The protest began about 8 p.m. at McFadden Avenue and Bristol Street, said Santa Ana police Corporal Anthony Bertagna.
Authorities said the crowd swelled to 400 protesters and that they were throwing mortars, rocks and bottles at police.
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Orange County Fire Authority firefighters were on standby in case of fires.
Meanwhile, officers were on hand to monitor the protest but were not making arrests, Bertagna said.
Protest organizers did not obtain a permit or agree to follow established rules for demonstrations but police learned of the action in advance through social media.
No injuries were reported, he said.
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City News Service contributed to this report.