SARASOTA -- While thousands of enthusiasts turned out Saturday to hear Republican candidate Donald Trump speak at a campaign stop at Robarts Arena in Sarasota, more than 100 protesters gathered outside for a "Dump Trump" rally to protest what they call racism in his campaign.
The group chanted as cars horns blew in support of the protesters while driving past the rally on Fruitville Road.
The "Dump Trump! Sarasota Unites For Immigrants And Refugees" rally, was organized by ANSWER Coalition Suncoast and UNO: United Nations Organization.
Junior Salazar, UNO executive director, said they were having a good time showing people love and peace, despite the backlash they were greeted with from some Trump supporters.
"He's offended too many groups," Salazar said. "He's offended Mexican-Americans by calling them racists, killers ... He's offended the refugees from Syria as well most recently and that's just wrong. It's time for people to stand up for what's right."
Being in a multicultural family is part of what drove Joanne Whitney, 49, of Sarasota to join the protest, she said.
"We are just totally against everything he stands for, his so-called values, which are hate and racism," she said as she proudly introduced her biracial daughter.
An immigrant from England, she said she cringes every time she's heard Trump speak since he joined the race.
"I'm a preschool teacher, and I teach love and peace, so he offends me at every level," she said.
Salazar said some Trump supporters shouted remarks at protesters such as: "Where's your green card?"
Some Trump supporters made obscene gestures, too, but he said protesters responded with love.
"A lot of people have said some pretty foul things," he said. "They've been saying things like 'get a job' or 'go home,' just some very ugly, nasty, distasteful things. ... If you believe in his words, then good for you, but allow people to feel the way they feel if they don't believe."
Sixteen-year-old Joshua Wolff of Sarasota joined the protesters even though his father is a Trump supporter.
"I felt like this was the right thing to do," the teen said.
For him, the protest was more than just a fight against racism. It is a fight against growing xenophobia, he said.
"It's kind of scary. I think he is feeding off their fears," he said.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.