While dozens of cities across the U.S. became host to Tax March protests against Donald Trump, one rally in support of the president in Berkeley turned to violence, as Trump supporters faced off against protesters and anti-fascist groups.
According to KABC Los Angeles, at least 15 people have been arrested at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, located a half-mile from the campus of UC Berkeley. A makeshift orange barrier had been erected at the park to separate areas designated for Trump supporters and protesters, but did not stop fights from breaking out prior to the expected noon start of the pro-Trump rally.
Berkeley police have been deployed to the scene with riot gear and gas masks.
Trump supporters had planned a “Patriot Day” rally at the march, but were met by anti-Trump protesters who organized a rally of their own at 10 a.m. Videos of the protest showed fireworks, bottles and traffic cones thrown into fights in the streets surrounding the park, with dumpsters hauled into the streets.
Berkeley police spokesman Byron White told reporters that one officer had to be treated after one person launched either pepper spray or tear gas into the crowd. Another person had to be treated after being sprayed with bear repellent.
Berkeley has been the site of several violent protests since Trump’s election. In March, a pro-Trump rally in the Bay Area town devolved into bloody fistfights between Trump supporters and masked antifa — or anti-fascist — groups, with 10 people arrested. The month before, a violent protest forced Milo Yiannopoulos, who recently stepped down from his position as senior editor at Breitbart, to cancel a speech he had planned to make at UC Berkeley as part of a college speaking tour.