Police late Saturday originally announced 20 arrests and 11 injuries after fighting broke out at Martin Luther King Jr.
The melee was sparked when hundreds of Trump opponents staged a counter-rally alongside an event billed as a “Patriots Day” free-speech rally and picnic, organised by mostly Trump supporters. Fireworks and smoke bombs were thrown into the crowd, and a few demonstrators were doused with pepper spray. One bank boarded up its ATM machines before the rally as a precaution.
There were loud explosions and fistfights among members of both groups, and a citizen militia group wearing security gear showed up to protect the pro-Trump demonstrators.
There is nearly a script to how these rallies and counter-protests go in Berkeley. The police seized numerous prohibited items, including sticks and knives, according to the agency.
The marches coincided with the traditional April 15 deadline for United States federal tax returns, though the filing date was pushed backed two days this year.
Defend the Bay, a group that advertises itself as against the self-described “alt-right”, suggested protesters bring food to share, along with a mask or other covering to hide their identity from police.
A pro-Trump group known as the Proud Boys sponsored the protest that descended into bloody violence at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park on Saturday. Protesters took to the streets in dozens of cities nationwide Saturday to call on.
Police initially said 15 people were arrested. Berkeley police did not return several messages with its department early Sunday.
The rally followed a similar confrontation in March that left several people injured and led to arrests.
Police formed a line between Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters with the plan to confiscate weapons.
Nancy Traver, of Silver Spring, Maryland, who was at the Washington march said, “Every president, Democratic and Republican for years has showed, has revealed his tax returns, so why shouldn’t Trump?”