Note: The estimates of the number of protesters varied from source to source. 1,000 protesters is one estimate that I have seen. Some other news sources put the number at several hundred, hence the ~ as the exact crowd size is not known. Because of that, the title has been edited to reflect the crowd estimate as expressed by the majority of news outlets.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) spoke to a largely Latino crowd at East Los Angeles College yesterday evening, on Cinco de Mayo. A largely Latino crowd (no not just a group of young, rude white people as some have suggested) of protesters was also there to greet her.
An eight-piece mariachi band warmed up the crowd before Hillary Clinton took the stage inside the gym filled to capacity at East Los Angeles College. The former first lady picked the historically Mexican-American corner of Los Angeles County to host an event on Cinco de Mayo.
A young Latina student who said she grew up with an emergency list of contacts because she feared U.S. officials would one day deport her mother welcomed Clinton to the stage. The two women hugged and then Clinton went on to deliver a speech focused on immigration and the leading GOP candidate Donald Trump. Clinton did not mention Bernie Sanders in her 13-minute speech. It was all immigration-related or Trump.
Hillary Clinton was welcomed to the East L.A. College stage by Yamilex Rustrian, a Guatemalan-American student and immigrant rights activist.
Clinton’s Cinco de Mayo visit to East L.A. also brought dozens and dozens of police officers in riot gear, officers on horses, a police helicopter, and an estimated 1,000 protesters.
“The line has been drawn between the progressive Latino community and the conservative Hispanics,” said Herbert Siguenza, who was demonstrating outside and is one of three members of the Latino/Chicano comedy troupe Culture Class.
Siguenza said he attended the protest because he “couldn’t believe Clinton was in East L.A. on Cinco de Mayo. The Hispanic pandering is obvious,” he said.
The protesters highlighted comments Clinton has made in the past that appear to be more conservative positions on immigration than her more inclusive stances now.
Two minutes after Clinton took the stage, a 23-year-old woman began yelling and unveiled a handwritten sign highlighting a quote in which Clinton said unaccompanied minors should not be allowed to stay in the U.S. Clinton made those comments in June 2014. Today, the candidate says those minors need legal representation that would help the majority of them (73%) stay in the U.S.
Many of the demonstrators outside carried handwritten signs declaring Clinton was not welcome in the community.
One sign read “We only matter when it’s Cinco de Mayo.” There were several signs connecting Clinton’s policy decisions to the assassination of Berta Cáceres, an Honduran indigenous and environmental rights activist. And then more signs questioning Clinton’s intent visiting East L.A. on Cinco de Mayo.
East Los Angeles College student Adri, 23, holds a sign she said included two conflicting quotes made by Hillary Clinton.
Outside, another student said Clinton’s presence at the college was an insult to the community. The community college’s president spoke before Clinton’s speech and said some students juggled three jobs to support children and families. Others were homeless.
“She’s pandering,” said Adri, who declined to give her last name due to privacy concerns. The 23-year-old student made a sign that juxtaposed two conflicting quotes made by Clinton.
“We’re not going to let her come pander to our community to try to get the vote for us when we know that she is not going to work for our best interests,” Ron Gochez, one of the organizers of the protest told local radio station KPCC.
At the end of the night a Monterey Police Department official described the event as peaceful, but Clinton supporters coming out of the event must have thought the worst. The sheriff’s department brought in horses. and there were dozens of officers in riot gear carrying non-lethal guns. The sheriff and local police department could not confirm if there were any arrests made during the event.
From ABC News,
Hillary Clinton headed to East Los Angeles Thursday night in honor of the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo -- but her rally in this predominantly Hispanic part of L.A. was anything but celebratory.
Hundreds of protesters descended upon East Los Angeles College to express their disdain for the Democratic presidential front-runner. Most of the protesters remained outside the college, although some made their way inside.
Maritza Galvez, a 21-year-old student at the college, carried a sign that read, “We only matter when it’s Cinco de Mayo.” A man, who was leading a crowd, shouted into a loud speaker,
"Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party have to know that they cannot come to Los Angeles, occupy Mexico on Cinco de Mayo, and think that we are not going to come out and denounce them!”
Other signs read: “Black Lives Matter Not Super-predators,” “Hillary Do You Friends Make $12 or $15?” “Viva Bernie!” “NAFTA? IRAQ WAR? HONDURAS? Hmmm?” “Release the Transcripts,” “CALIFORNIA WHERE THE CLINTON & TRUMP SCAM WILL BE EXPOSED," and “Welcome to LA Where Hispandering to Chicanos Doesn’t Work!!!”
And finally from Channel 7 news in the bay area,
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --
Hillary Clinton will be back in the Bay Area Friday after facing hundreds of protesters Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Some in San Francisco vow to give her the same type of welcome.
Clinton's campaign won't say where Friday afternoon's San Francisco event will be held, but protesters say it will be at the Masonic on Nob Hill.
There are signs and cones there saying no parking will be allowed.
Maybe this is what the Clinton campaign is trying to prevent. Protesters showed up at her event in Los Angeles Thursday night.
Clinton only mentioned Bernie Sanders once in her speeches. She seemed more focused on the general election and Donald Trump as she talked about immigration reform.
But protesters outside are still very focused on the primary race.
... "Clinton has done nothing to earn my vote. I feel that Bernie Sanders represents my personal beliefs and what I believe in this country,"
Bernie Sanders supporter Maria Estrada said.
Clinton will appear in Oakland and then in San Francisco. The San Francisco event is sold out. It will feature actress Elizabeth Banks and both California senators.
This is an updating story.
Comments are closed on this story.