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Trump supporters and opponents gather for competing rallies today in Hollywood

Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

LOS ANGELES -- Supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump were scheduled to hold dueling rallies in Hollywood on Saturday afternoon, with one group planning a march that will trigger rolling street closures, according to Los Angeles police.

This is the second time that pro- and anti-Trump groups will have squared off along Hollywood Boulevard. In March, dozens of activists on both sides rallied. Tensions were high, but the demonstrations were relatively peaceful, ending with at least two arrests.

Trump supporters were gathering about 1 p.m. around Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star in front of the busy Hollywood and Highland complex. Two hours later, an anti-Trump rally and march are scheduled to begin at the same location.

Trump backer and rally organizer Randi Berger of Encino in the San Fernando Valley told the Los Angeles Daily News that she was "calling all patriots" to help protect the former reality TV personality's Walk of Fame star from being vandalized. Her event is being called "Arrest More Liberals at Their Anti-Trump March," the paper reported.

"There's a good chance it could get vandalized with all the people they're expecting, with all the misinformed haters," Berger said.

Last October, a man took a sledgehammer and damaged Trump's star. In June the star was covered with stickers during the L.A. Pride Resist March.

The anti-Trump protest, one of several taking place around the country Saturday, is being organized by RefuseFascism. About 300 people are expected to participate in the rally, according to organizers and the LAPD..

"The Trump/Pence Regime daily escalates its fascist attacks on immigrants and Muslims, on health care and the poor, on Black and Brown people, on women and LGBTQ folks, on the media, on the environment, on the right to protest, on the truth," the organizers stated on their Facebook account.

Similar protests were scheduled in at least 15 other U.S. cities, according to organizers. The anti-Trump group plans to march east on Hollywood Boulevard, south on Vine Street, west on Sunset Boulevard and north on Cahuenga Boulevard, then ending up back at the Hollywood and Highland complex, according to City News Service.

The LAPD said it was aware of the rallies and would plan accordingly to make sure they remained peaceful.

(c)2017 Los Angeles Times

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