Hundreds protest, counter-protest Republican presidential hopeful Trump in NY

- Several hundred demonstrators gathered on Saturday to protest Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, marching from one skyscraper that bears his name to another.

The protesters, a loosely organized group that included immigrants' rights activists, students and socialists, gathered in Manhattan's Columbus Circle, at the base of Central Park, near the Trump International Hotel and Tower. They then marched across Central Park South to Trump Tower, the Fifth Avenue skyscraper where Trump lives, before returning to Columbus Circle for a rally.

There was a heavy police presence for the largely peaceful protest, and officers used megaphones to warn demonstrators to stay on the sidewalk, out of the streets, and not to impede foot traffic.

At least two protesters were arrested for walking in the street. A group of demonstrators that tried to break through a police barricade was pushed back by officers, who used pepper spray.

Protester Redentor Tarona, who marched as a member of a Filipino-American youth organization, said no one there wanted to promote violence.

"We are showing the power of people," Tarona said.

Demonstrators chanted "Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay" and "Immigrants are welcome here. Don't give in to racist fear."

Others carried signs that read "Love Trumps Hate." Another read "Will trade 1 Donald Trump for 25,000 refugees."

Meanwhile, dozens of counter-protesters showed up in support of Trump with signs that said "Trump for President" and "Build that Wall."

Also Saturday, about two dozen protesters in Phoenix blocked a highway where Trump staged a campaign rally, blocking traffic for miles before marching to the rally site.

Trump is competing with Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the Republican nomination. Sanders is competing with former U.S. first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nod.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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