by Matthew Vadum
If you want to beat up Trump supporters with impunity, Berkeley is the college for you.
Left-wingers violently attacked Trump supporters at a UC Berkeley rally for at least the third time in recent months, according to media reports.
The riot at Berkeley on Saturday occurred as “Tax Marches” took place in cities across the nation aimed at pressing President Donald Trump to release his personal income tax returns, something the law does not require.
The unrest came days after Berkeley campus Republicans withdrew an April 12 speaking invitation for David Horowitz, saying that the college administration had gone out of its way to make the planned event untenable by placing burdensome, Kafkaesque restrictions on it.
While UC Berkeley and “universities like it discourage conservatives, they open their arms to racist organizations like Black Lives Matter and terrorist support groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, [along with] a range of radical organizations,” Horowitz wrote last week.
But on this past April 15 (Saturday), Trump supporters chose Berkeley to express their support for the president, dubbing that date, traditionally when federal taxes are due, “Patriots Day.” The Berkeley rally was sponsored by pro-Trump group Liberty Revival Alliance.
“I got hit in the back of the head with some sticks,” a bloodied Ben Bergquam of Fresno, Calif., a “Patriots Day” rallier, told reporters as he clung to a crumpled sign reading, “Stop Liberal Intolerance.”
“I don’t agree with everything Trump says, but I don’t agree with violence,” Berquam said.
Not all the rallies Saturday descended into violence.
"I don't respect this president,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) told the crowd at a considerably calmer march far away in Washington, D.C. “I don't trust this president. He's not working in the best interests of the American people."
"I will fight every day until he is impeached," she said.
Waters led marchers in a chant of "impeach 45" against the nation's 45th president. "No more secrets, no more lies" emerged as another popular chant. "Show the people your taxes. Stop stonewalling, stop hiding," Waters said.
In Waters’s hometown of Los Angeles, demonstrators filled streets while chanting, “Donald Trump has got to go.” They carried signs reading: “Prove you have nothing to hide,” “Donald Ducks his Fair Share,” “No 1040, no peace” and “I pay for your golf trips. Do you?”
Trump may not have released his tax returns, a voluntary practice followed by most presidential candidates in recent decades, but no evidence of tax improprieties by Trump has surfaced. Quite the opposite, in fact. Trump's unlawfully leaked 2005 tax returns proved he paid an impressive $36 million in taxes that year.
Back at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, about 250 police officers, including some from neighboring Oakland, eventually made their way by mid-afternoon Saturday to where Trump supporters and so-called “antifa,” or anti-fascists who use fascist methods, were turning up the temperature. Sticks, fireworks, smoke bombs, pepper spray, and rocks were thrown around during the melee.
There were 21 reported arrests, including for suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, said Officer Byron White of the Berkeley Police Department. Eleven people were injured. At least six were sent to a hospital, including a stabbing victim. Police seized poles, stun guns, and knives, White said.
A.J. Alegria, 31, reportedly from Sacramento, said he showed up Saturday in Berkeley to defend Trump supporters. At one point during the day a dozen people in black masks attacked him with pepper spray and sticks, he said.
“These people create violence all the time ... somebody has to stand up to them,” he said after being injured.
One Trump backer whose head was wrapped in a blood-stained bandage, stood in the middle of Center Street shouting “Stand up, America! Stand up!”
Violence against conservatives is nothing new at Berkeley. It is tolerated, and in some cases, even encouraged by local authorities. The local government is very slow to order police into action when conservatives are being beaten or otherwise having their civil rights violated. City and campus police often sit on the sidelines when Republicans get roughed up.
Left-wingers attacked Trump supporters at a pro-Trump rally in Berkeley on March 4, making costumed Trump backer Kyle Chapman, also known as Based Stick Man, a viral video star, for fighting back against antifa. Ten arrests were reported.
Alternet contributor Ken Klippenstein thought it was hilarious when an anarchist incapacitated an elderly Trump supporter with pepper spray. “tfw (this face when) you realize real life isn’t the internet,” he wrote on Twitter beside photos of the old man having water administered to his eyes.
There were the riots Feb. 1 that prevented Milo Yiannopoulos from delivering a David Horowitz Freedom Center-sponsored speech demanding the end of “sanctuary campuses” that harbor illegal aliens. Milo's address, which was canceled amid violent mob attacks, fire-setting, and wanton property destruction, had been scheduled to mark the launch of the Freedom Center’s #nosanctuarycampusforcriminals campaign.
“One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down,” Yiannopoulos said after being safely evacuated from the campus.
“This is what tolerance looks like at UC Berkeley,” Mike Wright, a Berkeley College Republicans member told reporters at the time as smoke bombs exploded nearby. He said paint was thrown on his person. “It’s sad.”
To make matters worse, University of California President Janet Napolitano, formerly President Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary, is deliberately harboring hundreds of illegal aliens attending UC system schools. She has forbidden campus police from working with immigration law enforcement and provided $5 million to aid the illegals UC is sheltering from ICE. The UC system even provides legal aid to illegal alien students who wish to keep breaking U.S. immigration laws through the University of California Undocumented Legal Services Center at the UC Davis School of Law.
Which makes Berkeley the place to be if you’re an illegal alien or an anarchist who enjoys bloodying Trump supporters.
Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."
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