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Violence erupted in Berkeley, California, as pro- and anti-Trump protesters clashed during rallies held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on April 15. The San Francisco Gate reports that at least 13 people had been arrested as of 2:23 p.m, local time.
According to Reuters, conservative activists originally organized what they called a “Patriots Day” rally at the park, while the original counter-protesters were self-styled “anarchists of the left” who covered their faces with masks or bandannas.
City officials anticipated violence before the rally began; just after midnight between Friday and Saturday, local ABC affiliate 7News reported that a Berkeley farmers’ market usually held on Saturdays would be closed, even though the day before Easter was usually one of the market’s busiest days of the year. ABC7 also quoted Lance Goree of the Downtown Berkeley Association as saying “Some of the more corporatized businesses have started boarding up just in precaution.”
A reporter for Mother Jones magazine recorded and posted this video snippet of the events:
The Berkeley Patch noted that the demonstrations spread out of the park and into nearby streets, also forcing the closure of the downtown Berkeley BART station. Before the event started, police warned demonstrators on both sides that certain items would be banned during the event, including bricks, baseball bats, metal pipes, and poles. However, video footage taken by NBC Bay Area indicates that some people improvised by using skateboards and helmets as makeshift weapons.
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April 15, 2017 6:30 pm