By Jacob Turnrose | Opinion Editor
On Saturday, Mar. 4, scattered fist fights broke out between pro-Trump demonstrators and anti-Trump protesters in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, directly adjacent to Berkeley High School.
The park was a few blocks west of the UC Berkeley campus, where the scene of rowdy protests against former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos occurred just weeks ago.
The demonstration, called “March 4 Trump,” started around 2:00 p.m. March 4 Trump was a national event with local marches taking place across the country.
Before the march, a crowd had gathered, dividing itself along pro-Trump and anti-Trump lines. Around 3:00 p.m. the fighting had broken out between the two groups after various verbal confrontations.
Punches were thrown and pepper spray was released, yet it was unclear who had started the initial fight.
People on the outskirts of the fray were seen treating those who’d been pepper sprayed by the pro-Trump demonstrators.
After the initial altercations in the park, the pro-Trump group attempted to march.
After more clashes in the middle of a nearby intersection, the pro-Trump supporters, though diminished in number, appeared to change their direction and marched towards the UC Berkeley campus instead. Following closely behind were the anti-Trump protesters.
At a certain point, the protesters were among the pro-Trump supporters. During the march, both sides engaged in verbal confrontation, some of which escalated into physical scuffles. The march skimmed past the UC Berkeley campus and then looped back to Martin Luther King Jr. park.
Among the protesters were black-clad antifascists, as well as more casually dressed individuals with signs of more liberal messaging.
A red flag dawning the hammer and sickle was spotted, as well as a blue flag spelling “IBU – ILWU,” a labor union which has a large presence in the Port of Oakland.
Prominent among the Trump crowd were American flags, “Make America Great Again” flags, as well as a couple black and yellow anarcho-capitalist flags.
Throughout the demonstration, Anti-Trump protesters prided themselves on displaying these flags, as well as donning their red “Make America Great Again” hats, and other pro-Trump paraphernalia; they took the ultimate stance by burning these items during the demonstration.
At one point, a pro-Trump demonstrator tried extinguishing an inflamed red hat with a sign, which made the protester kick the sign out of the person’s hand, which eventually resulted in the Trump supporter pulling a knife on him.
Later, another pro-Trump demonstrator tried to retrieve his stolen, inflamed piece of paraphernalia and was immediately pepper sprayed by a protester.
According to Berkeley Police spokesman Officer Byron White, ten people were arrested, including five for battery, four for assault with a deadly weapon (including one with possession of a dagger), and one for resisting arrest.
Among the items confiscated by police were metal pipes, bats, and pieces of wood.
Counter protesters far outnumbered the pro-Trump demonstrators, a group of about 60-75 according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
While some demonstrators were Berkeley natives, as one man’s sign loudly projected, a number of them also came from other areas such as Davis and the Central Valley.