- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 5, 2017

Most of Saturday’s March 4 Trump rallies went off without a hitch, but that wasn’t the case in Berkeley, California.

Fistfights, scuffles and shouting matches ensued after hundreds of counterprotesters, some wearing black masks, descended on the pro-Trump crowd at Civic Center Park.

Berkeley police made 10 arrests: Five for battery, four for assault with a deadly weapon, including one involving a dagger, and one for resisting arrest.

Officers also confiscated a variety of weapons, including metal pipes, bats and 2x4 slabs of wood.

“A group with bricks was detained, and their bricks confiscated,” the Berkeley Police Department said in a press release late Saturday.

The Berkeley March 4 Trump registered as the most contentious of the roughly 50 events scheduled nationwide Saturday in support of President Trump.

In Minnesota, police arrested six counterprotesters at a rally at the state Capitol in St. Paul, five of whom allegedly set off fireworks and smoke bombs, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported.

In Nashville, two people were arrested at a pro-Trump event that drew a crowd of more than 1,000, according to the Tennessean.

Elsewhere, the March 4 Trump events went off largely without incident despite the presence of opponents.

The Berkeley rally was mobbed by counterprotesters led by the group By Any Means Necessary, their mission to “counter and defeat the Trump movement.”

“The fighting Saturday started even before the event began, with people throwing punches, swinging sticks and tossing smoke bombs,” SFGate reported. “Hundreds of people filled the park, with anarchists and counterdemonstrators far outnumber what rally sponsors estimated were 60 to 75 Trump supporters.”

At one point, the masked, black-clad anti-Trump protesters blocked traffic while marching through the downtown.

Bay Area Rapid Transit stopped service to the Berkeley station for about an hour “due to a civil disturbance.”

“There were seven people who were evaluated for medical injuries, but none needed nor wanted to go to the hospital,” said the Berkeley police.

Despite the mayhem, several Trump fans who participated in the Berkeley event said they thought it was worth it.

“It was a chaotic event but a great turn out for Trump Supporters and those who support Free Speech,” said David Fadda on Facebook.

Protesters caused an estimated $100,000 in damage at the University of California at Berkeley when rioting broke out in advance of a Feb. 1 speech by conservative pundit Milo Yiannapoulos, which was canceled amid the uproar.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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