Berkeley Becoming the Epicenter for Violent Clashes Between Protesters (Photo Essay)

All photos by Kevin Jenco

On Saturday April 15, Alt-Right Trump supporters and Antifa once again took to the streets of Berkeley in an orgy of violence and hate. When it was all said and done, both sides went home claiming to have won the day, but the truth is, nobody won.

This is the second targeted action by pro-Trump groups on Berkeley, inspired most likely by the city’s liberal reputation and the infamous anti-Milo protest earlier this year. The first protest on March 4th was covered widely by national media, and this time the crowds were larger, and the violence was more intense. Both sides went home badly bruised and bloody, most seeming happy to have “contributed” to a pointless war of political ideology.

With Ann Coulter coming to speak for the Berkeley College Republicans next week, we can only expect that this type of thing will continue, and undoubtedly Trump supporters are planning more events in Berkeley.

Credit Kevin Jenco
Credit Kevin Jenco

Members of the Oath Keepers militia from Montana came to participate in the rally. The Oath Keepers have been named an anti-government hate group by the SPLC, and are known for their paranoid beliefs about government restrictions on gun ownership, immigration, and other issues. A Berkeley resident named Raja told me he was unhappy with Trump supporters targeting Berkeley, and that he wondered what inspired someone to come all the way from Montana to cause havoc here.

Credit Kevin Jenco


Alt-Right Twitter Personality Baked Alaska/ Credit Kevin jenco
Credit Kevin Jenco

“Baked Alaska” told the small crowd during his speech that they needed to make sure Trump keeps Steve Bannon and that General H.R. McMaster was a traitor for getting the U.S. involved in Syria. The speakers all seemed to have paranoid and conspiratorial views about international relations, especially when it came to immigration.

A man picks up glass as protesters yell and fight around him/ Credit Kevin jenco
Credit Kevin Jenco]
Credit Kevin jenco

This protester told me he had fallen after someone had thrown an M-80 Firecracker in the crowd, had been pounced upon by Trump supporters and beaten brutally.

The constant use of pepper spray was anticipated by groups that came to help those on their side that had been sprayed. Credit Kevin Jenco
Credit Kevin Jenco
Credit Kevin Jenco

In the midst of altercations in an intersection a painter showed up, calmly set up his easel, and finished a cityscape.

Credit Kevin Jenco
Credit Kevin Jenco

By around 4pm most people had left, with stragglers staying around to start scuffles when they had the chance. One onlooker told me that she believes Trump supporters view societal progression as a zero sum game, where if one side wins, the other loses, that Trump supporters see their lives changing but don’t understand why they have to change, and that they believe minorities aren’t advancing by their own merit. She didn’t believe there was any cure for the hatred and anger that fuels these demonstrations, and I tend to agree.

1 Comment

  1. As a conservative, I’m appalled by where our country is heading. I consider myself a classical liberal and to me the idea of individualism over collectivism is first and foremost. I feel like to make inroads we both need to admit what is and isn’t currently controlling the violence of our parties on both sides. I am fully willing to admit that white nationalists and neo-nazi’s are categorizing themselves on the right nowadays, however I don’t think they came out of the woods because of Trump’s victory. I understand identity politics is very important to those on the left, however Berkeley became the destination of these free speech protests because of the violent opposition to free speech of far less controversial speakers on college campuses. The irony is the blatant racism those means of suppression were meant to prevent has actually backfired, this needs to stop. I know the left are pointing at this as an “I told you so moment”, but the truth is these groups would not have anywhere near the traction or media attention they have had it not been for the engrossing race politics of recent years. You have to think how it sounds for “white privilege” to exist to those white people in poor white communities as well. To them it is the same as saying you have it so easy, how did you fail? Identity politics is creating more group prejudices than it is helping and if it does not end soon I do not see it getting any better. We are not black/white/asian/hispanic, we are American.

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