Protesters Gather at Trump Rally in Calif.

Protesters chanted "keep hate out of our state" and held signs with slogans such as "Trump needs to be dumped"

Fresno and San Diego geared up for protests at Donald Trump campaign events Friday, following similar events around the country that led to violence and arrests. 

Demonstrators chanted and held signs outside a downtown Fresno arena where the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was to speak at midmorning before traveling to San Diego. Trump is campaigning ahead of California's June 7 primary. 

The Fresno protesters chanted "keep hate out of our state" and held signs with slogans such as "Trump needs to be dumped." A fence separated demonstrators from the arena entrance, which was also guarded by a very visible police presence. 

Ticket-holders arriving for the event took pictures of the protesters with their phones and fellow Trump supporters urged them to not respond to demonstrators. 

"We need to put up a wall to keep them out," said Trump supporter Christine Kinyoun, 44, of Hanford. 

Fresno police said they did not expect trouble because violence is more likely in the dark of night. 

Fresno resident Eddie Mejia, leader of a Facebook group opposing Trump's visit to the heavily Latino Central Valley, earlier urged peaceful protest and said demonstrators should bring U.S. rather than Mexican flags to avoid sparking conflict. 

Mejia feared protesters from outside Fresno would bring violence to his town. 

"We want people to know we're from here," he said. "We're not the ones that want to start a riot." 

San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said her department prepared by speaking with police agencies in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Anaheim. Officers in uniforms and plain clothes will surround the San Diego event, she said. 

"For anyone who comes to disrupt, to do illegal activities, we will take swift and decisive action to make sure we have a peaceful event," Zimmerman said. 

Trump's appearances have brought together large numbers of supporters and protesters, often divided over his comments about immigrants and Muslims and his plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. 

At least eight people were arrested outside a Trump rally this week in Anaheim, a day after anti-Trump demonstrators in Albuquerque clashed with police. 

Demonstrators in the Orange County city of Costa Mesa last month damaged police cars and threw bottles, leading to 17 arrests.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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