The original incident that prompted this happened in January 2021. The Times of San Diego reported a group of Trump supporters were confronted by counter-protesters and the situation turned ugly.
About 100 Trump supporters and 100 counter-protesters clashed at the intersection of Mission Boulevard and Hornblend Street until a growing size of police officers on foot and on bikes arrived to separate them.
After incidents of violence were directed at officers, the police department declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly, about 2:30 p.m.
So this was never declared a riot but it was headed in that direction. Last week a grand jury indicted 11 members of the Antifa group with 29 felonies related to that day’s events including conspiracy to riot. This is apparently the first time prosecutors have gone after an antifa group with conspiracy charges:
A San Diego grand jury has indicted 11 alleged members of an anti-fascist group in connection with several assaults that occurred in January 2021 during a Pacific Beach “Patriot March” organized by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
The indictment does not appear to add any charges beyond what the defendants faced when they were initially charged in December in San Diego Superior Court. But those initial charges were dropped Tuesday in favor of the indictment, which the county District Attorney’s Office said was handed down after the grand jury heard 13 days of testimony last month.
The defendants were indicted on 29 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit the crime of riot. Experts who study domestic extremism believe the case to be the first time nationwide that prosecutors have used a conspiracy charge specifically to prosecute alleged anti-fascists, or “antifa supporters,” as prosecutors described them.
There was some fighting on both sides based on videos (some of the ones linked here have been deleted).
Videos also showed members of the pro-Trump group attacking a barefoot man, a Trump supporter throwing a munition canister at the counterprotesters and anti-fascists attacking people, including pepper-spraying an apparent bystander walking his dog.
However, before the DA brought charges last year he stated that this was not a mutual combat situation.
The indictment alleges that the defendants “are all affiliated with Antifa” and used “force, fear, and violence to further their interests and suppress the interests of others.” It continues, “The objective of this conspiracy was to incite and participate in a riot.”
Though video footage that proliferated on social media around the time of the riot captured violence also committed by members of the pro-Trump crowd, the D.A.’s Office said in a statement issued last year that “video evidence analysis shows that overwhelmingly the violence in this incident was perpetrated by the Antifa affiliates and was not a mutual fray with both sides crossing out of lawful First Amendment expression into riot and violence.”
Ten of the 11 who have been indicted were in court Tuesday and they all pleaded not guilty to the charges. Andy Ngo has some additional information on the charges.
Prosecutors claim the Antifa group attacked a boy riding his bicycle. He was first pushed off, and then punched and kicked and tased with a stun gun while he was on the ground…
After San Diego Police declared the gathering unlawful, and ordered the crowd to disperse, certain Antifa members hurled bottles and other projectiles at police, the indictment alleges. When police attempted to arrest certain rioters, the Antifa members allegedly sprayed police with tear gas and pulled the suspects away from the officers. The indictment says one suspect was successfully prevented being arrested and that person was provided a change of clothing by Antifa co-conspirators.
He also posted some video from that day.
The assaults were numerous and lasted a long time along the boardwalk in Pacific Beach, San Diego in January 2021. The #antifa members blinded targets with pepper spray before punching and kicking them. Here’s part of the assault: pic.twitter.com/vFikfVZ41K
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) December 12, 2021