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Anarchists Pepper Spray Conservative Leader

Anarchists Pepper Spray Conservative Leader
Demonstrator Joey Gibson, second from left, is chased by anti-fascists during a free speech rally in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Sunday, 27 August 2017 07:29 PM

Black-clad anarchists at a protest in Berkeley have attacked at least five people including the leader of a politically conservative group who canceled an event the day before in San Francisco amid fears violence would break out.

The protesters who wore hoods to conceal their identities chased Patriot Prayer group leader Joey Gibson from Sunday's rally in a Berkeley park. As Gibson backed away with his hands in the air, the protesters pepper sprayed him.

Gibson then went behind a line of police wearing riot gear.

Gibson has denounced racism and says he launched Patriot Prayer after several supporters of President Donald Trump were beaten at a Trump campaign stop in San Jose, California last year.

Separately, the anarchist group beat, kicked and punched four other people at the rally.

The assaults were witnessed by an Associated Press reporter.

At least one of those attacked was a right-wing male protester who showed up for a "Rally Against Hate" event where anti-rally protesters vastly outnumbered the rally's supporters.

Police broke up the fights, using what appeared to be a smoke grenade to stop one scuffle.

The three people who were attacked ran behind police lines to escape.

The black clad protesters carried a large banner that identified them as anarchists.

The skirmish was tense but ended quickly.

The left-wing protesters surrounded the small number of right-wing supporters, then shouted at them and pushed them. The right-wing protesters sought protection from police and were escorted away.

Several people were arrested at Berkeley's Civic Center Park by police who have banned protesters from covering their faces and carrying a variety of items that could be used as weapons.

About 2,000 people gathered in what was billed as a "Rally Against Hate."

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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Black-clad anarchists at a protest in Berkeley have attacked at least five people including the leader of a politically conservative group who canceled an event the day before in San Francisco amid fears violence would break out.The protesters who wore hoods to conceal...
US, Free, Speech, Rallies, The, Latest
288
2017-29-27
Sunday, 27 August 2017 07:29 PM
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