In recent months, there has been a worrying trend in the realm of public discourse. What I’m referring to is the rising level of violence between left and right wing demonstrators.
The high profile clashes in places like Charlottesville, Virginia have forced many people to grapple with the ethics of political violence, specifically the lack or excess of police intervention.
Closer to home, there was another violent clash that occurred on Tuesday, Aug. 22. For those that do not yet know, President Donald Trump was in Phoenix for a political rally. This attracted crowds of supporters and detractors, many of whom were ASU students and faculty, who wanted to express their views on the presidency.
However, there was a notable difference between this protest and the protest that took place in Charlottesville. In Charlottesville, conflicts arose between different political groups while the protests in Phoenix saw violence between protestors and police.
The night went mostly without incident as people exercised their rights peacefully. This changed as the event came to a close and police attempted to clear the streets. The Phoenix Police Department resorted to the use of tear gas and pepper balls to encourage anti-Trump crowds to go home after a protester allegedly threw a water bottle at the police.