(AP) A free speech demonstration staged by conservative activists quickly fell apart in downtown San Francisco on Saturday after several hundred counterprotesters surged the area, outnumbering and attacking those gathered, including knocking one in the mouth.
A photographer working for The Associated Press witnessed a Trump supporter being taken away in an ambulance and an injured San Francisco police officer on the ground by San Francisco’s United Nations Plaza.
Team Save America organized the rally to protest Twitter, which it said squelches conservative speech. Members of the group wore red “Make America Great Again” Trump campaign hats and carried pro-police “Thin Blue Line” flags and U.S. flags.
Philip Anderson, the organizer of the event, posted photos to social media of his bloody mouth with a front tooth missing and another hanging loosely. He said anti-fascist protesters attacked him “for no reason.”
Anderson took the stage at about 1 p.m. and was greeted by chants and plastic water bottles and glass bottles thrown over police barricades.
The event was canceled, although both sides lingered in the area into the afternoon.
The San Francisco Police Department said three officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries when they were assaulted with pepper spray and caustic chemicals. One officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment, the department said.
No arrests were made, the department said.
Anderson called the counterprotesters hypocrites and said they are the reason why he’s voting for President Donald Trump.
“I love America, I love this country and I love free speech,” he said.
San Francisco police had to quickly extract a group of conservative activists who attempted to hold a Free Speech Rally and Protest at Twitter headquarters. The small group of protesters was quickly surrounded by a violent mob of Antifa counterprotesters.
At one point, police determined they needed to move the conservatives away from the protest area in order to keep them safe. As the mob followed police carried out an emergency extraction to move the conservative group away from the scene.
— Viva🔥La🔥Haley (@VivaLaHaley3) October 17, 2020
This video shows how outnumbered the pro-free speech activists were. Hundreds of communist, Anti-American, pro-censorship, black-clad psychotics showed up to protest free-speech.
A violent ANTIFA thug attacked Philip Anderson, a black conservative, who organized the event with a sucker-punch
Antifa attacked me for no reason. pic.twitter.com/kDajqqyQ78
— Philip Anderson (@TeamSaveAmerica) October 17, 2020
— CIA-Simulation Warlord 🇺🇸🎃🇺🇸 (@zerosum24) October 17, 2020