San Diego

San Diegans Hurl Chanclas at Trump During State of the Union Speech

One group of San Diegans held a community watch party for President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Speech that many may consider disrespectful. Those in attendance described it as "cathartic."

Instead of not applauding, booing or even jeering at something they didn't like, the audience threw shoes and sandals at the screen. 

The Noche de Chanclazos, or night of flip flops, urged attendees to throw their shoes or chanclas at the screen “whenever you feel Trump disses you or your community,” according to the American Friends Service Committee U.S.-Mexico Border Program in San Diego, the event’s organizers.

In some Latin homes, chanclas or flip flops are used to discipline. Throwing one is a sign of disagreement or anger. 

At this event in Barrio Logan, the chanclas began to fly through the air as soon as President Trump entered the room. 

“I feel the current discrimination has been disrespectful to the community that I work in, to the community I live in,” said Hilltop High School teacher Louise Williamson. “I just feel insulted by what’s happened and I felt I needed the therapy of coming here tonight.” 

While Williamson was speaking to Telemundo 20, several people in the audience stood up and hurled sandals at the image of the president speaking on the wall behind her. 

The AFSC in San Diego, an immigrants’ rights group, admit the viewing party was a bit of comic-relief but they said it does not minimize how much those who attended disagree with some of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.

“We wanted to do an event that was comedic in nature but at the same time responded to the serious questions that were being presented in the address,” said Pedro Rios, Director of American Friends Service Committee. 

Rios said the group also planned to break eight pinatas to symbolize the eight border wall prototypes built along the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego. 

“It’s a cathartic experience,” he said. 

The White House has proposed a path to citizenship for almost 2 million dreamers in exchange for a border wall and changes to the nation’s visa lottery system. 

Williamson said teachers unions are looking into becoming more involved in social activism to protect students who are affected by government policy changes. It would not be a partisan effort, she said, but one that looks at the overall effect of changes on students and the learning process. 

“What are the effects of policies? How do they trickle down into the classroom,” Williamson explained. 

This wasn't the only watch party in San Diego. See how others watching at the VFW in Kearny Mesa responded to the speech in this report. 

President Trump's first State of the Union is the most-tweeted joint address to Congress ever, according to Twitter.

The 80-minute speech told stories of American heroism, heartbreak and tragedy in vivid detail.

Watch some of the key moments here.

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