A pro-free speech, pro-Trump, and pro-police demonstration turned violent at United Nations Plaza in San Francisco over the weekend when a group of several hundred so-called anti-fascists began attacking and throwing projectiles at protestors and police. Despite multiple attacks caught on camera, no arrests were made.
The protest, organized by “Team Save America” and Philip Anderson, was intended to “protest Twitter which it said squelches conservative speech.” Those who attended the protest in the name of free speech also expressed support for President Donald Trump and the police by wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and waving “Thin Blue Line” and U.S. flags.
The protest began peacefully, but as Anderson mounted the stage to begin his speech, anti-fascists dressed in black “surged the area, outnumbering and attacking those gathered,” according to the Associated Press. They also began throwing plastic and glass bottles at the pro-police Trump supporters.
Among those injured was Anderson, who suffered a knocked-out tooth from Antifa who attacked him “for no reason,” a Trump supporter, and at least three San Francisco police officers who were assaulted and injured with pepper spray and caustic chemicals. Multiple people were taken to the hospital.
During the attack on Anderson, people can be heard screaming “pray about it” and yelling racial expletives as he walks away holding his mouth.
According to the Associated Press, Anderson said he “called the counterprotesters hypocrites and said they are the reason why he’s voting for President Donald Trump.”
“I love America, I love this country, and I love free speech,” he said.
The San Francisco Police Department’s response to these attacks looked drastically different compared to Phoenix law enforcement responding to a similar protest Saturday. AZ Central reports that nearly every attendee of a protest against police in downtown Phoenix was arrested “after police say the group marched in the road, knocked barricades into the road, and threw smoke bombs at officers.”
Eighteen people were arrested and were facing charges “including aggravated assault on an officer, riot, criminal damage, unlawful assembly, hindering prosecution, resisting arrest, and obstructing a road.”
The riot was first announced on social media, but only 30 minutes after it began, it was declared an unlawful assembly as protestors threw devices emitting smoke at officers.
“Phoenix PD underestimates the power of the people. March with us to occupy Washington Street and remind PD who they serve. We will not stay silent. Until we get justice, Phoenix will have no peace,” the digital flyers advertising the event stated.
Phoenix Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Ann Justus said that it was “due to the ongoing criminal activity and assault, the Phoenix Police deployed less-lethal munitions in order to safely make arrests.”