SAN FRANCISCO—A free speech demonstration conducted by conservative activists in front of Twitter in downtown San Francisco turned into a confrontation with counter-demonstrators on Saturday, October 17. One of the free speech protesters was severely attacked in the mouth, and a 35-year-old suspect was arrested for mayhem and a hate crime enhancement on October 18.
At 1:00 p.m., a permitted free speech rally began in United Nations Plaza, while dozens of counter protesters arrived. Counter-demonstrators started “throwing glass bottles, plastic bottles filled with an unknown liquid, metal cans, and eggs” at free speech protesters and police officers, according to the San Francisco Police Department.
Philip Anderson, 25, who leads “Team Save America,” organized the rally outside of Twitter headquarters. He accuses Twitter of censoring hate speech and political news, especially the one with conservative views. He was attacked by counter-protesters in the mouth and lost his teeth. He posted photos of his mouth bleeding with front teeth almost missing to Twitter, with the comment below. His account was later suspended due to the violation of “Twitter Rules.”
“After getting my teeth knocked out by Antifa for No Reason…Instagram just banned my account for no reason. This is why we were having a Free Speech Rally in the first place. Our free speech right is being destroyed!!!”
Videos which caught the scene when Anderson was attacked in the mouth have been posted on Twitter.
Philip Anderson, a free speech rally leader, punched by counter protester and pushed back into barricaded area at UN Plaza in SF. Rally has not started yet. #ProudBoys #SanFrancisco pic.twitter.com/NcNopIyDAX
— Denis Ivan Perez (@dpi_19) October 17, 2020
On October 19, the San Francisco Police Department announced that they arrested the suspect responsible for assaulting Anderson. At approximately 12:20 p.m. on October 17, officers responded to an aggravated assault happening at Leavenworth and McAllister Streets. The SFPD Night Investigations Unit and Special Investigations Unit started the investigation after they listened to Anderson’s note that he was punched by an unknown suspect.
Adora Anderson, 35, of Watsonville was arrested at 2:53 p.m. on October 18. He was taken into custody by SFPD officers in Oakland. Anderson stays in San Francisco County Jail on charges of mayhem and a hate crime enhancement.
Three San Francisco police officers also suffered from non-life-threatening injuries due to pepper spray shots and caustic chemicals during the rally. One of the officers was transported to a local hospital. The rally became so violent that a public safety hazard was announced and it was shut down later.