Anti-Trump violence escalated to new levels over the weekend as supporters of President Donald Trump faced coordinated attacks from masked leftists and threats from armed, paramilitary-style groups.
A series of pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” rallies were held in support of the administration over the weekend in several cities nationwide.
The demonstration of force was so unsettling if left liberal Phoenix New Times columnist Stephen Lemons wondering if “bloodshed is on the horizon.”
In Omaha, Nebraska, masked assailants attempted to break up a pro-Trump rally of about 200 people. Black-clad protesters wearing bandanas and balaclavas and waving red flags emblazoned with the Communist hammer and sickle were intercepted by police while attempting to march into the Trump rally.
The activists were reportedly members of Antifa. Antifa stands for “anti-fascism,” but in practice Antifa is a loose network of radical far-left activists who have a history of harassing businesses into firing right-wing employees and — much like actual fascists — breaking up political opponents’ rallies with violent demonstrations.
In Huntington Beach, California, a brawl broke out at a pro-Trump rally after a masked black bloc anarchist protester attacked rally organizer Jennifer Sterling. Several Trump supporters were quick to come to Sterling’s aid and subdued the attacker, according to local reports.
In Philadelphia, Trump supporters were also met by masked black bloc and Antifa agitators, and in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, police prevented a small group of protesters from infiltrating the pro-Trump rally.
In Phoenix, Arizona, a radical left-wing paramilitary group called the Phoenix John Brown Gun Club showed up to the rally armed and in force, clad in camo and combat clothing.
The group, whose name is a nod to radical abolitionist John Brown, appears to be in favor of nothing less than violent revolution.
“We hope to incite a movement amongst white working people that works toward the total liberation of all working people, regardless of skin color, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, or any other division,” the group’s Facebook page states.
The Phoenix chapter is also associated with an organization called Redneck Revolt. The organization’s website, redneckrevolt.com, is clear about the group’s principles. “We believe in the right of militant resistance,” it states. “We believe in the need for revolution.”
Members of the Phoenix John Brown Gun Club were joined by members of the Brown Berets, or Los Boinas Cafes, a radical Marxist Chicano separatist group, some of whose members were also armed.
The demonstration of force was so unsettling it left liberal Phoenix New Times columnist Stephen Lemons wondering if “bloodshed is on the horizon.”
“In hindsight, it occurs to me that if a left-wing militia and a right-wing militia … cross paths at a future demonstration, there very easily could be bloodshed,” Lemons wrote. “Both sides are loaded for bear. And I get the feeling both sides can rationalize their behavior after the fact, even if it comes down to killing someone.”