Blood shed as Trump protestors clash with supporters

Supporters of Donald Trump clashed with counter-protesters at a rally in the famously left-leaning Californian city of Berkeley on a day of mostly peaceful gatherings in support of the US president across the country.

At a park in Berkeley, across the bay from San Francisco, protesters from both sides struck one another over the head with wooden sticks and Trump supporters fired pepper spray as police in riot gear stood at a distance.

Some in the pro-Trump crowd, holding American flags, faced off against black-clad opponents. An elderly Trump supporter was struck in the head and kicked on the ground.

Organisers of the so-called Spirit of America rallies in at least 28 the country's 50 states had said they expected smaller turn-outs than the huge crowds of anti-Trump protesters that clogged the streets of Washington, DC, and other cities the day after the Republican's inauguration on January 20.

Hundreds of 'March 4 Trump' rallies had been organised across the US, however the majority were poorly attended. Source: Reuters

"There are a lot of angry groups protesting and we thought it was important to show our support," said Peter Boykin, president of Gays for Trump, who helped organise Saturday's rally in Washington.

In many towns and cities, the rallies did not draw more than a few hundred people. At some, supporters of the president were at risk of being outnumbered by small groups of anti-Trump protesters who gathered to shout against the rallies.

In Berkeley, the total crowd of both supporters and detractors numbered 200 to 300 people, police spokesman Byron White said. Three people were injured in the clash, including one who had teeth knocked out, and police made five arrests.

One Trump supporter who took part in the violence came equipped with a baton, a gas mask and a shield emblazoned with the American flag.

Anti-Trump protesters turned up to confront those rallying in support of the President, armed and ready for a fight. Source: Reuters

One protestor was left with blood pouring down his face after weapons were drawn. Source: Reuters

White said police did break up fights between the two sides.

"We've made a number of arrests, it's one of those things where we monitor the situation and take action as necessary," he said.

The violence comes a month after mask-wearing protesters at the University of California, Berkeley, shut down a planned speech by a provocative far-right commentator by lighting fires and smashing windows.

On Saturday, smaller skirmishes broke out in other parts of the country.

Some protesters accused police of failing to intervene as the chaotic scenes threatened to get out of hand. Source: Reuters

In Palm Beach, Florida, where Trump is staying this weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort, the president's motorcade stopped and Trump stepped outside his car to wave at a crowd of dozens of supporters. A smaller group of protesters stood across the street.

In New York, about 200 people demonstrated their support for the president in front of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan. In Washington, about 150 people marched from the Washington Monument to Lafayette Square in front of the White House to show their support for the president.

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