On Sunday afternoon, the left-wing extremist group Antifa converged on the city of Berkeley, California to protest President Donald Trump, fascism, white supremacists, and now journalists apparently.
In a video caught by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Lizzie Johnson, a group of Antifa members started assaulting a reporter shouting to take away his camera and phone (or perhaps his cameraphone).
The group of masked men and women surrounded a man in a red shirt, who’s clearly wearing a press badge, demanding that he give up his phone. While the name of the journalist has not been revealed, he can be seen in the video rushing away from Antifa members.
— Lizzie Johnson (@lizziejohnsonnn) August 27, 2017
According to the Chronicle, approximately 4,000 people showed up, most of whom were part of Antifa, at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center park in Berkeley, to clash with Trump supporters bearing MAGA gear and waving flags. The entire park was barricaded by police, but that didn’t stop the flow of Antifa members to get in the faces of many Trump supporters. Police intervened and threw smoke bombs to disperse the crowd and made roughly 10 arrests for fighting and pepper-spraying.
Joey Gibson, the leader and founder of Patriot Prayer, even made an appearance at Civic Center park before he was assaulted, pepper-sprayed, and chased out by Antifa before being taken into custody by police. His rally in San Francisco had been canceled on Saturday when police shut down the event’s venue.
Both Gibson and an associate were handcuffed while being taken into police custody. However, police say he was considered a “rescue,” not an arrest.
The organizer of yesterday's cancelled rally, Patriot Prayer's Joey Gibson is driven behind police and arrested — "What happened Joey??" pic.twitter.com/tQJTh6lr7E— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) August 27, 2017
While Gibson was getting chased out of Civic Center Park, one Trump supporter was assaulted by an Antifa member with a shield, while another member poured a bottle of urine on his head.
Another person was chased out by a mob of Antifa. It’s unclear if the person was part of Gibson’s group, Patriot Prayer.
Here’s another angle.
While many Trump supporters were concerned the police were given “stand down” orders, others like former federal inmate Chelsea Manning believe Berkeley has become a literal prison.
The Antifa protest ended near Ohlone Park, where things are now relatively peaceful.
Berkeley has been the epicenter of the free speech debate after conservative personalities like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter were essentially chased out of town from speaking at University of California-Berkeley.
UC-Berkeley’s Chancellor Carol Christ dubbed this coming academic year as “Free Speech Year.” However, her school’s administration is charging the Berkeley College Republicans $15,000 to cover the cost of security to host conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.