Berkeley Demonstrations: ‘Antifa’ Violence Prompts Soul Searching in Left-Wing Activist Community

Mr. Gibson, who was ultimately rescued by Berkeley police, had cancelled Patriot Prayer’s Freedom Rally, which had been scheduled for Saturday in San Francisco, saying he feared leftist protest groups like the antifa and By Any Means Necessary would turn it into a “huge riot”.

Several demonstrators tried to stop the violence and helped the assault victims escape while others screamed for the beating to stop.

Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood said he ordered officers to abandon the park when the black-clad activists arrived.

Most of the 13 people arrested were locals from the East Bay, while others hailed from Oregon, Nevada and San Diego County.

Greenwood said “the potential use of force became very problematic” given the thousands of peaceful protesters in the park.

Berkeley police initially used both strategies, quickly arresting people who covered their faces or brought into the park items that could have been used as weapons.

Still hundreds of counter-protesters marched through the city. The assaults were witnessed by an Associated Press reporter.

Law enforcement geared up for disturbances in light of the deadly violence that erupted during the white supremacist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia.

At one point, an anti-rally protester denounced a Latino man holding a “God Bless Donald Trump” sign.

Alt-right figure Johnny Benitez, who flew in from Southern California, was escorted out by Berkeley police to a auto, along with Irma Hinojosa, a member of the Southern California group Latinos for Trump. “You should be ashamed of yourself”.

Joey Gibson, second from left, is chased by anti-fascists during a free speech rally on Sunday in Berkeley, California, US. No white nationalists showed up, and only a handful of pro-Trump demonstrators were visible in the crowd.

The crowd was orderly but robust, with protesters chanting “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist US”. Six others also suffered injuries, resulting in two people being sent to the hospital.

“I believe that is the right thing to do”, said Arreguin.

Gibson said Saturday that he was planning to organize a rally September 10 in Portland, Oregon.

Arreguin said the university should think twice about allowing Yiannopoulos to appear.

Meantime, newly appointed University of California, Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said the campus was “working very hard on the security arrangements” for the September 14 appearance of conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. That planned talk was canceled when demonstrations turned violent in February.

Berkeley is a hotbed of political protest and UC Berkeley is where the free-speech movement started in the 1960s.

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