A caravan of Donald Trump supporters in pickup trucks paraded last Sunday through a Black community in Northern California, clashing with counter-protesters.
Over the weekend ahead of the presidential election, the caravan was one of several “Trump Trains” that prepared in cities across the country. The caravan first gathered at a shopping center in Sonoma, California, and ended in a mostly Black community in Marin City.
Some users in social media alleged the caravan chose the mostly Black area as its final destination in order to frighten residents.
In around 350 trucks and cars, about 1,000 Donald Trump supporters filled the parking lot of the Gateway Shopping Center in Marin City at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 1. Supporters were waving massive Trump and Thin Blue Line flags, hooting car horns and shouting through loud speakers.
Marin City resident Amber Allen-Peirson told the San Francisco Chronicle she heard the N-word being hurled in the direction of kids.
“It was like the Taliban had come to town,” she told the Chronicle. “It felt like local terrorism, especially since it was Sunday, which is a holy day for the Black community. If this is what is happening on November 1st, then what is going to happen on the 3rd or 4th?”
California Highway Patrol monitored the demonstration and helped direct traffic after the caravan blocked some roads
Another local, Lisa Brayer, said the caravan was composed of “mainly big trucks driven by a group of white men.” Sgt. Brenton Schneider of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said many concerned citizens called 911 expressing their concern about the caravan.
Around 100 counterprotesters clashed with the caravan, which Schneider said was hit with eggs and paintballs.
“While the lines of cars were leaving, counterprotesters continued to scream and yell,” Schneider told the Marin Independent Journal. “Some threw eggs, and there were reports of paintballs being shot at vehicles near the Ridgeway Apartments.”
Several altercations between demonstrators and counterprotesters were reported via 911, although police said they didn’t witness any fights and no victims have come forward. No arrests have been made. The pro-Trump group left the area after about 45 minutes.
On Friday, flag-bearing Trump supporters in a moving caravan of pickup trucks surrounded a Joe Biden campaign bus on Interstate 35 not far from Austin, Texas. The confrontation caused one minor accident and led the Biden campaign to cancel the event scheduled for that day. The FBI announced it is investigating the incident.
A pro-Trump caravan on Saturday that apparently was escorted by police through a predominately Black neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas, prompted protests and sparked outrage. Twitter user David Kimball claimed the caravan drove through a polling station in the community to “intimidate voters.”
Other states, including Kentucky, Indiana, New Jersey, and Texas also saw pro-Trump caravans impact traffic over the weekend.
“Let’s fill 465 with supporters that will carry Trump to victory on Election Day and show our president the Hoosier State at its best,” reads the description of a pro-Trump caravan event that blocked I-465 in Indiana on Sunday.