NYPD arrests anti-Trump protesters amid Republican gala (PHOTO, VIDEOS)
"It is time to stand on the shoulders of those who built our city, and come together as New Yorkers and say, 'Mr. Trump - you do not speak for us; you do not represent us and we will not let your bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, racism and hatred go unanswered anymore,'" organizers said on their Facebook page.
The 4-star hotel is hosting a group of donors and political leaders as well as all three Republican presidential candidates at a fundraising dinner, with tickets costing $1,000.
Outside the hotel, activists and anti-Trump protesters started gathering at around 5:00pm EST, expressing the intention of “shutting it down.”
They brought signs and banners criticizing Trump's immigration policies as well as his comments on labor issues.
According to RT reporter Caleb Maupin, who has been at the scene from the start, the NYPD had put the area “almost on lockdown” as crowds continued to gather.
There have been concerns that the anti-Trump protest, which is set to last for the next few hours, could turn ugly, following the example of previous protests against the billionaire businessman in other states.
Maupin tweeted that a scuffle broke out outside the Grand Hyatt hotel, but it was put down and several arrests were made.
Another RT correspondent at the scene, Rebecca Myles, has also recorded the NYPD arresting anti-Trump protesters.
On April 12, a Trump rally was marred by a fight that broke out between his supporters and protesters at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.
Trump himself has been sued by three Kentucky residents, who are accusing the Republican frontrunner of encouraging “harmful, physical violence” against protesters at a Louisville rally on March 1.
Some of the protesters moved inside Grand Central station chanting and singing.
Nearly a dozen protesters have reportedly made it into the hotel, but were pulled out of the front door and put into a police van. Several others were arrested outside the hotel, WCBS radio reported.
The NYPD has used a LRAD sound cannon to warn protesters against blocking traffic and spreading out on the streets of New York, which are actions that could lead to arrests and charges of disorderly conduct.
Later in the protest more arrests were reported, but the NYPD has not officially confirmed any of them. A rough estimate based on social media posts suggest that several dozen may have been detained.
The Millions March group in New York has claimed that law enforcement officials have been making “violent arrests”.
Nearby, over a dozen Trump supporters have gathered as part of a counterprotest.
About 15 Trump supporters have their own rally pic.twitter.com/n82rueGHpY— Rebecca Myles (@RebMyles) April 14, 2016
There have also been several breakaway rallies, in support of both John Kasich and Ted Cruz.
According to a recent CBS News nationwide poll, Donald Trump is supported by 42 percent of Republican primary voters, compared to 29 percent who back Cruz, and 18 percent favoring Kasich. Since last month, the gap between Trump and Cruz has narrowed from 20 to 13 points.