BERKELEY, Calif. — On the morning of the protest, Sean Hines woke with a sense of purpose he’d seldom felt. He was a 20-year-old high school dropout with no car, no job and no money. A year and a half ago, he’d been arrested for a drunken brawl. Now Hines was about to be arrested again, but for something he believed in.
In his Santa Rosa halfway house, Hines dressed in all black. He chugged an energy drink, popped some nicotine gum and climbed into a friend’s car that blasted German punk rock as it barreled toward Berkeley.
“Alerta, alerta, anti-fascista!” the chorus shrieked.
It was a call to arms for militant anti-fascists, or “antifa” — and Hines was heeding it.
But the Aug. 27 protest in Berkeley did not go according to plan. Police quickly arrested Hines and 12 others. Then, in images broadcast across the country, more than 100 antifa activists leapt over barricades and stormed Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, attacking a handful of President Trump supporters and right-wing activists.
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