On Friday, 31st Congressional Candidate Pete Aguilar held a fundraiser and rally featuring guest speaker Vice President Joe Biden. What the Aguilar campaign wasn’t anticipating? Outspoken conservatives who favor Aguilar’s opponent, Paul Chabot, showing up with Chabot signs.
The Aguilar rally took place at Colton High School in Colton, California. Directly across the street, Chabot supporters stood in the front yard of one of the nearby houses, with permission from the property owners. It wasn’t long before Secret Service officials attempted to boot the protestors. When organizers stated they had permission from the homeowners, Secret Service backed off. For the time being.
“We were there for almost three hours without any problems,” said Sara Hector, organizer of Chabot supporters. “At about 11:30am, all streets were closed off. They [Secret Service] didn’t allow anyone to cross the street. At that time, we were all on the grass in the front yard. At about 11:40am, two U-Haul trucks parked in front of us, blocking us.”
After the U-Hauls were parked directly in front of them, the group of Chabot supporters attempted to cross the street in order to make sure their presence was known. The Colton Police Department quickly stopped them in their tracks.
“I knew it was Secret Service who parked the U-Hauls in front of us because they had spoken to me earlier in the day,” Hector said.
According to Hector, she went to City Hall, the City Manager’s Office and City Development to make sure the group was following proper protocol.
“Not one person assisted me. I was given the run around,” Hector said. “Finally, the City Manager’s Assistant called me and said they had no involvement with the event. If I wanted a [designated] area, I would have to ask Aguilar. The Police Department told me we could sit-in wherever we wanted as long we didn’t disrupt traffic.”