Arrests, Clashes at 'Make America Great Again' Rallies | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Arrests, Clashes at 'Make America Great Again' Rallies

Thousands gathered in Orange County and in cities across the U.S. Saturday for planned marches and rallies in support of President Trump

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    Violence erupted between Trump supporters and Trump protesters at a pro-Trump rally in Orange County. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 6 on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

    (Published Saturday, March 25, 2017)

    Thousands of people gathered in Huntington Beach Saturday for a "Make America Great Again" march and rally, and half a dozen people were arrested during the event, police said.

    Attendees said they came out to support not only President Donald Trump, but veterans, law enforcement and first responders as well.

    About 2,000 people came out for the Orange County event, according to Capt. Kevin Pearsall of California State Park police. About 30 or 40 counter-protesters attended.

    Pearsall said there was a "disagreement of beliefs" that resulted in six arrests, some of which were for the "illegal use of pepper spray."

    The march along Pacific Coast Highway at Bolsa Chica State Beach was one of dozens planned across the country. The Orange County rally was originally planned to take place at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, but officials there decided to close down for the weekend, fearing a potential clash between participants and anti-Trump protesters.

    Such clashes have marred past Trump rallies, including one last year at the Pacific Amphitheatre that resulted in more than a dozen arrests.

    At a smaller event held in Los Angeles near Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three were arrested: one for battery, one for criminal threats and one for possession of brass knuckles, police said.

    A Philadelphia "MAGA" March was met in the streets by a group of anti-Trump protesters, who had been using the hashtag #DisruptMAGA to organize on social media. The planned march was stopped short of its intended destination by police, who wanted to avoid a clash between the two groups. Two people, a man and a teen boy, were cited for disorderly conduct, NBC Philadelphia reported.

    Video taken Saturday appeared to show a police officer swinging a bike at someone during a Philadelphia event. It was not clear to which group the person belonged, or what occurred before.

    Philadelphia police public information officer Sgt. Eric Gripp told NBC Philadelphia that police are aware of the video and are looking into it.

    A Jersey Shore event drew around 2,000 Trump supporters Saturday. Trump backers there carried homemade signs and American flags. There were also chants of "Lock her up," a reference to Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton that became a popular refrain during his presidential campaign events.

    The Jersey rally was mostly peaceful, but there was a minor scuffle early on when some anti-Trump protesters tried to make their way through the crowd. Undercover police officers quickly surrounded the anti-Trump group and escorted them out of the crowd without further incident, NBC New York reported.

    Trump fans also gathered in Boston, some eager to show their support to the President after his decision this week to pull the American Health Care Act, the bill designed to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

    “I would rather someone say, 'You know what, it’s not going to work, it’s not what they want.' He’s working with the people,” supporter Kelly McHuth said.

    Anti-Trump ralliers turned out in Boston as well, but despite tensions between the groups, the event there ended without violence.

    According to organizers, the Make America Great Again events were designed to show "we love our country and we want to show gratitude to the men and women who put their own lives on the line every day."