President Joe Biden sparked chaos in Los Angeles on Saturday as his motorcade traffic delayed the start of a college basketball game and protesters swarmed the streets where he was staying.
Biden headed straight to George Lucas’ Bel Air home upon his arrival in the City of Angeles, where wooed entertainment industry leaders in town for the Grammys.
But his motorcade, which consists of about two dozen vehicles and shuts down the streets to all traffic so the president can be moved quickly, caused massive delays and was greeted by students protesting the war in the Middle East.
Biden had no public events on his schedule for his Los Angeles trip. The White House said he was participating in a ‘campaign event’ on Saturday night.
But Biden’s son Hunter lives in Malibu, and Sunday is his 54th birthday. On Saturday, which was the late Beau Biden’s birthday, Joe and Jill Biden visited his grave in Wilmington, Del., before departing for the West Coast.
President Biden exits Marine One to get into his motorcade in Santa Monica
The men’s basketball game between UCLA and the University of Oregon at Pauley Pavilion was delayed by around 25 minutes after traffic from the motorcade caused the visiting Oregon team to arrive late, according to ESPN.
The Oregon team was staying at the same West Beverly Hills hotel where President Biden was staying. The hotel is only a few blocks from the UCLA campus and is heavily secured due to the presidential visit.
The game eventually started and UCLA won 71-63.
Additionally, the hotel had drive by protesters on Saturday night. Both President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were staying there. While Biden had been at George Lucas’ house, Jill Biden spoke at a gala at Paramount Studios in Hollywood in support of a nonprofit that asks retailers to commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-business-owned brands.
Outside the Bidens’ hotel, cars were honking and shouts were heard as people voiced their objections to Israel’s attack on Gaza.
And about 75 protesters were outside of the hotel.
The road leading into the hotel was block by police. LAPD officers and Secret Service were on the scene, some with riot gear and rubber bullets.
Several student organizations took part in the protests.
The University of Oregon men’s basketball team was staying at the same hotel with President Joe Biden and the motorcade traffic caused the start time delayed by 30 minutes
Biden has been hounded by protesters at his campaign stops, including some during his last visit to Los Angeles in December (above)
Biden has been plagued by protesters at his events in recent months as calls for a cease fire in the Middle East grow louder. When he was last in Los Angeles in December, he was also hounded by protesters.
At recent campaign events protesters have had face-offs with police.
Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA and UC Divest at UCLA shared a live video Saturday afternoon on Instagram titled ‘GENOCIDE JOE,’ depicting cars driving around Westwood while passengers inside waved Palestinian flags, according to the Daily Bruin.
At Biden’s campaign event in Michigan on Thursday, a standoff between protesters and police last about 30 minutes. Dozens of demonstrators stood within inches of local law enforcement officers. Teams of riot police wearing helmets and wielding sticks were brought in for reinforcement.
Protesters have dubbed the president ‘Genocide Joe’ and shout slogans that include Biden, Biden, you’re a liar, we demand a ceasefire,’ and ‘Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.’
At a campaign rally in Virginia last month, more than a dozen protesters were led out after repeatedly interrupting the president.
American troops have been targeted in the Middle East in the past weeks.
The U.S. has retaliated for the attacks, particularly after three American soldiers were killed last weekend during a drone attack in Jordan.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are greeted by (from left) Senator Alex Padilla, his son Diego Cruz Padilla and Rep. Maxine Waters after arriving in Los Angeles
President Biden is meeting entertainment leaders at the Bel Air home of George Lucas and Mellody Hobson (see above in 2016)
The United States and Britain unleashed attacks against 36 Houthi targets in Yemen, a day after the U.S. military hit Tehran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for a deadly attack.
‘We intend to take additional strikes, and additional action, to continue to send a clear message that the United States will respond when our forces are attacked, when our people are killed,’ White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC´s Meet the Press on Sunday.
The strikes are the latest blows in a conflict that has spread into the Middle East since Oct. 7, when the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas stormed Israel from the Gaza Strip, igniting war.
The U.S. has carried out more than a dozen strikes against Houthi targets in the past several weeks.
Major shipping lines have largely abandoned Red Sea shipping lanes for longer routes around Africa. This has increased costs, feeding worries about global inflation while denying Egypt crucial foreign revenue from use of the Suez Canal.
The U.S. strikes in Iraq were the deadliest in years.
Meanwhile, Biden heads to Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon for political events. Biden’s stop comes as Nevada wraps up early voting for the presidential preference primary. Election Day for the primary is Tuesday, Feb. 6.
He will speak to voters in the Historic Westside section of the city about what is at stake in the election, his campaign said.