In a grim forecast of a turbulent and divisive election season ahead, a disturbing clash between anti-Trump protestors and supporters of the president broke out in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Los Angeles area yesterday afternoon.
The unruly encounter took place in the early afternoon as a group of people from the progressive group Refuse Fascism LA who were protesting the Trump administration moved from the Santa Monica beach to the iconic pier in the seaside city in Los Angeles county. Once on the pier, the protestors ran into a group of supporters of the president and the peaceful protest turned dicey with a trade of insults and chants ensuing.
Santa Monica Police Sargeant D. Hicks said that the two groups shouted at each other for about 10 minutes before “everything went to crap.”
The Los Angeles Times blamed the start of the scuffle on the Trump supporters whom it says appeared to “begin pushing and scuffling with some of the protesters.”
It was when a man wearing a red MAGA hat pulled a can of pepper spray from his pants and began directing the flow of noxious mist towards the protestors that things really got out of hand, as the video of the incident below, posted on YouTube by Be Less Stupid, demonstrates.
The video shows how other Trump fanatics held one protestor down on the ground as the MAGA-hatted assailant sprayed his captured victim at a dangerously close range.
After receiving emergency calls about the fracas, Santa Monica police arrested and took into custody the man carrying out the attack with what they described as bear repellent.
While Sargeant Hicks was not at liberty to release the attacker’s name yet, he did reveal that the assailant was a 33-year-old with a “fairly extensive” criminal record who remained in custody on suspicion of violating the terms of his parole from a previous weapons violation, according to the account of the incident in The Los Angeles Times.
Police say that they are still seeking a second, older Trump supporter who the video shows may have also used a repellent against the crowd of protestors.
Luckily, none of the protestors were seriously injured in the attack although many were treated at the scene to alleviate the effects of the pepper spray.
While the actions of the Trump supporters were obviously of their own doing, the inspiration for the political violence surely came from Trump himself who has provocatively tweeted about the “Civil War” that will erupt if he is removed from office.
Progressives working to eliminate the scourge of the Trump presidency need to take his remarks as a threat rather than a prediction if they want to protect themselves from the vengeful retaliation of Trump’s troops of angry deplorables too ignorant to realize they’ve been conned by their putative leader.
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Original reporting by Joel Rubin at The Los Angeles Times.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.