A highly covered and trumped-up rally took place in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday. Projections of a giant convergence of rally-goers from both sides were given. There were reportedly 8,000 Trump supporters with an estimated 7,000 counter-protesters registered to attend. Only approximately 500 of the 7,000 people who RSVP'd to protest the event arrived. The event went as planned, which included Antifa assaulting police and authorities, leading to protesters getting shot with tear gas.
The anti-Trump protesters broke down fences and shot gas canisters at police officers. This was not the case of the protesters throwing canisters back at the police, this was gas that the protesters actually brought to the rally on their own.
"Officers were forced then at that time to really protect themselves, to protect the community, to protect property and they did so successfully and professionally," Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said.
The militant Antifa shouted at Trump supporters as if they were on a strike walking into the arena. Antifa later directed their anger at authorities by throwing rocks and bottles at the police. The police responded accordingly by sending them gifts of free tear gas, pepper balls and pepper spray. One now-famous Antifa member was notoriously shot in the family jewels and brought to the ground. He's been nicknamed "Peppernuts" and was allegedly seen by a doctor in regard to his nutty injury.
One eyewitness posted a video that showed what appeared to be a fiery object actually striking a Phoenix police officer. It is unclear exactly what the fiery object was, possibly a failed Molotov Cocktail. A black Trump supporter was also sucker punched while in the back of a pickup truck. This was a case of Antifa fighting white supremacy by punching a black man.
The tear gas and pepper balls helped disperse most of the Antifa crowd, though a handful of protesters remained. Some people suggest the ones who remained were paid to be there, otherwise they may have went home as well.
Four people were arrested and charged for criminal acts committed during the protest. Two of the alleged criminals were charged with aggravated assault on a police officer. A single count of aggravated assault on a police officer is a major felony in Arizona commanding a 2-5 year sentence, contingent of the extent of their violence the the results.
Antifa and affiliated groups have come under intense scrutiny following the deadly violence at a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA.
A petition is being circulated to label Antifa a terrorist organization. I has accumulated more than the 100,000 required endorsements needed to merit a formal response from the White House.
Phoenix Mayor Stanton said the group used gas, rocks and bottles and called the incident "very, very unfortunate."
"I don't think they're affiliated with any organization," Stanton said of the individuals arrested.
"Thank God no one was hurt here tonight," he told reporters, noting that two officers were treated for heat exhaustion.
Similar incidents among anti-Trump protesters have been reported at other rallies across the country.
Mayor Stanton described the event as a largely civil celebration of First Amendment rights - with tens of thousands of demonstrators that were "mostly" peaceful, with only a "very small number" of people engaging in assaults against the local police.