Vociferously chanting "Dump Trump," and "Run Trump Run," protesters trying to prevent Donald Trump from giving the kick-off speech at the California Republican Convention Friday blocked the entrance, jumped over bushes and faced off against police in riot gear.
The mood was mostly peaceful in Burlingame Friday morning, but turned much more tense shortly before noon, when protesters tried to block the entrance to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Raucous crowds formed on Old Bayshore Highway and police were spotted from the NBC Bay Area chopper running after them in full riot clear. One protester was escorted out of the hotel by security after she sneaked into the main convention hall and chanted: "Dump Trump."
Law enforcement officials told NBC Bay Area that five arrests had been made as of Friday afternoon. One minor injury was reported.
Despite the protests, Trump arrived at the hotel shortly after noon, jumping with his entourage over a highway wall to make his way inside, where California Republican Chair Jim Brulte told luncheon guests Trump had arrived. "That was not the easiest entrance I've ever made," Trump joked at the luncheon. "It felt like I was crossing the border."
"People who believe in free speech were trying to prevent Trump from coming to the convention, but the California Highway Patrol and Burlingame police are really, really good, Donald Trump has arrived and is in the hotel," Brulte said to applause from the crowd.
Outside, protesters carrying the U.S. flag cheered when they heard that Trump had to take a back entrance to the hotel because of them, and had compared the experience to crossing the border. "The Bay Area's anti-racist communities are out here representing the real California," protesters carrying a poster reading "Sorry for your inconvenience, we're trying to change the world," said.
Trump did have supporters outside the hotel, but the overall message was against the business mogul,who has called Mexicans rapists and whose platform includes building a wall on the border with Mexico to keep foreigners out.
People outside the Hyatt held up signs that read “Mr. Hate Leave Our State,” and more explosive, expletive-laden comments.
“We don’t want him to be president,” said Angelina Castro in a Facebook Live interview early Friday. Castro said she came to protest for her daughter.
"We don't have a problem with Republicans," she said. "We have a problem with racism, sexism and hatred."
Oscar Munoz, a military veteran with two college degrees, asked out loud: “Why are you racist? Why are we targets of your hate?” Munoz added, "He's a coward. I fought for my country. Did he fight for his country? I'm a vet not a rapist or murderer."
Trump wasn't there for immediate comment, but one Republican attendee told NBC Bay Area: "This is America, this is great, as long as they keep the protests peaceful, it's great."
Inside the GOP Convention Hall, Truman Jensen and his wife, Barbara, said they were voting for Trump because he has hired more people than Hillary Clinton.
The Trump brouhaha in Silicon Valley comes after the violent scene that played out in Orange County on Thursday night outside the Pacific Amphitheatre, where 17 people were arrested during a raucous protest after Trump gave a speech. One man was seen jumping on top of a police car, and a second patrol car was shattered.
Trump’s speeches have garnered support from many across the United States. But the anti-Trump sentiment is arguably among the strongest in the left-leaning Bay Area, where diversity is high and minorities from all over the world choose to live.
After his departure, protesters took over the Hyatt parking lot, protesters burned Trump effigies and in one instance, even the American flag. Another group of demonstrators chanted: "This is California, run Trump run."
"Bay Area is anti-racism, Trump you're not welcome here," another group yelled.
This weekend, Trump will be joined by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz — who will be speaking Saturday at noon — and his newly-named running mate, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who is slotted to keynote Saturday's dinner banquet.
Gov. John Kacish, who has so far led a lackluster presidential campaign, will be speaking at Friday’s dinner banquet.
Party leaders hope that the Republicans' messages don't dissolve into a shouting match, or worse.
"We've talked with everybody and we're confident that we have a good system in place," said Kaitlyn MacGregor, California Republican Party spokeswoman. "And if they don't behave, we have a system to handle that."
NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell, Robert Handa and Michelle Roberts contributed to this report.