People drive the democratic process, not corporations. Black people deserve a democracy that serves us.”
“We’re sending Trump packing, along with his anti-Black, anti-migrant and anti-Muslim politics. California will not be Trumped!” said Wazi Davis, of the Black Youth Project 100.
There was a large turnout from the Latino/a community, particularly local high school students. Some of them carried Mexican flags in response to Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant platform and declarations that as president he would build a huge wall along the California/Mexico border.
The stated goals of the protest were to reject Trump’s political visit to Northern California; pressure Silicon Valley tech companies to divest funding from a Trump-led Republican National Convention; increase the visibility of Black voices and other voices of color in opposition to Trump; and demand a radical transformation of U.S. democracy where Black people have the social, economic, cultural and political power needed to thrive.
Protests have sparked across the state, as the June 7 primary election approaches and Trump continues to hold rallies to build support. Five people were arrested at the Burlingame protest.