EL CAJON (CNS) – A “We Are Israel” rally was held at Prescott Promenade Sunday as a group of pro-Palestinian protesters marched toward the event from El Cajon City Park, then returned to the park after a brief scuffle with counter protesters on West Main Street.
Hundreds of people attended the outdoor rally to hear former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, radio host and California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, among others.
“There had been a few experiences in my life as moving as the first trip that I took to Israel,” Pompeo said.
The event was billed as a protest against an increase in anti- Semitism, while protesters gathered blocks away in the park and displayed signs such as “Down With Racism and Zionism” and “Palestinian Youth Movement San Diego.”
The protesters began marching in the streets and made their way down West Main toward the rally at Prescott Promenade.
At 3:28 p.m., the El Cajon Police Department warned on Twitter that pedestrians were in the roadway at Roanoke Road and West Main. Police tweeted at 3:36 p.m. that West Main was closed to vehicle traffic between Claydelle and South Magnolia avenues.
A confrontation reportedly occurred about 3:40 p.m. on West Main, blocks away from the rally, involving fist fights between some marchers and a group of counter protesters.
“The El Cajon sign was so far from us,” said Jeanine Erikat, with the Palestinian Youth Movement. “We are just starting to turn and all of a sudden we get sprayed. People commenting saying we have been waiting since 9/11 to get these terrorist all on public media and this was just from the fliers – this is exactly why we were opposed to Mike Pompeo and Mayor Wells supporting this Christian Zionism event.”
At 4 p.m., the pro-Palestinian marchers regrouped and headed back to the park, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Outside the rally, El Cajon police could be seen lined up in riot gear.