On Saturday March 4, 2017 a “March for Trump” was held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park which lies directly across from Berkeley High School and is just under a mile from the U.C. Berkeley campus. The event was orchestrated on Twitter by far-right conservative Rich Black who claimed that the march in Berkeley was just one of many around the country on March 4.
At around 1:30pm, Trump supporters sporting Trump/Pence campaign t-shirts, American flags, and “Don’t Tread on Me” banners flocked to the MLK Civic Center and used microphones to voice their frustrations against the recent nationwide demonstrations against Trump. Soon after, anti-Trump demonstrators arrived to the park and began to greatly outnumber their pro-Trump counterparts. Officers of the Berkeley Police Department were clad in riot gear and maintained a square perimeter around the park as verbal disputes between the opposing groups escalated into fist and stick fights. Some Trump supporters were even seen carrying wooden shields.
“I just came here today to really show that we exist as a group”, said Andrew, a local Trump supporter who did not wish to reveal his surname. “I think when you look around at all the fist fights breaking out, it shows a pointless antagonism that gets nothing done.” When asked on how he felt pro-Trump/anti-Trump demonstrators should resolve their differences, Andrew replied, “The clear answer is not to fight. Neither extreme on both political sides is the answer.”
At around 2:30pm, the crowd formed a mosh pit that kept contracting and expanding as demonstrators on both sides sustained bloody injuries to the face, torso and chest as the fighting continued. BPD officers did not intervene until a Trump supporter in a black motorcycle helmet began throwing smoke bombs and spraying a mixture of mace and pepper spray on anti-Trump demonstrators.
“I’m here today to defend the family values that are crucial for America, said Fred Garvey of the California Mass Resistance, a far-right political faction. “What’s tearing America apart is the single-parent family and Trump plans to fix that.” Garvey waved a sign that read California LOVES Trump which gained him much attention. When asked why he would make such a sign despite knowing that California voted overwhelmingly democratic during the 2016 election, Garvey replied, “Oh I know California was pro-Hillary. I made this sign to be antagonistic as Hell. *Chuckles.* I think it’s working.”
Tune in next week for the conclusion on the “March for Trump” held in Berkeley.