SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — A rally in Downtown San Diego got underway Thursday evening following a large-scale exercise by border patrol at the San Ysidro Port of Entry earlier in the day.
It comes on day 20 of the government shutdown.
The Citizens’ Oversight Project held the protest against the shutdown outside the federal courthouse.
“We’re hoping that people will speak out about this and this will send a message [that] we’re not wanting the government shut down,” said Ray Lutz with the group. “No government shut down. Re-open the government now.”
Earlier Thursday, many watched the large scale 10-minute exercise by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the San Ysidro POE around 1 p.m. on Thursday.
“I’m here today as a witness to see what the border patrol is doing, in particular dealing with the military,” said David Patterson with Veterans for Peace.
Patterson stood watch at the fence with a sign.
“I think it’s fine that they have drills as long as they’re not using active duty military,” said Patterson.
Members of the National Guard ran in place and mobilized at the port for the practice that sent up smoke and flash bangs, and shutdown some lanes of traffic at the country’s busiest border crossing.
The border exercise examined how quickly officers can mobilize resources and ensure protection while facilitating travelers.