Ideologies clashed hard on Saturday in Berkeley, California when anti-Trump protesters rushed to shut down a pro-Trump rally. According to the police chief, the rally degenerated into a series of bloody street brawls, and officers desperately tried to keep the peace while breaking up the fights.
A number of rallies across the country were planned on the Saturday before the 2016 tax deadline with liberals calling for the president to release his tax returns. Trump supporters in Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park planned a rally in support of Trump, but the local liberals apparently only support free speech when they agree with it.
Hundreds of counter-protesters showed up, many wielding sticks, knives, fireworks and other weapons. The two groups of protesters came head to head and a number of fights broke out. There were several injuries reported, including someone losing his hearing from fireworks that were thrown at him.
Police tried to keep the crowd under control, and occasionally had to resort to pepper spraying some people. Police have faced criticism for not doing more to prevent violence from getting out of control, but the police chief is defending his department's handling of the situation.
“A fight within a volatile crowd is not a simple matter in which to intervene,” Chief Andrew Greenwood reports.
“While there was respectful communication involving the organizer and two groups of supporters, this was not a substitute for participating in the Special Events planning process,” Greenwood said. “This falls far short of the discussions which normally occur as part of the Special Events planning process, where plans for adequate security, first aid, and contingencies are routinely developed and mutually agreed upon.”
Considering the sheer sizes of the two angry crowds coming head to head, the public property damage was minimal. At least 20 people were arrested, some for battery and assault, some for public intoxication. The police expect more arrests will be made.
Source: SF Gate
Photo: Mad World News