More than 21 demonstrators arrested as violence erupts at Trump rallies in California

A pro-Donald Trump supporter is taken into custody by police during competing demonstrations in Berkeley, California - Anda Chu/AP

At least 21 people have been arrested after supporters and opponents of Donald Trump clashed in a park in Berkeley, California.

As fights broke out between the two sides and people threw bottles and cans over a barricade separating them, police resorted to using an explosive device in an effort to restore order.

Several people were observed with bloodied faces and minor injuries, but there was no official word on casualties from authorities.

The trouble unfolded when hundreds of Trump opponents staged a counter-rally alongside an event billed as a "Patriots Day" free speech rally and picnic, organised by mostly Trump supporters. Between 500 and 1,000 people were in the park as the rallies peaked.


Pepper spray is used as anti and pro-Donald Trump protesters clash during competing demonstrations Credit: Anda Chu/AP

Among the Trump opponents were some counter protesters dressed in black and wearing masks. The other side included self-described "patriots" and "nationalists", Trump supporters, free speech advocates, and other groups.

Daryl Tempesta, 52, who said he served in the US Air Force near the end of the Cold War, went to the rally to show his support for Trump.

"As a veteran, I like the track America is on, and that Trump is willing to stand and say we are still America and we are not going to be globalist, we're not going to be a communist country," Mr Tempesta said. "That's a message I can get behind."

A weekly farmers market was canceled ahead of the rally due to concerns about violence. Even so, a stall selling fresh vegetables remained open for business amid the fist fighting, explosions from firecrackers and smoke wafting through the air.

A Trump supporter wrapped in a Trump flag  Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP

"We decided to show up anyway because this is our livelihood," said Tim Mueller, a farmer who owns the stall, surrounded by protesters on both sides.

At least 100 people from both camps eventually moved out to the park and into one of the city's main intersections, where they continued to fight, hurl insults and chant at each other.

The police presence was light there, and only two or three officers were seen near the crossroads.

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