BERKELEY, C.A. (CBS SF/AP) – A rally to show support for President Trump was met by an equal number of opponents Saturday, trading jeers, taunts and punches at a Berkeley park.
Under the watchful eyes of a large number of police officers, the two sides milled about Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park Saturday afternoon and verbally jousted. But it quickly degenerated into several fistfights and pepper sprayings.
People wearing goggles, motorcycle helmets, gas masks or with their face half-covered with bandannas were pushing each other, throwing punches and hitting each other with the sticks holding their sings or American flags.
Video of the scattered fights shows smoke bombs being thrown at the crowd and at least one man pepper-spraying a brawling group.
Berkeley Police officers in riot gear have arrested at least ten people at the rally of about 500 pro-Trump supporters and opponents at a park less than a mile from the University of California, Berkeley campus. Five were arrested for battery, four for assault and one for resisting arrest.
Officers confiscated a dagger, metal pipes, bats, pieces of lumber and bricks.
Paramedics have helped at least two men, one bleeding from the head and the other with cuts on his face. No one was hospitalized.
For the most part, police officers stood and watched as fight after fight broke out between both sides.
“I feel like they should have done something sooner,” said Trump supporter Kyle Stewart, his face bloodied.
BART officials were forced to close the downtown Berkeley station and municipal bus traffic was halted in the area.
At least one Trump supporter was struck by pepper spray, according to social media postings.
Elsewhere, tensions were also running high.(Editors Note: Posts below contain strong language)
The opponents to Trump chanted “Out of Berkeley” loudly.