It’s not really shocking this happened, but it should be. Whenever American flags are burned and people are assaulted for exercising their First Amendment rights, it should be disturbing. In San Francisco Bay Area, left wing protesters did just that at a “March 4 Trump” event held in Martin Luther Jr. Civic Center Park.
In the shadow of UC Berkeley, things got tense, with some Trump supporters being pepper sprayed. American flags were set aflame—and signs that read “free speech” were also burned. Soviet flags were also spotted. IJ Review’s Kyle Becker had a rundown of the clashes.
NBC Bay Area also noted that while some of the left-wingers hoped for a peaceful counter demonstration, that hope quickly faded as police had to intervene to stop several fights. The news outlet added that the Trump supporter contingent was heavily outnumbered. The police response was criticized as being “tepid” by one person. Ten arrests were made and three people were injured.
Tito Mena of Stockton attended the rally hoping for a productive discussion between people from both sides of the political aisle.
“We have a right in America to speak our opinions and speak our voice even if some others might think it’s wrong,” he said. “As long as you’re not causing harm to others, I will uphold the right for everyone to speak.”
Mena’s wishes were crushed. Police officers, who were forced to intervene in several fights, arrested almost a dozen people during the tense rally. They pinned a man to the ground and restrained him when he began to chase after someone with whom he had been fighting, according to social media.
The skirmishes led to at least three injuries. Officers were caught on camera helping a man, who was bleeding profusely from what appeared to be a head wound.
Videos show Trump protesters chanting, “No Donald Trump, no KKK, no racist, fascist USA,” while his backers countered, “Build the wall.” Members of the feuding groups were also heard singing the National Anthem and others hurling obscenities at Trump.
Asked whether or not the rally accomplished anything, Melanie Lawrence of Berkeley said the East Bay city “will continue having a reputation for being full of crazy people who love politics.”
Some National Anthem mixed with “F*** Trump.” Intermittent chants of “build the wall” also happening. pic.twitter.com/cS7glASZKd
— Gillian Edevane (@GillianNBC) March 4, 2017