More than a dozen people were arrested in Berkeley, California, after members of the Antifa movement allegedly attacked peaceful protesters over the weekend -- and one of those protesters opened up to Fox News on Monday about the violent threats she heard.
“They came with black masks, they carried weapons, they were pounding people down with their fists and their feet,” Berkeley College Republican Ashton Whitty said on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
“I knew I had to get out of there so I contacted someone I knew who came to the rally,” she said. “I got out of there by car. We drove down to safety. They asked me what happened. They filmed me and I look over and there’s a woman on her phone and she’s texting and she’s staring us down. Two minutes later these guys show up, they start threatening us, they hit the car with some lead pipes, they’re cussing at us, telling us we’re ‘dead men,’ that there’s more of them. I find out then that Antifa actually had several people posted around Berkeley tracking us and telling people our location by social media.”
More than 100 hooded protesters, with shields sporting the words “no hate” and waving a flag identifying themselves as anarchists, broke through security lines to reach the conservative protesters.
“I was willing to discuss anything,” Whitty said. “I held up a poster that said ‘let’s just have a conversation.’ I had conversations with many interesting people both Republican and Democrat. And, everything was great until Antifa showed up.”
Troy Worden, UC Berkeley student and a correspondent for CampusReform.org, said that the issue of silencing voices on the right via violent means has become a real problem in the U.S.
“I think it’s unfortunate that so many news publications have refused to cover this growing and pressing issue,” Worden said. “If we look at who are doing these attacks, who are stomping conservatives on the ground and bloodying them, they are mostly non-students. There are actually violent gangs coming up from Oakland, conscripted by Antifa, to hunt Republicans in the streets,” he alleged.
“We know exactly who is doing this,” Worden continued. “These antifascist organizations are conscripting violent criminals to basically make it impossible to be a conservative on a liberal campus. It’s a sad day when students – just to stand up for what they believe in – have to face the very real possibility of severe injury or even death. And I just want to call out the mayor of Berkeley and the chancellor of the university. I want to tell them that you should stop telling the police to stand down and protect all Americans regardless of their political ideology.”
Police officers ultimately arrested 13 people, mainly for having prohibited items, Berkeley police chief Andrew Greenwood said.
Watch the full interview above.