More Alt-Left Violence Occurs at Berkely

Violence broke out at a political protest in California. The protest took place at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Park. On Sunday, August 28, a group of Trump supporters planned to have an "anti-Marxist" rally in the park. Permits were in place for the rally. However, the rally was ultimately canceled due to safety concerns.

Plenty of Trump supporters still attended the planned rally and were met by a greater number of counter-protesters. Clashes between the two groups soon escalated when anti-fascist protesters, dressed in black with covered faces, chased and beat the Trump supporters.

The police worked quickly to halt the violence. A number of counter-protesters also worked to escort the Trump rally victims to safety. The police ended up arresting a total of 14 individuals at the rally. Many of the people arrested were counter-protesters charged with violating the city's emergency rules banning masks. Other violations that led to arrest included bringing sticks and other potential weapons inside the area set apart for protests.

The violence was met with disappointment from elected officials and activists located in the Bay Area. Berkeley earned a reputation for reactive violence from the far left months ago. It was hoped the counter-protesters would be able to model civil disobedience peacefully. Sunday's violence shattered that hope. The result is a fear that footage of the violence captured and rapidly shared on social media would give additional leverage to Trump and his supporters.

Several counter-protesters immediately denounced the violence. Andrew Noruk, a counter-protester who witnessed the violence, said, “We can’t keep producing this audio-visual propaganda. It is recruiting for the right.” His words explain why many counter-protesters took it upon themselves to escort Trump supporters to safety as the violence escalated.

In a response to vehicles being used as deadly weapons at recent rallies, the police worked to install numerous concrete barricades around the demonstration area. A line of dump trucks also formed a barricade near the crowd of people. Nonetheless, counter-protesters utilized homemade shields as weapons to attack Trump supporters and also used pepper spray to harm Trump supporters.

The recent violence increased tensions for future visits to Berkeley from prominent voices. Milo Yiannopoulos announced he plans to return next month. Ben Shapiro, an author and columnist, is set to visit on September 14. It is hoped that a mixture of strong police presence and sympathetic counter-protesters will help reduce future violence.


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