November 19, 2018

Trump Beverly Hills Visit Prompts Protest

About 300 people descended on Beverly Hills on Tuesday to protest against U.S. President Donald Trump, who was in the neighborhood for a fundraiser.

The protest took place at Beverly Gardens Park, at Beverly Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard, beginning around 5 p.m. and concluding at 8 p.m.

A large, inflatable Trump, holding a Ku Klux Klan hood, stood at the southeast edge of the park. Music by rapper Kendrick Lamar played on a loudspeaker, competing with the chants of “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”

A couple of women wore pussy hats, which were ubiquitous during the Women’s March. A terrier wore a sign across its body reading, “Dogs Against Trump.”

Terrier against Trump.

Protestors carried signs denouncing the president’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The signs read, “Jerusalem is the Capital of Palestine. Palestine Will Win!”

A protestor carries a sign denouncing the president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.


Janice Batzdorff, a congregant of independent egalitarian community Movable Minyan who carried a sign reading, “Make America Kind Again,” also expressed concern with the president’s decision on Jerusalem.

“I have mixed feelings about it, but I don’t think it is the president’s position unilaterally to make that change,” the North Hollywood-based librarian said.

Batzdorff denounced the president’s stance on “environmental issues; his hatefulness toward immigrants and the way he did not condemn the anti-Jewish sentiment of that march in Charlottesville. And he is going into talks with [North Korean Supreme Leader] Kim Jong-Un without having any experts on Korea in his administration.”

Janice Batzdorff and Pearl Ricci attended the anti-Trump rally together.

Sandy, 83, a retired attorney who declined to provide his last name, held a sign reading, “Dump Trump, Fake President,”

Sandy, who has previously been active with the Jewish Federation, called the president “a disaster for the country, the world and the good people who live here.”

The president’s rhetoric surrounding immigration was disturbing, he said.

“The immigrants who live here are good people,” he said. “We want them here.”

Helen Hoffman, who attends Stephen Wise Temple High Holy Days services, expressed her displeasure with the president, “the as*hole in the White House,” she said. “I can’t say his name because it makes my stomach content rise up to the top.”

Based in the San Fernando Valley, Hoffman turned out with several members of Swing Left, an organization focused on regaining progressive Democratic seats in the 2018 House elections. She said she was hoping to help elect Democrats to represent California’s 25th and 21st districts, which are currently represented by Republicans.

Additional protestors spoke on behalf of labor workers, including members of Teamsters Local 396, a Covina-based union representing UPS, waste and recycling workers.

“The values we hold as Californians are not the same the president holds,” Union spokesperson Adan Alvarez, 30, said.

Dozens of Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) officers were on the scene. While a BHPD lieutenant said there were no reports of violent incidents at the protest, Gregg Donovan, a former employee of the Beverly Hills Conference and Visitors Bureau who carried a sign expressing support for the president, said somebody tried to knock his hat off.

“I heard the president was going to be in Beverly Hills and wanted to welcome him,”  Donovan said.

Other than the hat incident, Donovan said the event was peaceful.

“This is the safest place on earth,” he said of Beverly Hills.

A protestor in costume alludes to Trump going to jail one day for his alleged collusion with the Russians to win the White House.