After the recent violence in Charlottesville I made an effort to track alt right demonstrations, as I wanted to see it for myself. I heard about a protest set to take place in Berkeley planned by people with similar far right ideologies. I was prepared to see nazi flags and heard obscene remarks. It ended up being thousands of protestors from the left demanding peace, love, and equality while strongly denouncing white supremacy. Every now and then a few trump supporters would show up ready to instigate.
From time to time groups would break out in violence when someone was spotted wearing Trump apparel. A lot of the violence at the protest was instigated by people dressed in dark clothing with their faces covered. Most of them had improvised weapons like long pieces of wood or plastic trash cans cut to make shields. While I was photographing part of the demonstration a young woman who seemed to be a part of this group elbowed my lens and then shoved me. They were not into photos...
I watched a trump supporter get attacked by protesters yesterday as he tried to find his way out of the chaos. He ran towards a gas station for safety but the owner locked the door. He realized there was no where to go and sat down outside as people gathered. He repeated, “are they going to help me?” I watched as this group preaching love and peace terrorized him. The guy said he watched his family and his friends lose their jobs over many years and as of recently they started getting them back. He said that he doesn’t think Donald Trump is perfect, but he’s done good for his family and friends. I watched camera shutters fire and news microphones being jabbed at his face while people berated him. Nothing about this experience resembled their message of love.