Protests against President Donald Trump and his executive order restricting travel from several terror-prone countries continued Sunday evening at several West Coast airports, blocking traffic and causing some travelers to miss their flights.
In contrast to the demonstrations on Saturday evening, which ostensibly were aimed at securing the release of individuals who had been detained after arriving from one of seven countries on a list originally approved by the Obama administration, the protests on Sunday aimed primarily at disrupting travel and creating chaos to send a signal to the Trump administration.
Frustrated travelers arriving at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and Portland International Airport (PDX), among others, for late-night and red-eye flights found themselves stalled or stranded.
At LAX, typical Sunday night congestion was made much worse when protesters decided to march in the middle of the road.
Wow. A friend stuck at LAX just sent me this. Protesters are walking on streets so NO TRAFFIC can get through. How is this productive?? pic.twitter.com/KXW1WAOM54
— Kacey Montoya (@kaceymontoya) January 30, 2017
Demonstrators and their supporters justified the action by saying they wanted to draw attention to their cause — a cause that had already dominated weekend news coverage. Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti joined other public officials at the protest.
— Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) January 29, 2017
That, in turn, led to frustrated tweets from at least one traveler, incredulous that a mayor would blockade his own city airport:
You HELPED the protests that shut down your city’s airport and made life miserable for your citizens trying to fly? You should be recalled. https://t.co/dX9B51p3GF
— Larry O’Connor (@LarryOConnor) January 30, 2017
After confrontations with police over what was an illegal protest, “police and demonstrators had brokered an agreement that allowed for upper and lower level roads to alternate being fully open for 30-minute periods,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “During each period, demonstrators could block one level for 15 minutes while the other level remained open.”
In San Francisco, demonstrators shut down security at the international terminal, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, though the executive order had been partially stayed by the courts, and the last of five detainees had already been released.
Demonstrators also filled an airport terminal in Sacramento, and in Portland, there was violence inside the airport as riot police clashed with protesters. One man, identified as a Trump supporter, was allegedly knocked unconscious by protesters.
BREAKING: Violent mob of Leftists knock Trump supporter unconscious and then taunt him at Portland airport (PDX) pic.twitter.com/9p41PNvQ25
— #DemExit Deplorable (@jetrotter) January 30, 2017
Democrats, such as Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), called Trump’s executive order a “Muslim ban,” even though it says nothing about Muslims and exempts most Muslim countries.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.