Late Saturday night, enlarged pee-spattered Sno-Cone and presidential candidate Donald Trump will take the stage to host Saturday Night Live. Protesters from a coalition of Latino groups gathered outside the Trump Tower this evening and marched south to 30 Rockefeller Center to express their displeasure, some carrying signs in English and Spanish calling Trump “the face of racism.”
NBC is reportedly putting audience members through unusually tight security tonight, anticipating protests (although there is, as the Hollywood Reporter points out, no way to anticipate or preempt someone who plans to do a little yelling. The group Deport Racism has promised a $5,000 reward to someone who disrupts the broadcast.) And Trump seemed giddy with the prospect of even more attention:
Meanwhile, around 6 p.m., about 100 protesters from the Hispanic Federation, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) made the short march to 30 Rock, where they were ultimately joined by approximately another 200 people and some unusually relaxed NYPD officers.
“Hey hey, ho ho, racist Trump has got to go!” they yelled, and “Racismo, que odio, no es chistoso” (Racism, how hateful, it isn’t funny). Then, joyfully: “Live from New York, a racist piece of shit!”
“This has gone far enough,” a serious woman in her early 20s holding a “Basta Trump” sign told a TV news reporter. “He is just outrageous.”
“We’re here because we don’t think it’s right to give someone like Donald Trump a national platform to spread his message of racism,” said Gabriela Bermudez, 21. She stood in a pen with the other anti-Trump protesters; across the street, next to a pen holding the members of the press about seven pro-Trump activists, six white women and one black man in a fedora, tried their best.
“Speak English!” yelled one, a woman in a Make America Great Again hat, waving a sign that read “Build the Wall.” TV cameras quickly amassed around her. She beamed.
“Stop interviewing racists!” chanted the protesters across the street, so loudly and insistently the people holding the cameras started to look a little embarrassed. They started to drift away. A guy waving a sign that read “JEWS OWN COMCAST + NBC” wandered by; the top portion of his sign suggested we all “GOOGLE IT!!!” At some point, he hastily manufactured and affixed a back portion to the sign, reading “SNL = JEW PRODUCER.”
“Trump supporters are fascists,” an anti-Trump person called sweetly across the street at the Trump fans. From someone else: “I think you forgot your white hoods!”
A woman dressed as a sexy devil skated through the crowd on a pair of roller skates. “Congrats SNL,” her sign read, “Ratings hotter than hell.” She stood next to a guy in a disturbing old lady mask with a “1%” button on his lapel and a sign reading, “Get back in the kitchen.”
The NYPD officers near the press pen formed a chatty circle and had an animated conversation about power tools. The pro-Trump people, growing restive, started making plans to break out of their pen. “Let’s try to walk past them,” suggested a suspiciously blonde woman. The cops weren’t on board; the Trump crowd settled for parading slowly under the entrance to 30 Rock.
Across the street, the anti-Trump protesters chanted “Somos trabajadores, no somos criminales,” (We are workers, not criminals), and, after a moment, a rousing and heartfelt chant of “USA! USA!” The Trump fans, realizing belatedly that maybe that should’ve been their thing, quickly tried to counter with their own USA chant. For one moment, both sides of the street were in perfect unison.