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follow Blurtman 2017 Aug 28, 5:47am
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Their faces hidden behind black bandannas and hoodies, about a 100 anarchists and antifa â€” â€œanti-fascistâ€ â€” barreled into a protest Sunday afternoon in Berkeleyâ€™s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park.
Jumping over plastic and concrete barriers, the group melted into a larger crowd of around 2,000 that had marched peacefully throughout the sunny afternoon for a â€œRally Against Hateâ€ gathering.
Shortly after, violence began to flare. A pepper-spray wielding Trump supporter was smacked to the ground with homemade shields. Another was attacked by five black-clad antifas, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself. A conservative group leader retreated for safety behind a line of riot police as marchers chucked water bottles, shot off pepper spray and screamed â€œfascist go home!â€
All told, the Associated Press reported at least five individuals were attacked. An AP reporter witnessed the assaults. Berkeley Policeâ€™s Lt. Joe Okies told The Washington Post the rally resulted in â€œ13 arrests on a range of charges including assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer, and various Berkeley municipal code violations.â€
And although the anti-hate and left-wing protesters largely drowned out the smaller clutch of far-right marchers attending a planned â€œNo to Marxism in Americaâ€ rally, Sundayâ€™s confrontation marked another street brawl between opposing ends of the political spectrum â€” violence that has become a regular feature of the Trump years and gives signs of spiraling upward, particularly in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville.
A conservative group leader retreated for safety