The combination of politics and protests boiled over Sunday, with supporters of President Donald Trump holding a demonstration and clashing with counter-protesters on the Golden Gate Bridge Sunday afternoon.
Officers from the California Highway Patrol and the Golden Gate Bridge Patrol tried to keep the two groups separated, and some arrests were made.
The march across the Golden Gate Bridge was billed by conservative organizer Brandan Straka as an effort to "save San Francisco." He’s behind a campaign called Walk Away, an effort to invite Democrats to leave their party and join the Republican party.
Straka said his group was mostly peaceful, but they did become animated when a counter protester threw a cone at him.
“If we come together in a demonstration to say we’re going to stand up for our country and these very same types of people who spent the last three plus months show up who have been destroying our neighborhoods, our cities and our country, " Straka said. "Yeah, our side’s going to have something to say about it because they’re really, really angry.”
There was also an effort to organize a flotilla of boats to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge with Trump banners, but that didn’t seem to materialize.
The confrontation came after what appeared to be counter-protesters met the Trump group near the visitor center.
The two groups shouted at each other as officers tried to keep them separated.
The Golden Gate Bridge Authority said four people were arrested.
Counter-protesters said the CHP on the scene unfairly closed off access to the bridge for them, and to some commuters who were trying to cross the bridge.
One bicyclist, who asked to be referred to as Marcus, said he wasn’t part of either party.
Marcus didn’t want his full name used because he’s concerned about recent violence by right-wing groups.
He said he was surprised when officers told him he wasn’t allowed to ride across the bridge on his bike.
“I’m allowed to believe what I believe, they can believe whatever, we can exist in the same space,” Marcus said. “How are you going to tell me that I can’t use the public space that I pay taxes for?
A spokesperson for the Golden Gate Bridge Authority said officers were trying to keep both groups separate for their own safety.
The spokesperson also said that on weekends bicyclists can only use the west side crosswalk area.