COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — A new study finds that protests in California are getting more violent.
Professor Brian Levin says that their research shows that along with a rise in hate crimes in California that is double what is being seen in the rest of country, that violent political confrontations are also increasing.
The director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino told the joint session of the state legislature last week that violent political confrontations are rising in California by nearly double.
"We are seeing more of these mega rallies of white nationalists in the last two years than in the previous ten to twenty nationally," Levin says.
There were about 13 hostile gatherings in all of 2016. So far this year we've had 15. Many centered in Orange County.
"Orange County was the county with the most confrontational public demonstrations -- even beating out Alameda County, which is home to Berkeley," says Levin.
The America First rally in Laguna Beach last month ended in violence.
Then there was the Make America Great Again rally in Huntington Beach where masked antifa members clashed with Trump supporters.
And in Anaheim the KKK rally last year nearly turned deadly.
Levin says as Californians become more politically divided he sees no end in sight.
"California is a bellwether," says Levin. "Keep your seat belts fastened."
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