Most of the protests that have developed around the world in recent weeks have been peaceful, aside from a few highly publicized acts of looting, violence, and vandalism. However, most of these actions were not even carried out by protesters, but by agitators and opportunists. As the demonstrations have grown and become more organized, protesters have been keeping a close eye on people who have been trying to start trouble, and they have been quick to deal with these troublemakers too.
During a peaceful protest last week in Riverside, California, a man drove into the middle of an intersection where protesters had gathered, and attempted to set a lit explosive on the ground. It is not exactly clear what the device was, but it appeared to be some type of homemade firework.
However, his suspicious activities caught the eye of nearby protesters, who quickly realized what he was trying to do and rushed to intervene. As the agitator attempted to get back into his car, one of the protesters rushed over to the explosive and tossed it back in the car. The agitator was then pulled out of his car and taken to safety by the protester who threw the device back in his car.
The car began to fill with smoke and then there was a loud explosion, followed by the screams of panicked onlookers. After the explosion, the car began to roll backward as if it was left in neutral, and protesters rushed over to the car and jumped inside to prevent it from going anywhere.
In the best footage of the event, the agitator can be seen angrily returning to his car and appeared to be yelling at protesters. In footage that was captured seconds later nearby, a large fight can be seen breaking out on the side of the road where one man, which many commenters presume to be the agitator, is getting a beat down from a large group of protesters.
It is not clear if the agitator was ever identified or if he sustained any injuries from the explosion or the following assault. However, his car is clearly going to need a lot of work, and with his license plate clearly shown in numerous videos, there is a very good chance that police are going to be able to track him down and hold him accountable for his actions at the protest.
Riverside Chief of Police Larry V. Gonzalez says that the protests in Riverside were attended by over 6,000 people, and he recognized that the vast majority of the attendees were peaceful.
'The protest was peaceful for the most part until near the end when the peaceful protesters left and the rioters who remained were clearly there to cause disruption, destruction, and harm to our city. To those who demonstrated peacefully, thank you! We heard your voices and our department is dedicated to continue working closely with our community leaders and residents to help progress positive change within our department and city," Chief Gonzalez said in a statement.