Who had Beverly Hills, California as a political protest hot spot for Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter on their bingo card? Saturday the Beverly Hills police had to break up the crowd when BLM protesters confronted Trump supporters as they rallied. The protest was declared an unlawful assembly as the situation developed.
The counter-protesters gathered at Roxbury Park, about 40 Black Lives Matter supporters. Police report that the counter-protesters marched to the USA Freedom Rally. After they arrived, the atmosphere turned volatile. Tempers flared and the Trump supporters were taunted, called Nazis, and confronted by the BLM supporters. The usual screaming at each other devolved into physical violence. Streets were closed in the area and a SWAT team was on the scene for additional police support. Police asked the public to stay away.
ADVISORY: Unlawful assembly has been declared near the Beverly Hills Sign. Avoid the area. https://t.co/k1o5cQ54ch
— Beverly Hills Police (@BeverlyHillsPD) October 31, 2020
There were dueling rallies between Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators.
“The protester from Roxbury Park got into a violent fight with a pro-Trump protester. It was at the point that an unlawful assembly was declared by the Incident Commander and the Roxbury Park protesters did leave and march back to Roxbury Park,” Subin said.
There were no arrests, according to police.
The election security plan is set to run through at least Wednesday in preparation for potential unrest, but Beverly Hills police are ready to expand that if the outcome has not been decided and there’s a thought the force needs to stay on the street.
Trump supporters have been organizing in the area for several months. Weekly rallies occur and the Beverly Hills police have provided a presence for crowd control. This week there were reports that counter-protesters planned to be at the rally so police were ready with riot gear. As the rally turned violent, the police broke it up and the counter-protesters marched back to Roxbury Park.
The Beverly Hills Trump rallies have grown in attendance in the lead up to the election. Saturday’s crowd is estimated to be about 3,000 people, despite Trump being so unpopular in Los Angeles. Los Angeles’ affluent Westside has been the location of many anti-Trump protests. Biden is going to carry California by a historic level of support if the polls are correct. The Trump rallies in Beverly Hills, however, continue to grow.
Nearly four months ago, Beverly Hills resident Shiva Bagheri began organizing the rallies in part to dispel what she called misrepresentations of Trump supporters in the media.
“They think that we’re all white supremacists. And that’s just ridiculous,” said Bagheri, a single mother who was born in Iran and works as a dance instructor.
At last Saturday’s rally, the crowd numbered between 2,500 and 3,000, according to a Beverly Hills city spokesman. Signs and shirts announced a kaleidoscope of identities in support of Trump, including members of the Latino, Jewish, Vietnamese and LGBTQ communities. Some traveled from out of the state or out of the country to attend.
Trump won’t win California but he may receive more support than recent Republican presidential candidates have received.
I’ve written about the Beverly Hills response to protests, including those of BLM marches. The Beverly Hills city council has passed resolutions to try to quell the spread of protests into residential areas away from commercial areas. The police have already announced that Rodeo Drive will be closed off on Election Day and on November 4, perhaps longer if election results are not known for days after the election, as part of their plan to keep the area secure. Cities across the country are preparing for violence and looting as election results come in.
Election Day is just two days away.