Anti-Trump protesters in Phoenix were met with pepper spray

Both sides engaged in a shouting match with each other over Trump's proposed US-Mexico border wall

Published August 23, 2017 8:35AM (EDT)

Protests agains the current GOP health care bill (AP/Lynne Sladky)
Protests agains the current GOP health care bill (AP/Lynne Sladky)

The anti-Trump protests which materialized outside the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday ultimately devolved into screaming matches and tear gas.

The initially peaceful protests deteriorated after a police helicopter and police officers on the ground ordered the protesters to disperse, according to a report by CNN. Ultimately, the Phoenix police claimed protesters threw rocks and bottles at them, and they wound up using tear gas against the protesters. Two of the protesters were ultimately arrested for aggravated assault, with one being arrested for criminal damage.

"People in the crowd began fighting and throwing rocks and bottles at police. They also dispersed some gas in the area," Sgt. Jonathan Howard of the Phoenix Police Department told CNN. "Police have responded with pepper balls and oc (pepper) spray in an attempt to disperse the crowd and stop the assaults."

Members of the anti-Trump crowd also engaged in heated screaming matches against pro-Trump counter-protesters, according to a report by The Los Angeles Times. With rhetoric that sheds light onto each side's underlying motives, the pro-Trump crowd shouted "Build that wall!" as barricades were erected to keep the anti-Trump protesters at bay. In response, one of the anti-Trump protesters shouted back, “This is a country for everyone!”

In related news, an unofficial Twitter account for Tennessee Republicans attempted to depict the Trump rally as a success by tweeting a picture of a massive crowd.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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