The left and right came face to face when Donald Trump Jr. spoke about his latest book, “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us" at UCLA in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Refuse Fascism organized the protest and was join by student demonstrators, as well as Donald Trump supporters adorned with MAGA hats and pro-Trump t-shirts. The group is an anti-Trump movement that formed after the 2016 election. It argues that the president is a fascist who is steadily turning America into an authoritarian country unless the people do something to stop it. Refuse Fascism’s mission is a call to action with one goal: remove Trump from office.
Both the left and right remained non-violent throughout the day, as they were separated by a small barricade and a strong police presence. However, frequent yelling between the groups took place while guests waited in line to enter the event. Refuse Fascism chanted, “There is no planet B! Drive out the Trump regime!” while supporters fired back with “Four more years! Four more years!”
Bo Logan, an organizer with the Refuse Fascism, said he’s witnessed political violence when he served in the Iraq war. Today he protests with Refuse Fascism to try and stop it, even putting himself back in harm’s way.
Last month a demonstration turned violent in Santa Monica when a protestor wearing a MAGA hat sprayed Logan in the eyes with bear repellent. Political violence- hate crimes in particular- have risen 17 percent since 2017, according to the FBI.
Logan said he’s received death threats from Trump supporters because being a veteran opposed to “wars for profit” makes him a target at events.
“When someone comes out and speaks out against it and specifically someone who was over there, people tend to listen,” he said.
As a far left faction, Refuse Fascism shares a similar ideology as Antifa. But there’s a big difference they want people to know: Instead of a by-any-means-necessary approach, they advocate peaceful demonstrations and non-violence.
Even with both groups heightened emotions, the UCLA protest remained peaceful. Refuse Fascism will continue their “Five Saturdays of Action” when they hit the streets- and college campuses- to voice their concerns about the Trump administration.
“There is a way to act and actually do something, and that’s through mass protest," said Refuse Fascism organizer Chantelle Hershberger. "That’s what this Out Now movement is, calling for Hong Kong style protest, mass sustained non-violent protest to demand the whole regime must go now.”