Protesters angry over Donald J. Trump’s election as president marched in downtown Los Angeles early Thursday and shut down portions of the Hollywood (101) Freeway while in Orange County, police broke up a demonstration that included hurling objects at officers.
Thirty people out of hundreds were taken into custody in Los Angeles and in some cases, force was used, said Officer Tony Im of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.
In Santa Ana, police worked to tame a crowd that dispersed shortly before 1:30 a.m. Thursday following violent protests that produced no reports of injuries.
A boisterous crowd, which reached around 600 people at its height, gathered around 7 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Bristol Street and McFadden Avenue, said Santa Ana police Sgt. Carol Salvatierra. Demonstrators threw bottles, rocks and fireworks at officers, she said, and at least one police squad car was vandalized. Police formed scrimmage lines and used other tactics to tame the crowd.
Salvatierra said “several” people were arrested.
In Los Angeles, officers were in full riot gear as they walked protesters off the freeway this morning in what was otherwise a peaceful demonstration, LAPD Public Information Director Josh Rubenstein said. By 1:30 a.m., the freeway was clear of demonstrators but lanes were closed for cleanup and reopened about 3:45 a.m.
Demonstrators were cleared from the downtown area shortly before 3 a.m.
With the exception of some protesters throwing rocks at officers and vandalizing portions of the freeway, Rubenstein said the protest had been non- violent.
“The minute you start throwing rocks and the minute you start blocking freeways, that’s where things start to ratchet up,” Rubenstein said. “At the height of the crowd there were thousands but it’s certainly dispersed a whole bunch by now.”
Officers were working to keep protesters off the freeway, which became a difficult task as the large group continued to break up into smaller groups.
“We’re here to protect everybody’s right to free speech but not when it impedes everyone else and not when it puts people in harm’s way,” Rubenstein said.
The rally and march in Los Angeles began about 7 p.m. Wednesday outside city hall, drawing an ethnically diverse crowd of more than 5,000, many of whom appeared to be high school and college age.
More than 300 youthful-looking demonstrators earlier rallied outside City Hall before marching to LAPD headquarters and then on toward Staples Center.
Some protesters chanted “Not my president,” and at least one had a sign that stated: “Trump Equals Death.” Other signs read “Epic Fail,” “Rapist President” and “Artists Against Trump.”
While some of the signs and chants contained expletives, the protests were noisy but initially peaceful, and appeared to be growing as the day wore on.
Some motorists honked their horns when they saw the crowds. Helicopters hovered overhead as law enforcement officers controlled traffic and watched for signs of trouble.