Why These Trump Punks Have to Do It in Berkeley

by Steed Dropout
April 6, 2017

Trump Punks’ Standing Up to Fall. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Why TrumpPunks have to do it in Berkeley may surprise you.

Trumpunks are Trump supporters with balls big enough to demonstrate in the very bowels of lefty Berkeley, like say, Berkeley Civic Center Park.

Civic Center is Berkeley’s core, nestled between old and new city halls, and host to a 1980s peace-wall, a 175 ft. long wall comprised of more than 5,000 hand-painted tiles, each with a plea for peace.

Peace Wall. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Perhaps not the best symbolic site to strut your Trump stuff. And you can be sure the Trumpsters (rimes with dumpsters) are not accepting the Berkeley Visitor’s Bureau’s invitation to out-of-towners: “Come for the Culture; Stay for the Food.”

The Trumpsters came for media attention…perhaps ready to be trounced. Some of them wrestled away the posters of anti-Trumpsters to protect themselves, while others just sucked up the attacks.

Some seemed to flaunt their battle wounds, like blood-red badges of courage.

Red Badge of Courage. Photo by Ted Friedman.

All manner of photographers, and reporters from Bay Area media swelled the crowds at last month’s beat-down in civic center.

All the better for TrumPunks to shame Berkeley into accepting them, at least as wackos, in a town of wackos.

It just may have worked.

As police kept watch, the Trumpsters were beaten with their own signs, maced, pelted, with eggs and lighted cigarette butts, and smoke-bombed.

Photo by Ted Friedman.

There were ten arrests of Black-bloq style masked marauders from around Northern California. This at a time when arrests in such protests declined, as police around the country stood down.

Some Trumpsters bore signs saying, “Blue Lives Matter,” the opposite side of the anarchist Black bloq credo, “off the pigs.”

The arrests were cleverly conceived to pluck-out the worst outside agitators, some say provocateurs, as they arrived—by bus or rapid transit—and as they tried, later, to escape police cordons.

Photo by Ted Friedman.

A re-staging of this force counter-force melee will play out later this month. Same plot; same characters; same peace wall.

Stay tuned.

This piece is dedicated to the memory of Mark Hawthorne, Berkeley’s beloved SouthSide homeless hero (aka Hate Man), and former New York Times reporter, who tried to improve my reporting.

Wide-array of pro/anti Trump demo shots at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/berkboy/

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