With President Trump’s speech in Phoenix, Arizona to rally supporters, there was bound to be conflict.
Sure enough, angry protesters, such as the Antifa, attacked police in a whirlwind of violence and hate, according to Breitbart. Yet Trump supporters were not alone; the Arizona chapter of “Bikers 4 Trump” were there to provide protection and help keep the peace, as The Political Insider reported.
Bikers 4 Trump sent out a call yesterday for all of its official members to “help keep the peace” at the rally, according to a statement issued on their Facebook page. It reminded those in attendance to “please be mindful of our policy and integrity, we do not incite or instigate violence, disrespect other groups or discriminate against other ever, our support of President Trump and American values should always be reflected by our actions and conduct.”
The presence of these patriotic Americans was more than welcome as Antifa’s Arizona branch had also made it clear on their official website they intended to be there, ready for violence. “We will converge, in the spirit of solidarity and hostility to the current order, and as a physical body ready to act in self-defense and mutual protection of each other from cops, fascists, and liberal/radical ‘peace police.’”
As reported by Breitbart Antifa kept their promise, and rioting and violence ensued. The situation became so bad that officers were forced to respond with canisters of tear gas, flash bangs, and rubber bullets to disperse the hostile protesters.
CBS News reported that some felt the police response was overly aggressive, despite reports of water bottles and rocks being thrown at officers. One to make this claim was Carlos Garcia, an Antifa protester, who claimed, “It was peaceful. We started getting shot at by rubber bullets.”
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams utterly rejects this claim, saying police force was “absolutely” justified and protesters were armed with more than rocks and water bottles. “They had their own gas and they threw it at police. They didn’t throw our own gas.”
According to Breitbart, CNN was swift to lay blame on Trump’s speech as the reason for the violence outside, saying it was an “angry, divisive speech.”
This was no doubt in response to the criticism Trump leveled against the network during the speech, in which he said CNN and others are misreporting news and fueling groups like Antifa. “The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news,” the President said to a cheering crowd.
Trump also targeted the Antifa group specifically in his speech, noting they wear “masks, and they’ve got clubs and everything. Antifa!”
Whether or not Trump’s speech caused the violence outside is debatable, but there was no mistake that police felt the need to take action against the protesters with dispersion methods to keep the peace. If Police Chief Williams’ claim is true, that Antifa protesters were armed with their own gas to throw at police, then it’s understandable that police would respond in kind.
Thankfully there are groups like Bikers 4 America willing to use their numbers and resources to protect Americans rather than attack them. As violent vigilante groups like Antifa start to rise in power and aggression, organized citizens like Bikers 4 America will be a welcome, peaceful countermeasure.