Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is headed to Arizona for a rally on Saturday, which has many residents concerned that the campaign events will become breeding grounds for riots and calamity.
"If he’s there working people up and demonizing other people as he’s done in the past, one has to be concerned that [it will] boil over into something else," Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told Mashable. "It worries me."
Arizona has been a hotbed for immigration topics ever since the controversial immigration law, SB 1070, was passed in 2010. The law requires officials to question anyone with “reasonable suspicion” of being an illegal immigrant, thereby opening the floodgates for racial profiling. It garnered international attention and sparked a booming pro-immigration movement in the state.
Anti-Trump activists are devising protests in response to the real estate tycoon’s rally. Black Lives Matter activists in Phoenix and Cosmopolitan Anti-Fascists in New York City are both planning nonviolent demonstrations in their respective locations on Saturday.
In recent weeks, the violence at Trump rallies has escalated to uncontrollable proportions. In Chicago, Trump canceled his campaign event which led to tense confrontations between protesters and supporters. And in Fayatteville, North Carolina, a black protester was sucker-punched by a white Trump fan who even threatened to kill the activist. The growing problem of Trump rally violence becomes even more troubling in Arizona.
"The safety concerns are a real issue here," Puente Human Rights Organization head Carlos Garcia told Mashable in an interview. "We have open carry laws so people will probably be armed. And last June as soon as we got there, the 5,000 or so people supporting Trump were calling us wetbacks, telling us to go home, really agitating our folks."
Amid the chaos and Trump subtly egging on his supporters’ violent tendencies, Arizona is bracing themselves for a weekend of upheaval.
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