Pro-Trump Rally in Berkeley, California Erupts In Violence
Both supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump confronted each other in Berkeley, California at a planned Pro-Trump Rally this past weekend. Nearly two dozen people were arrested as footage shows a number of brawls break out in the crowd.
The Los Angeles Times reports that this is the third time the two sides have clashed in Berkeley.
— Anda Chu (@anda_chu) April 15, 2017
Pro-Trump demonstrators scheduled a “Patriots Day” rally to take place near Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on Saturday. The tone of the rally soon shifted as anti-fascist protestors arrived and were met by members of a citizen militia group, alt-right supporters, bikers and white supremacists.
Rocks, fireworks, trash cans and smoke bombs were thrown from both sides as hundreds of people became involved in the conflict. While some demonstrators came to the park with a genuine interest in opening up a discussion, others clearly had a very different agenda.
It's going down in the pro-Trump rally in Berkeley. Bottles, m-80s, etc. pic.twitter.com/tgOxbIknPJ
— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) April 15, 2017
“I don’t mind hitting” said Stewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers. “In fact, I would kind of enjoy it.”
The police department later said that the protesters were expanding the area of their demonstrations.
“A large number of fights have occurred and numerous fireworks have been thrown in the crowds,” Berkeley police said in a news release, according to The Hill. “There have also been numerous reports of pepper spray being used in the crowd.”
— Berkeley Police (@berkeleypolice) April 15, 2017
After officials asked for assistance from the nearby Oakland Police Department, more than 250 officers were deployed. 21 people were arrested by the end of the conflict, some on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
Much of the footage of the fights brought out feelings of concern amongst the public. Especially one that showed a man punching a woman in the face and knocking her to the ground. Nathan Damigo of white nationalist group Identity Europa was identified by witnesses as the man in the footage, according to Raw Story.