The Associated Press reports that Donald Trump’s “first stop in New Mexico, “the nation’s most Hispanic state, was one of this presidential campaign’s “more grisly spectacles.” Riotous provocateurs 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, which was packed with thousands of loud and cheering Trump supporters:
According to the AP, during his rally, Trump 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 responded with his usual bluster, instructing security to remove the protesters and mocking their actions by telling them to “Go home to mommy.” Trump’s supporters responded with chants of “Build that wall!”
Politico reports that the so-called protesters numbered in the hundreds, waved Mexican flags and chanted “F— Donald Trump.”
Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis, in a statement, put all the blame on the provocateurs:
“The violence that we’re seeing this evening is absolutely unacceptable, and it is not the fault of Donald Trump, his campaign, or the attendees at the rally this evening. It is directly the result of so called public interest groups, such as ProgressNM and the Southwest Organizing Project, fomenting hate.
These organizations this evening devolved from community action groups to hate groups by every usual measure. This was not a protest – it was a riot that was the result of a mob trying to cause damage and injury to public property and innocent citizens exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble,” Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis said in a statement.
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