BERKELEY (CBS SF) — A rally to show support for President Trump set to happen Saturday in Berkeley has some concerned about violence between pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators.
Last month, a protest over a scheduled speech at UC Berkeley by right-wing writer and commentator Milo Yiannopolous erupted in violence.
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Some protesters damaged property on campus and downtown.
Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park will be the gathering spot for the March 4 Trump supporters and counter protesters.
“This is just more than a March 4 Trump. It’s a march for free speech,” said rally organizer Rich Black.
It is one of many scheduled nationwide.
But Black says the rally is also in response to the violent protest that shut down a scheduled speech by now former Breitbart editor Yiannopolous.
“This cannot go unchallenged anymore,” said Black. “What you saw on Feb 1st, innocent people including bystanders being physically assaulted by these thugs. Lets call it what it is.”
Already, a number of different organizations are planning counter protests, including the group called By Any Means Necessary. Their website that’s often used by anarchists also has messages telling people to come out and disrupt the pro-Trump rally.
“Very likely will end up being a violent sort of thing, which is really upsetting to think most likely it’s going to come to,” said Cal student Monisha Lensink-Vasan.
A spokesman for the Berkeley College Republicans said they’re staying far away from the rally due to the potential danger.
“The Berkeley College Republicans is playing no part in the event,” said Cal student Naweed Tahmas, who is a member of the Berkeley College Republicans. “We’re not organizing, not promoting it nor will we attend it.”
Earlier this week on campus, someone destroyed their sign showing support for President Trump.
“We don’t want the violence to escalate or our members to get injured,” Tahmas.
The March 4 Trump rally is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at MLK Jr. Civic Center Park and will end on the Berkeley campus an hour later.