14 Arrested as Berkeley Protest Turns Violent

Alt-right protesters were vastly outnumbered
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2017 2:52 AM CDT
14 Arrested as Berkeley Protest Turns Violent
Demonstrators gather at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park during a rally on Sunday in Berkeley, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

At least 14 people were arrested in Berkeley, Calif., Sunday as counter-protesters clashed with vastly outnumbered supporters of President Trump. Some of the 7,000 counter-protesters confronted a small group of "alt-right" protesters who had originally intended to gather for a "No to Marxism in America" rally that was called off two days earlier, the Daily Californian reports. Anti-fascist and anarchist protesters attacked when Joey Gibson of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer arrived with a handful of supporters, reports the Los Angeles Times. His group called off a "free speech" rally in San Francisco a day earlier amid plans for counter-protests, including one involving dog poop.

Gibson was pepper-sprayed and chased until he took cover behind a line of police in riot gear. Arrests were made for offenses including assault, though Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood says officers were told not to actively confront the minority of anarchist demonstrators among the largely peaceful protesters who gathered in a city park, the AP reports. He says that after it became clear that there would not be dueling left-right protests like there were during a rally in April, police decided there was "no need for a confrontation over a grass patch." (Last weekend in Boston, counter-demonstrators vastly outnumbered participants in a rally associated with the alt-right.)

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