Hundreds of pro-trump demonstrators and counter-protesters showed up for a rally in Berkeley California, where for the third time this year the groups engaged in violent confrontations. Demonstrators were doused with pepper spray, as fights broke out where Trump supporters had scheduled a rally. About 250 police officers were deployed to the scene after officials attempted to work out assistance from the neighboring Oakland Police Department.
At least 21 people were arrested, 11 people were injured, and at least 6 taken to the hospital for treatment. Throughout the day police confiscated knives, stun guns, poles, and other make shift weapons prone to assault brought by demonstrators. Trump supported from surrounding states, such as Montana, attended the rally for the sole purpose of protecting Trump supporters as protests around the country have become increasingly prone to violent exchanges. Both sides have been accused of instigating confrontations.
With several hundred people on each side, the opposing sides mostly taunted each other with bullhorns, chants and shouts. Anti-Trump supporters at one point attempted to instigate conflict by throwing fireworks, while small brawls broke out between the two groups. One altercation at a downtown intersection only ended when a smoke grenade was detonated. In the confusion, anti-Trump supporters fled while supporters charged after them. In another incident, a protestor stole a flag from a Trump supporter who then chased after the protester who was then punched, until more protestors got involved and started to beat the Trump supporter.
Demonstrators from both sides of the protest adamantly proclaimed how hard it was to communicate with the other side. Occasionally individuals from both groups were brought together, often when it came to helping bystanders who were caught off guard, or who were unintentionally caught in the violence.
Unlike previous protests in Berkeley, Trump supporters had just as many individuals, if not more, than the anti-Trump protest side.
“They picked Berkeley because they want to feel they could do this in the most liberal place in the country. It’s important that we shut them down and let them know they cant pull this crap here,” said Geoff Millard, an anti-Trump protestor and Iraq war Veteran. Millard also added he believes that ’the ideology that they propose puts public citizens at risk’.
Throughout more than 100 other cities across the country, protestors peacefully demanded the release of the presidents personal tax returns. President Trump said during the campaign he would release his returns when the audit was complete, but after his inauguration, his aide Kellyanne Conway said the president is expected to not release his tax returns; bringing up concern amongst those who believe it is necessary to see, in order to insure no conflict of interests are left unknown.
“We are taking the gloves off to say know off the secrecy, Mr. President,” Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance committee said.
In the recent months, there has been some glimpses into President Trumps tax history, where MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reported on two pages of Trumps 2005 return. These pages were obtained by investigative reporter David Johnson, and showed President Trump paid $38 million in taxes on more than $150 million income. In October, the New York Times reported that in 1995 President Trump had declared a $916 million loss on his tax return, which were cited from 3 pages of the document.
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