Trump supporters, protesters clash in Berkeley, California

At least 21 people were arrested as Trump supporters and opponents clashed Saturday at a park in Berkeley, California, police said.

Eleven people were injured, with seven transported to the hospital in unknown condition, Berkeley Police spokesman Byron White told CNN.

"A large number of fights have occurred and numerous fireworks have been thrown in the crowds," Berkeley police said in a statement. "There have also been numerous reports of pepper spray being used in the crowd."

CNN affiliate KPIX reported that Trump supporters planned a "Patriot Day" rally at noon and counter-protesters showed up a few hours earlier.

Hundreds of people had gathered in Civic Center Park. Police set up a barrier of orange mesh fence to separate the two sides but it quickly fell down as protesters started fighting, KPIX said.

Video showed crowds spilling into nearby streets. Scuffles broke out, fireworks, bottles and traffic cones were thrown into crowds and dumpsters and trash cans were hauled into streets. One man set afire a red "USA" hat and held it overhead.

Police donned gas masks as they used pepper spray on the crowd. A Berkeley station for BART, the mass transit system, was shut down because of the disturbance, CNN affiliate KRON said.

Police said they confiscated prohibited items including hand-held flagpoles, a knife, a stun gun, helmets and signs, and flags attached to poles, KRON reported.

Hundreds of people had gathered in Civic Center Park. Police set up a barrier of orange mesh fence to separate the two sides but it quickly fell down as protesters started fighting, KPIX said.

A police officer was treated and released from a hospital after someone threw either pepper spray or tear gas into the crowd, White said. He added that a person in the crowd was treated and released after being sprayed with "bear spray," an irritant spray used to deter aggressive bears in wilderness areas.

An even larger protest erupted in February when people took to the streets to protest an appearance by right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley. The university said more than $100,000 in damage was done.
In early March, 10 people were arrested when pro- and anti-Trump groups fought in Berkeley.

Fights broke out Saturday during pro- and anti-Trump protests in Berkeley, California.





Police arrest at least 20 as protesters clash at pro-Trump rally in Berkeley

At least 20 arrests were reported in California after violence broke out during a rally on Saturday demanding President Donald Trump release his full IRS returns.

About 200 people were at a park in Berkeley when several fights broke out. Dozens of police officers in riot gear standing nearby quickly arrested one man. Others were arrested after several skirmishes.

Trump supporters announced earlier in the week that they were holding a "Patriot Day" at the Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park at noon that would feature speeches by members of the alt-right. Counter-demonstrators then said they would hold a rally at the same place at 10 a.m.

Officials put up a makeshift barrier of plastic orange poles and orange fence mesh to separate the sides, but that came down after demonstrators began punching and kicking each other, while pepper spray and firecrackers were thrown into the crowd.

Demonstrators shouted at each other from a distance after the barrier was put back, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The groups then left the park and walked on Berkeley streets with police closely following them.

Officers on Saturday confiscated sticks, knives, flagpoles and helmets and sticks with signs on them.

The charges for the 20 arrested “include arrests for assault with a deadly weapon and several other felony assaults,” the Berkeley police said in a statement.

Police also said in a statement that “more arrests will be pursued” after officials investigate social media and video footage.

The rally followed March 4 demonstrations at the same park planned by some of the same groups and that ended in violent clashes. Several people were injured and police arrested 10 demonstrators.

In February, protesters threw rocks, broke windows and set fires outside the University of California, Berkeley's student union building, where then-Breitbart News editor and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was set to speak. His presentation was cancelled.

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