On Wednesday night, violent anti-Trump protests shut down the streets of Berkeley, California.
(WASHINGTON, DC) Hundreds of protesters at the University of California at Berkeley on Wednesday smashed windows, set fires and clashed with police as they forced a pro-Trump speaker to cancel his appearance at the Left-leaning institution.
Two hours before Breitbart news editor Milo Yiannopoulos was to give a speech at the student union, protesters tossed metal barricades and rocks through the building's windows and set a light generator on fire near the entrance, footage from news outlets showed.
Footage uploaded to Twitter Wednesday night showed gangs dressed in black hoodies and masks assaulting fleeing students with shovels and what appear to be metal pipes.
Police ordered protesters to disperse as the school put the campus on lockdown. Protesters also tossed bricks and fireworks at police in riot gear who fired rubber pellets back at the crowd, according to SFGate.com, a news outlet in San Francisco.
"We shut down the event. It was great. Mission accomplished," a protester told CNN.
Some 150 "masked agitators" were responsible for the violence during the otherwise largely peaceful protest of about 1,500 people, the university said in a statement, noting that the school "is proud of its history and legacy as home of the Free Speech Movement" in the 1960s.
The Mayor of Berkeley, Jesse Arreguin, tweeted at 8:00 PM Wednesday, “using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable,” adding “hate speech isn't welcome in our community.”
Using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable. Hate speech isn't welcome in our community.— Jesse Arreguin (@JesseArreguin) February 2, 2017
Yiannopoulos, whose account on Twitter was suspended last year after he was accused of participating in the online harassment of an African-American actress, criticized "the Left", saying in a statement it was "absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down."
"Obviously it’s a liberal campus so they hate any libertarians or conservatives who dare to express an opinion on their campuses," he said on Fox News. "They particularly don’t like me."
President Trump responded to the violent protests by tweeting Thursday morning that if the University of California's Berkley campus doesnt allow free speech they may lose their federal funding.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017