Three Donald Trump protesters were arrested as dozens blocked traffic near Phoenix for more than two hours Saturday ahead of his campaign rally, while a similar anti-Trump event in New York City led to two arrests.
In Fountain Hills, Arizona, protesters halted their cars, blocking the only main road leading to Trump's rally with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. That event drew thousands to hear the men speak.
The largely peaceful protesters held banners reading "Dump Trump," "Must Stop Trump" and "Trump is Hate" as traffic behind them came to a standstill and drivers honked their horns in frustration.
Maricopa County Sheriff Deputy Joaquin Enriquez said officers would ask the protesters to move and if they didn't comply, they would forcibly remove them.
Three protesters tied themselves to their cars to delay getting towed. They were arrested after officers cut them loose, and two vehicles were towed, Enriquez told NBC News.
Protesters told NBC News that having their vehicles towed was part of the plan designed to disrupt traffic.
One protester said he was willing to risk getting arrested if it meant keeping Trump out of Arizona.
"If Donald Trump continues and becomes president and his rhetoric continues, more of our families will be hurt," he said.
“We are here to send a message loud and clear to Donald Trump that he is not welcomed in Arizona and we will not allow his racism and bigotry to go unchecked," Francisca Porchas, one of the organizers of the protest, said in a press release posted by the group the Puente Movement.
"It’s a slap in the face to the Latino community for him to be here joined by Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has actively terrorized the Latino community and is the biggest symbol of anti-immigrant racism across the country," Porchas said.
Outside rally in Tucson later in the day, protesters held signs accusing Trump of being racist and were separated from those entering by a wall of police officers. One demonstrator held a sign aloft that read “Trump = Hitler.”
Inside the event, organizer prepared for protesters to interrupt Trump. Supporters were told to hold up Trump rally signs and chant "Trump! Trump! Trump!" to notify law enforcement of protesters.
Protests have become the norm at and outside of Trump’s campaign rallies. On Friday night, groups of people trying to heckle Trump supporters leaving a rally in Utah were held back by police officers with batons. Others stood farther back, holding signs that read, "No Racism, No Fascism."
Trump’s speech focused on immigration, and he once again promised to build a wall that nobody will “going under or over.” His supporters chanted “U.S.A., U.S.A,” as demonstrators made their way through the crowd shouting “Stop the hate.”
Arizona votes Tuesday in a winner-take-all Republican primary.
Meanwhile, in Manhattan's Columbus Circle, police surrounded protesters who crowded in front of Trump Tower and several other Midtown landmarks chanting phrases like "Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay.''
"He won’t drop out of the race because of this but we want people across the country to know that there’s something really dangerous going and it’s really important for everyone to pay attention before it’s too late," protester Cara Wilder told The Associated Press.
While the gathering was largely peaceful, some protesters tried to break through a police barricade, and at least two were arrested, the AP reported.
Video posted by the AP showed skirmishes between police and protesters and two people getting water poured on their faces after apparently getting pepper-sprayed.