Berkeley ‘March 4 Trump’ rally sparks violent clash

Police said 10 people were arrested and seven suffered injuries at a “March 4 Trump” rally Saturday afternoon in downtown Berkeley.

Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters began gathering about noon at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. Confrontations erupted into fistfights and melees, with protesters on both sides masking their faces while carrying weapons, spears and shields.

Five people were arrested on suspicion of battery, four on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and one on suspicion of resisting arrest, according to police.

One person was allegedly carrying a dagger and police confiscated metal pipes, bats, two-by-fours, and bricks.

The seven people with injuries declined to be taken to a hospital.

Police had a hard time telling how many people gathered for the protest because of a farmer’s market nearby, Officer Byron White said.

Neither group got a permit to protest, White said. But he admitted the park is a public space.

“We would like these events to be successful,” he said. But without taking the right steps, such as getting permit, it hinders the city’s ability to help, White said.

Police are asking anyone who feels they were the victim of a crime during the protest to get in touch with them. Officers are looking for help identifying the people responsible for any crimes.

BART officials closed the nearby Downtown Berkeley BART station for about an hour because of the protest. According to police, some demonstrators left the park and marched on Allston Way, which is one block from the BART station.

Trains were not stopping at the station, but as of about 4:30 p.m. the station was open and trains were making regular stops there.