Street fights at Berkeley seem to be a common feature in the age of Trump. For the third time in mere months, street violence occurred on Saturday over a conservative event; this time around a pro-Trump “Patriots Day” rally held in downtown Berkeley.
But what may distinguish this event from the previous two street battles, in which pro-Trump students were beaten up by anti-Trump students and an international masked terrorist group called Antifa, was that the local Trump activists had out of state supporters who were ready for a fight.
The battle, which involved hundreds of protesters and counter-protesters centered around the site of the rally (the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park), began as a fistfight, and then escalated into thrown rocks, smoke bombs, and a trash bin used as a battering ram.
According to the police, 11 people were injured and 21 arrested. Officer Byron White of the Berkeley Police Department said that the police collected stun guns and knives.
Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the pro-Trump citizen militia group, The Oath Keepers, said he traveled from Montana with 50 members to protect the Trump group. Rhodes even relished a fight, saying “I don’t mind hitting” the anti-Trump activists, “in fact, I would kind of enjoy it.”
AJ Algeria, who came from Sacramento to also protect Trump supporters from the anti-Trump activists, who he said “create violence all the time”, may have gotten more than he bargained for when he was allegedly beaten up in a side alley by a gang of masked anti-Trump activists.
This organized and out-of-state reaction to anti-Trump violence is something new on the horizon, and some are even urging pro-Trump activists to emulate their opponents.
Lauren Southern, a conservative blogger, said at the rally of her opponents, “We must become like them: subversive.”