Chaos broke out at a protest in Berkeley, California on Sunday, as black-clad "anti-fascists" ran wild, converging on Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park near the University of California Berkeley's campus, ostensibly demonstrating against a "March Against Marxism" that never happened.
Cameras caught the madness as Antifa overran a group of peaceful protesters, and stormed the school and surrounding areas. Police were reportedly given an order to stand down, and law enforcement retreated to the perimeter of the park where Antifa was amassing.
The order had disastrous results, as you can see.
Hundreds of black-clad "anti-fascists" converged on what they claimed was a gathering of white supremacists. The group stormed up the street behind a banner that read "Avenge Charlottesville."
Organizers of the March Against Marxism said they had nothing to do with the alt-right and had no love for racists, but cancelled the rally after receiving threats of violence from Antifa.
Several of the March Against Marxism attendees did show up, apparently to interact with counter-protesters, but they had to be led away under police protection after they were surrounded and harassed. According to KCRA, "the left-wing protesters surrounded the small number of right-wing supporters, then shouted at them and pushed them. The right-wing protesters sought protection from police and were escorted away."
Things only escalated from there.
Members of Antifa were caught on camera driving a man to the ground, punching and kicking him. It's not clear what the man's identity is, or whether he was even part of the March Against Marxism — not that that in any way excuses the brutal violence. Antifa claims he was a member of the "alt-right."
Antifa beat down apparent alt-righter. pic.twitter.com/WVdDJqLKmA— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) August 27, 2017
Even journalists covering the event weren't safe. Antifa members chased a journalist out of the center of their rally while the crowd chanted, "Take his camera! Take his phone!"
A reporter with a local Fox affiliate was attacked on-camera.
Clearly these proud anti-fascists were concerned with what could happen to their public relations if reporters were able to get into the middle of the melee.
Lizzie Johnson, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, which hasn't taken an aggressive position against Antifa thus far, posted on Twitter that the group that descended on Berkeley Sunday afternoon was nothing but "dangerous and destructive."
Massive militant anarchist showing in Berkeley today. The group is dangerous and destructive. #Berkeley— Lizzie Johnson (@lizziejohnsonnn) August 27, 2017
A reporter from Mother Jones caught Antifa chasing away a cop car. The police responded by firing tear gas into the crowd.
Antifa chase cops out of MLK plaza in Berkeley. Police fire teargas. pic.twitter.com/tz5kQWFWD0— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) August 27, 2017
Fourteen people were arrested in the melee, according to the Berkeley police.
This is the second day of "anti-fascist" protests in the Bay Area, but unlike Saturday's rallies, which were mostly peaceful, today's were so brutal it will be difficult for Antifa organizers and supporter to continue making the argument that the black-clad protesters are just there to drive off white supremacists.