A small riot erupted Saturday afternoon in Berkeley, California, after violent protesters confronted pro-Trump demonstrators and allegedly began a confrontation that turned violent.
The confrontation occurred on a day when Americans across the country held peaceful demonstrations in support of President Donald Trump, free speech and America.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the pro-Trump demonstrators participating in the "March 4 Trump" rally began marching at 2 p.m. PST Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. Just several blocks up the road, they were met by counter-protesters dressed in masks and black clothing who began the confrontation.
From the San Francisco Gate:
By 3 p.m., the self-proclaimed anarchists were dominating the crowd. Dressed all in black and wearing cloth bandannas over their faces, they stopped traffic as they marched from the park through downtown with the smaller mix of Trump supporters and counterprotesters. In the park, people opposed to Trump threw eggs and burned both American flags and the red “Make America Great Again” Trump campaign hats.
Photos and videos posted to Twitter and other social media showed fistfights, shouting matches, people being beat with sticks and signs, people pulling hair and some counter-protesters pepper-spraying the pro-Trump marchers, including an elderly man.
Violence has started at #March4Trump rally in #berkeley - couldn't see who threw first punch. https://t.co/kqP39CUoWw— Aaron Davis (@Aaron Davis) 1488664748.0
Melee in #Berkeley: #Trump supporters and #protestors fighting in the streets of #Berkeley today. https://t.co/J2dUWHTFLq— Oakland Photo Vault (@Oakland Photo Vault) 1488675816.0
Man pepper sprayed. Not sure by whom. #berkeleyprotests https://t.co/uwE6seOBJC— Berkeleyside (@Berkeleyside) 1488669148.0
They tried to have a Trump rally in Berkeley. #antifa #berkeley https://t.co/Xha2mpFnni— Trope o. Phobe (@Trope o. Phobe) 1488673934.0
"Get out of here, you little POS," someone yelled at a ~ 12-year-old Trump supporter who is here with her dad. She flipped them the finger.— Lizzie Johnson (@Lizzie Johnson) 1488674169.0
That sign said "Free Speech". Counter protesters stole and said 'hate speech is not free speech'. https://t.co/tDTWBrPGHD— Aaron Davis (@Aaron Davis) 1488674918.0
#MAGA hat burning in Berkeley. https://t.co/mhfauDtd3K— gillian (@gillian) 1488670901.0
As a result of the violence, police in riot gear lined the streets and attempted to control the crowd and stop the violence.
Berkeley police said they arrested 10 people: five for battery, four for assault with a deadly weapon and one for resisting arrest. Seven people were evaluated for their injuries at the scene, but no one had to be taken to the hospital.
According to Matthai Chakko, a spokesman for the city of Berkeley, police confiscated items such as a dagger, metal pipes, baseball bats, two-by-four pieces of wood and bricks.
"A group of people carrying bricks were detained and the bricks were confiscated," he told the Times.
Some reports also indicate that some of the counter-protesters responsible for the violence came from the militant activist group By Any Means Necessary and the so-called "black bloc," two groups that many blame for the violence at UC-Berkeley last month.