Several people were injured, including three police officers, in downtown San Francisco on Saturday, after a small group of Trump administration supporters who had planned a protest against Twitter and other social media companies were assaulted by a larger group of counter-protesters.
The event, which began around 1 p.m. at United Nations Plaza near Civic Center, turned ugly within a few minutes.
With only about a dozen members of the group “Team Save America” there to protest what they describe as social media censorship of conservative ideas, more than 100 counter protesters began clashing with several of the conservative activists.
“Opposition demonstrators began throwing glass bottles, plastic bottles filled with unknown liquid, metal cans and eggs” at the rally participants and police officers, according to a statement Saturday evening by the San Francisco Police Department. They rushed a line of metal barricades, and when one of the rally organizers interacted with the crowd, a man wearing all black clothing and a black face mask punched him in the mouth, knocking out at least one tooth.
The conservative activists wore “Make America Great Again” Trump hats and carried pro-police “Thin Blue Line” flags and U.S. flags.
“The rally became so violent in nature it was declared a public safety hazard and was shut down,” police said. The organizer and several supporters were escorted by police from the area, but during their attempt to exit, the counter protesters clashed with several of them.
An Associated Press photographer took photographs of one man in at Trump T-shirt being taken away in an ambulance with his leg in a brace.
Three police officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries when they were hit by pepper spray and other caustic chemicals, police said. One officer was taken to the hospital for treatment. By 9 p.m. Saturday, no arrests had been made, police said. Officers also said they did not know how many protesters had been injured. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that six people, including the three officers, had suffered injuries.
The rally organizer, Philip Anderson, of Mesquite, Texas, is a Black conservative whose account was suspended on Twitter in May. On his Facebook page, he has claimed that “I exposed New York City hospitals for murdering coronavirus patients on purpose,” and “the only reason why Donald Trump is blamed for anything & everything is because his skin is white,” and “we can’t even finish the border wall to stop illegal immigration …
Source:: East Bay – Entertainment