An army of anarchists in black clothing and masks routed a small group of right-wing demonstrators who had gathered in a Berkeley park Sunday to rail against the city’s famed progressive politics, driving them out – sometimes violently — while overwhelming a huge contingent of police officers.
Hundreds of officers tried to maintain calm in and around Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park before the 1 p.m. “No Marxism in Berkeley” rally, putting up barricades, searching bags and confiscating sticks, masks, pepper spray and even water bottles. The goal was to head off the type of clashes that sprang from similar rallies in the city earlier this year.
But once again, counterdemonstrators frustrated efforts by police, who numbered about 400. As the crowd swelled to several times that size, officers stepped aside and allowed hundreds of people angered by the presence of the right-wing rally to climb over the barriers into the park, said Officer Jennifer Coats, a spokeswoman for Berkeley police.
Continue reading: Masked anarchists violently rout right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley
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Commentary by The Secular Jurist: I’m not sharing this post to equate left-wing extremism with right-wing extremism; but, I am sharing it to help illuminate two very relevant and crucial issues. First, that the immediate goal of America’s resurgent white supremacists is to provoke such clashes with its perfect foil – the so-called Antifa, an anti-fascist anarchist movement that has been gaining popularity with young people in recent years. By presenting themselves as “victims” of violence, they hope to force moderate Americans to actively take sides in a decisive race war which would presumably be won by more numerous white people. Second, that the rise of both the radical Left and Right – primarily in the U.S. and Europe – is a disturbing symptom of the societal maladies plaguing western democracies in the 21st century.