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San Diegans Protests Trump’s Visit to San Diego

March 15, 2018

By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

San Diego Police Department officers guided protesters as they walked on the streets of downtown San Diego on Monday, March 12. (Andrea Lopez-Villafaña/La Prensa San Diego)

During his first visit to San Diego as President of the United States on Tuesday, March 13, Donald Trump sparked multiple protests in the city, many of which did not welcome him or the construction of a new border wall between Mexico and the U.S.

Starting on Monday, immigrant rights organizations held press conferences and protests to share that they were not welcoming the president to San Diego and reject his policies.

Under the colorful murals of Chicano Park, U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas, Councilmember Georgette Gomez, activist and DACA recipient Ali Torabi, and others spoke to reporters on Monday, March 12 to demonstrate that the border city does not support a construction of a wall.

Gomez, who represents District 9 in San Diego, shared that there are other issues that the government should be focused on rather than building walls.

“Instead of talking about how do we build a wall we should be talking about how we help our communities,” said Gomez.

Standing under the murals of Mexican revolutionaries that cover the pillars of the Coronado Bridge, Vargas, who was present at multiple rallies, said Trump “is not welcome here.”

U.S. Representative Juan Vargas spoke to reporters in Chicano Park on Monday, March 12. (Andrea Lopez-Villafaña/La Prensa San Diego)

“He wants to spend $25, $30 billion on a wall that will lead to absolutely nothing but more deaths,” Vargas said.

The speakers also consisted of faith leaders and community and immigration rights organizations leaders and members.

Following the press conference a protest was held in front of the Edward J, Schwartz Federal building in downtown San Diego that saw an attendance of about 250 people.

Protesters carried signs that read, “Stop deportation, stop exploitation,” “No hate in the golden state,” and “Build bridges not walls” while walking through the streets of downtown.

Jonathan Flores, a member of Union del Barrio, the political organization that organized the protest, said he believed they had a good turnout and had a good representation of different people attend both young and old.

He said that if Trump could pick up one message from the day’s protest it would be that “he’s a persona non grata and we are going to continue fighting.”

On Tuesday, numerous protests both for-and-against Trump’s visit to San Diego and the building of a border wall gathered in Otay Mesa while the president saw the border wall prototypes.

Close to 150 people walked from Waterfront Park to the federal building in downtown San Diego following President Donald Trump’s visit to the border wall prototypes. (Andrea Lopez-Villafaña/La Prensa San Diego)

And because those protests were held closer to the border, the Seed Project, an organization that fights for the interests of undocumented youth, held a protest at Waterfront Park on Tuesday at 5 p.m. to allow the undocumented community of San Diego voices their opinions but at a safer location.

Local attorney and DACA recipient Dulce Garcia spoke to the audience that gathered and shared that the discussion of a wall goes hand in hand with people who have lost their lives attempting to cross the border like her uncle.

“All we are going to accomplish with this stupid wall if it gets built, if we don’t stop it, is going to be more death it’s not going to stop drugs, it’s not going to stop human trafficking,” Garcia said. “All it is going to do is somebody else’s uncle is also going to die crossing over.”

Garcia said that instead of taking steps forward the government is taking steps back.

Protesters marched from the Waterfront Park to the Edward J, Schwartz Federal building and had an attendance of about 150 people at their destination.

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