Dozens of anti-Donald Trump protesters, traveling in a procession of vehicles adorned with Mexican flags, made their way from Panorama City to Sylmar early Sunday afternoon in a demonstration that prompted the brief closure of two freeway ramps, authorities said.
Maria Galvan, who said she was there to tell people about the importance of registering to vote, said it was aimed at sending a message to the Republican presidential candidate.
“It’s not right — he says that Mexicans are drug dealers or something like that. So that’s why they’re here,” she said of the activists.
Trump drew widespread criticism last June when he said, in his presidential announcement speech: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
The billionaire has repeatedly vowed, if elected president, to deport the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in United States. He has also promised to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico -- a massive undertaking that he insists the Mexican government will pay for.
About 11:30 a.m. Sunday, adults, teens and children gathered in the area of Van Nuys Boulevard and Blythe Street, then drove and rode in caravan of trucks, cars and SUVs to the Hansen Dam Recreation Center, said Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.
News video showed Mexican flags, large and small, flapping in the wind as the vehicles made their way through the San Fernando Valley. Meanwhile, an LAPD helicopter kept watch from overhead.
Shortly after 2 p.m., police requested assistance from the California Highway Patrol, according to Officer Alex Rubio, a spokesman for the CHP.
About 40 minutes later, the Highway Patrol closed the on- and off-ramps to the 210 Freeway at Osbourne Street. After a few minutes, the protesters cleared the area and the ramps were reopened, Rubio said.
No arrests were made.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly gave the name of a local nonprofit as the organizer of Sunday’s event. In fact, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, aka CHIRLA, did not organize the event. The story has been updated.