Pro-Trump demonstrators and counter-protesters went to blows Saturday at a “Patriots Day” rally in Berkeley.
Fistfights broke out near Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, where Trump supporters had scheduled a rally. Fireworks and smoke bombs were thrown into the crowd, and a few demonstrators were doused with pepper spray.
Both groups threw rocks and sticks at each other and used a large trash bin as a battering ram as the crowd moved around the perimeter of the park. One bank boarded up its ATMs before the rally as a precaution.
About 250 police officers were deployed to the scene by mid-afternoon after officials sought assistance from the neighboring Oakland Police Department.
Twenty-one people were arrested, including some on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, according to Officer Byron White of the Berkeley Police Department. Eleven people were injured with at least six taken to a hospital for treatment, including one stabbing victim.
Police confiscated knives, stun guns and poles, White said.
One Trump supporter who stood up for what he believed was curb stomped by 6 anonymous people in black.
When he stood up after the beating, he promptly had his head smashed with a skateboard.
“Knock his ass out” was screamed by someone in the crowd while half a dozen people in black kicked at the man on the ground.
AJ Alegria, 31, of Sacramento said he also came to Berkeley to help defend Trump supporters. He said he pursued a counter-demonstrator down a side street and found himself surrounded by a dozen protesters in black masks who he said attacked him with sticks and pepper spray.
“These people create violence all the time… somebody has to stand up to them,” said Alegria, who was injured in the fight. He was treated by Trump supporters who bandaged his head, washed off the pepper spray and gave him encouragement, saying, “You’ve earned your stripes, bro.”
Alegria wasn’t the only one injured.
Poles were swung like baseball bats.
It was truly an all-out brawl.
And judging by the face coverings, black clothing, and weapons being used, the anti-Trumpers were planning for it.
— ᴀʟɪ (@Ali_8k) April 15, 2017
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 15, 2017
Footage shows pepper spray and other weapons also being used in the skirmish.
h/t Clash Daily