Antifa members and counter protesters gather during a right-wing No-To-Marxism rally on August 27, 2017 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Berkeley, California. Photograph: (AFP)
The peaceful gathering became violent after protesters from across the political left wing-right wing divide got into a brief tussle
The progressive university town of Berkeley, California, on Sunday, saw the coming together of several thousand protesters for a "Rally Against Hate". It took place in response to planned right-wing rallies over the weekend that were canceled over concerns of potential violence.
The peaceful gathering became violent after protesters from across the political left wing-right wing divide got into a brief tussle as the police deployed in the area tried to keep them apart.
According to local news sources, at least 10 people were arrested for violating rules against covering the face or carrying banned items. Those arrested had their faces hidden behind black bandanas and hoodies. There were in total, about 100 anarchists and antifa-- “anti-fascist”. They converged with the peaceful protesters on Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park.
Soon after the violence began, a pepper-spray wielding Trump supporter was smacked to the ground with homemade shields.
He was caught on record saying: "Anti free speech as an ideology is a virus that grows. If we don't stand against the attack on free speech in Berkeley, then it won't be long before it's in my neighborhood and I have to be worried about my political beliefs. And by the way, I don't support Nazis but if someone wants to have a Nazi flag and we're going to say it's OK to instigate violence against them, the person (who) instigates violence against that person's speech is not different from the Klansman who hates a black person just for being black. Hate speech is free speech."