An anti-hate rally in Berkeley, California, briefly turned violent Sunday when scores of anarchists swarmed the protest and attacked people supporting President Trump.
Thousands had gathered in Berkeley in response to a planned anti-Marxism protest that was scrapped amid concerns that participants may be attacked.
The counter-demonstration remained largely peaceful for several hours before members of the so-called “Antifa” movement swarmed police barricades shielding the protest area.
Six people suffered injuries in the ensuing melee, with two people getting hospitalized and one police officer suffering an injury while making an arrest.
Several other police officers were hit with paint, and the situation ultimately resulted in 13 arrests on various charges, including assault with a deadly weapon.
Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood on Sunday said officers were instructed not to actively confront the anarchists.
“[There was] no need for a confrontation over a grass patch,” he said, noting restraint from authorities prevented worse violence.
“The potential use of force became very problematic,” Greenwood added, citing the thousands of people present at the event.
Greenwood additionally said he ordered officers out of the area when it became clear left-and-right-leaning protesters would not clash.
The demonstration ultimately ended several hours later without additional incident, according to The Associated Press.
The original anti-Marxist rally in Berkeley had been organized by Amber Cummings, a transsexual Trump backer.
Cummings canceled the event, however, when it became clear that the potential for bloodshed existed.
Joey Gibson, who leads a right-wing organization called Patriot Prayer, showed up in Berkeley on Sunday after a rally he had spearheaded in San Francisco the day before was called off.
Antifa members clad in masks and black clothing then set upon Gibson in Berkeley, pepper-spraying him and chasing him behind a line of police officers in riot gear.
Authorities were forced to deploy a smoke bomb to dispel the attackers and protect Gibson from worse harm.
An Associated Press reporter, meanwhile, witnessed groups of hooded, black-clad protesters kicking and punching at least four other men in Berkeley before police intervened.
Left-and-right-leaning activists have repeatedly clashed across the U.S. this month, most notably in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Three people died in unrest there involving white nationalists protesting the removal of a Confederate statue and counter-protesters opposing them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.