Fights broke out at several of the “March for Trump” events held in the US on Saturday, with police arresting demonstrators in California, Tennessee and Minnesota.
Crowds at the events across the country seemed to measure in the hundreds, a far cry from the thousands that have spent many of their past weekends in the streets protesting new US President Donald Trump’s policies, including dramatic changes to immigration regulations that have many immigrant communities living in fear.
At events in 28 states, Trump supporters came out to show that the president does have backers. Judy Mcknight of Fairfield, Connecticut, told the CT Post she joined the rally in her state because of the number of recent anti-Trump events. “He needs as much support as he can get,” she said.
Meshawn Maddock, who helped organize a pro-Trump rally of about 200 people in Lansing, Michigan, told Newsweek, “People feel like they can’t let their foot off the gas and we need to support our president.”
“How can anyone be disappointed with bringing back jobs? And he promised he would secure our borders, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”
Trump even stopped his motorcade to wave at a rally near his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
But some pro-Trump rallies drew counter-protesters, and the two sides were not always able to disagree peacefully. Fistfights broke out in Berkeley, where smoke bombs were tossed into crowds, and it also appears people in the pro-Trump crowd were hit with pepper-spray. Indeed, by the afternoon, masked Black Bloc or Antifa protesters appeared to dominate the crowd in Berkeley, San Francisco Gate reports. Only weeks earlier, violent protests disrupted a scheduled speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopolous at the University of California’s Berkeley campus.
In St. Paul, Minnesota, six anti-Trump counter protesters were arrested for lighting fireworks inside the State Capitol, and in Nashville, two more were arrested after verbal arguments escalated to physical clashes near that state’s Capitol Building, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
— Aaron Davis (@BaronBavis) March 4, 2017