Supporters of current US president Donald Trump clashed with anti-Trump protesters during a rally in a commonly left-leaning city: Berkeley, California. Throughout the day, predominately peaceful rallies occurred across the nation in support of Trump’s presidency.
In Berkeley, however, supporters rallied in a park near San Francisco, and clashed with anti-Trump protesters in violent incidents that saw protesters striking one another with wooden sticks, and pro-Trump supporters shooting pepper spray as riot police stood on the side of the scene.
Many in the pro-Trump side held American flags in a showdown with their opponents.
Organizers of this event, the self-named Spirit of America, rallied in around 28 states of the nation’s 50, and expected less numbers than the large crowds seen in anti-Trump rallies that overtook the streets in Washington D.C. in the days after Trump’s inauguration January 20.
“There are a lot of angry groups protesting and we thought it was important to show our support,” stated Peter Boykin, the president of the organization Gays for Trump, one of the organizers of Saturday’s Washington rally.
Multiple Rallies Across the Nation
In various cities around the country, rallies only drew a couple of hundred people. In some, pro-Trump supporters were being outnumbered by smaller groups of anti-Trump protesters gathering to protest the rallies.
In the city of Berkeley, total crowds of both sides equaled around 200 – 300 people, said spokesman for the police, Byron White. Three individuals had been injured throughout clashes, and one even had his teeth knocked out. Police arrested five people.
Some Trump supporters who were involved in the violence came to the rally equipped with gas masks, batons, and even a metal shield with an American flack sticker on it
White said the police had to break up quarrels between both sides.
“We’ve made a number of arrests, it’s one of those things where we monitor the situation and take action as necessary,” he stated.
Brandon Blanchard, 24, was amongst the groups of anti-Trump protesters that came to support immigrants, transgender people, Muslims, and those negatively affected by Trump’s agenda.
“I feel that every American that voted for Trump has been deceived,” Blanchard stated.