About 30 people carrying picket signs and chanting slogans gathered near Meadows Field Airport on Wednesday afternoon to protest during President Donald Trump’s brief stop in Bakersfield.

But the small group was dwarfed by thousands of Trump supporters who came out in hopes of catching a glimpse of Air Force One — or even the president himself — many showing that they back the president and his actions and policies.

The anti-Trump demonstrators carried signs that read, “Impeached forever,” and “We are all immigrants.” They chanted, ”Love, not hate, that’s what makes America great,” and “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Donald Trump has got to go.”

Gabriela Facio, a 23-year-old student at Bakersfield College who works as a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign, was among the demonstrators.

“Trump does not support the working class,” she said. “He’s not welcome in Kern County.”

Just a few feet away from the anti-Trump demonstrators, Devin Christensen helds a flag depicting President Trump as the movie character Rambo. The flag was emblazoned with the words, "Make America great again."

Christensen said he knew he wouldn't get to see the president, but wanted to come out "to show support."

Both sides appeared to be enjoying the afternoon, and as cars and trucks rolled by the line of protesters, some of those inside the vehicles would hoot or yell. By mid-afternoon, a brief scuffle or fight broke out between what appeared to be a Trump supporter and a Trump critic. But for the most part, the protesters and supporters appeared to coexist peacefully.

Earlier Wednesday morning, Roland and Becky Bernabe, who live in Bakersfield in the winter and Utah the rest of the year, carried a hand-drawn sign in Bakersfield's downtown business district decorated with the words, “Utah fans of Mitt.”

They said they wanted to be more positive, and praising Trump critic Mitt Romney, a man from the president’s own party who drew millions of votes as the the Republican nominee in the 2012 election, seemed nicer than bashing Trump directly.

The bi-state couple said Romney showed courage and integrity by standing against his party's leadership to vote to convict the president in his recent impeachment trial.

“We don’t agree with all of his positions, but Mitt stood up, he had courage,” Roland Bernabe said. “He voted ‘yes’ on impeachment.”

The couple were among a modest group that gathered near the mural of Cesar Chavez on L Street, a warmup of sorts for the afternoon event as picket signs were painted and plans were made.

Julie Solis, Democratic candidate for the 34th Assembly District and one of the organizers of the rally, said she chose the location of the Cesar Chavez mural because its recent defacement was another sign that overt racism is on the rise in Kern County due to what she says is the president’s tacit approval of the mistreatment of minorities.

“It was a sign that racism is still alive and thriving in Kern County,” she said of the damage to the mural of the farm worker labor leader.

As he painted picket signs for the afternoon event, organizer Carlos Ramos said there is a strong perception here that Kern County is Trump country. But he believes that perception is changing.

"We definitely would have liked to see more people," he said of the turnout. "But the people here have a strong message.

"We all came for different reasons," Ramos said. "But we all agree we need new leadership in the White House."

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(15) comments

Masked 2020

and the majority of folks at Jonestown drank the Kool-Aid...

Gene Pool Chlorinator

It was actually Flavor Aid- surprised you didn't Google that one before posting...

Moardeeb

John Owen Brennan is a former American intelligence official who served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 to January 2017. 

Today, with the new revelations, he said on Twitter..

We are now in a full-blown national security crisis. By trying to prevent the flow of intelligence to Congress, Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow’s interests, not America’s.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Brennan is a known liar and partisan hack. The guy you support (Bernie) honeymooned in MOSCOW during the height of the cold war, but I guess he has no love for Russia, right??

Ljmartin

As usual, Trump is maligned without giving examples. Trump said many who cross our borders are rapists and murderers, he never said "people of color, or Blacks, or Mexicans." Those critics who are more concerned about their own ego than they are about Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women and the youth who now have jobs and are selfrelian are the true racists. Trumps done more for people of color than even Ceasar did. And I'll bet you a dime to a donut that those who defaced Ceasar's mural are not true Trump supporters and are as misguided as the fools parading in front of it. And Mitt, he's as self-centered, egotistical, and self-serving as those blinded by his proclaimed religion.

Moardeeb

Trump is a racist. You know how I know? The racists think he's racist. Best indicator. You support a racist. That makes you racist. Own it. Don't hide behind cheap evasive explanations!

yourworstnightmare

Racist ... Ray-cist…Noun: a person that defeats a liberal in a debate, election or argument….

Abby

😂😂😂😂😂

ReefRanger

All those people were doing was protesting one thing. The fact that they want rights given to them that they are not entitled to. Like jumping the line ahead of those who have come to this country the RIGHT way. Even most of their countrymen disagree with illegal entry into this country. Those protesters are "racists" too. They are all about THEIR race.

Abby

Nailed it!

BanditIvy

This is what you get when brothers and sisters breed

Moardeeb

Trump likes "the poorly educated". He said so. You just proved it.

ReefRanger

I bet you're a Bloomberg or Bernie supporter. That says even more.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

He must LOVE you then- you're about as poorly educated as they come...

Bodysnatcher

If what you say is true dweeb, you’d be his poster child.

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