Supporters gather early for Trump rally in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will reach San Diego Friday, as the presumptive GOP nominee takes the San Diego Convention Center for a rally beginning at 2 p.m.

Thousands of supporters and protesters are expected to be in attendance. More than 50 supporters were lined up by the time San Diego police arrived around 6:30 a.m.

Supporters began cheering and screaming “thank you” as SDPD walked towards the convention center.  

“If we didn’t have cops we could be in big trouble,” Cynthia Bevins, a Trump Supporter said. “I was scared coming over here but I’m okay now.”

At least six protest groups had already confirmed they would be at the convention center—from organized labor to immigration advocates—demonstrating outside. Protests turned violent Tuesday in Albuquerque, leading to concerns about security in San Diego.

Related Link: Several local groups planning to protest Trump appearance

There have been assurances from the mayor and police chief that any disruption by protesters will not be tolerated if they go beyond the bounds of civil discourse.

"For anyone who comes to disrupt, to do illegal activities, we will take swift and decisive action to make sure we have a peaceful event,” Zimmerman told news crews outside downtown SDPD headquarters.

Related Link: SDPD: Violence will not be tolerated at Trump rally Friday

The city has designated demonstration zones – one for Trump supporters and another for those e who oppose the 69-year-old billionaire real estate magnate’s presidential bid — on the northwest and southeast sides of the Harbor Drive center and will strictly enforce attendees’ comportment while ensuring their constitutional free-speech rights, Zimmerman told reporters.

Trump reached the magic number of delegates Thursday, essentially guaranteeing Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee, according to the Associated Press.

Related Link: Donald Trump clinches GOP presidential nomination

That same day, area Democrats slammed Trump in a conference call with reporters.

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, described the businessman as “dangerous” and “out of touch” with hard-working families.

“He is dangerous, he is divisive, and he is a demagogue, while Californians are tolerant and inclusive,” Peters said. “We don’t think it’s fine to call Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and ‘drug-dealers,’ and we don’t think it’s fine to ban an entire religion from entering our country.”

Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher criticized Trump’s statements regarding veterans, and San Diego County Democratic Party Chairwoman Francine Busby said he would be “a disaster” for women and seniors.

But he has garnered support from many local politicians. Speakers at Friday’s event include Congress members Duncan D. Hunter, Darrell Issa and Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith who was killed in the attack on Benghazi.

Categories: Local San Diego News