SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) — A planned speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in San Pedro next week isn’t sitting well with some residents.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports Trump is scheduled to make a national security speech from the deck of the Battleship USS Iowa in a move that has some local immigration activists upset.
Nearly 3,000 people have signed an online petition to ban Trump from speaking at the public venue due to his “hatred and discrimination towards our parents, friends, neighbors and babies.”
San Pedro resident Gabriela Lopez, 25, says she launched the petition to counter views that she says run counter to her upbringing.
“Being a child of legal immigrants and seeing the mockery and the insults that are coming out of this man’s mouth do not align with the views and the way that I was raised as an American citizen,” said Lopez.
Veterans for a Strong America (VSA) is behind next week’s scheduled event on the Battleship Iowa, a floating museum that’s been in San Pedro since 2012.
While it’s Trump who ruffles her feathers, Lopez says she’d oppose any political types using the floating museum as a backdrop.
“The ship is representative of everybody, therefore it should not be used as a political platform at all,” she explained.
But Battleship Iowa CEO and president Jonathan Williams said the ship is part of a nonprofit organization that does not “endorse or promote any political candidate.”
“We see this as a private event that somebody rented space from us for, in our off hours, and they chose that particular gentleman, Donald Trump, for their speaker,” said Williams. “So it’s not really our issue and we’re not going to discriminate, and we’re going to treat people equally.”
In response to the petition, Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the district in San Pedro where the USS Iowa is located, said in a statement he “has no intention to micro manage (sic) every single event that happens in his district” and “does not feel it is his job to be the arbiter of speech.”
The Iowa is publicly available for a variety of community events, including birthday parties, military ceremonies, and for film and TV production.
Analysts say Trump’s speech could be aimed at quelling anger he received from some veterans in July when he mocked Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 nominee and a former prisoner of war in Vietnam.
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