Dozens of people gathered near the San Diego waterfront on Presidents Day to protest President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The rally was organized by liberal groups San Diego Indivisible and MoveOn.org, which brought several speakers to the San Diego County Administration Center to criticize the president's "fake" emergency declaration, according to rally organizers.
Protestors took turns speaking to a crowd, saying that the southern border should not be considered a national emergency.
“Seems like taking focus from what really needs to be, like renewable energy and stopping violence from guns and having common sense gun control,” said Tom Racanelli, one of the protesters.
During the rally, protesters were met with a small opposition group of Trump supporters that organized through social media.
“Build a wall. Enforce the wall, absolutely,” said Dan Russell. “It’s been a national emergency for decades.”
Russell said he came out Monday to support President Trump and that the U.S. needs “secure borders” to have a “sovereign nation.”
However, Racanelli asked, “How effective will a wall really be? We're talking 5 to 6 billion dollars. How about the education we need and all these other things we could use that money for?”
While the groups briefly clashed, there were no reports of physical violence. Two San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies were standing by but did not need to intervene.
Protestor Jack Shu told NBC 7 he's taken peacemaking classes to deal with tense moments like this and hopes to deescalate any situations Monday.
“To get in between those against and those who are here for the protest and try to avoid any further escalation of any confrontations,” he said.
Counter-protestor Mary Redman agreed, saying, “I believe in protesting in a more polite manner, have your signs, but arguing and engaging with people like that I don't think helps anyone, just gets everyone riled up.”
MoveOn.org helped organize dozens of Presidents Day protests across the country.
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