April 22, 2018

After Peaceful Demonstration in San Francisco, Second Counter-Protest Expected in Berkeley

29 August 2017, 01:18 | Yvette Williams

After being kidnapped by the SLA and appearing to join them Patty Hearst became the epitome of radical chic

After being kidnapped by the SLA and appearing to join them Patty Hearst became the epitome of radical chic

The crowd began to diminish around 3:30 p.m., six hours after a march led to the protests.

Thankfully the Bay Area got through this contentious weekend, which was spurred by the two rallies planned here by right-wing activists intent on "poking the hive" and gaining more attention for themselves, without any serious violence. "We felt disappointed and surprised by how many people were not in any way discreet about being with antifa - in fact being very bold and prepared to be violent". A few antifa members violently beat up a couple of alleged neo-Nazis. "Do not!" said Tur-Ha Ak of the Anti-Police Terror Project. Police took some white supremacists into police custody for their own protection.

The city of Berkeley had issued a warning to residents last week, encouraging demonstrators and members of the public to steer clear of downtown on Sunday.

W. Kamau Bell, comedian and television host, addressed the crowd from the back of a speaker-laden truck in front of Martin Luther King Jr. Protesters descended on the streets of Berkeley demonstrating against a planned far-right rally that was called off late Saturday by its organizer. Some protesters set off purple smoke bombs.

The violence in Berkeley on Sunday stood in stark contrast to the peaceful counter demonstrations in San Francisco on Saturday.

Throughout the day, searching for the far-right rally was a wild goose chase through the city of San Francisco.

"Anytime we show we're not going to hide and that we are united for an America that doesn't tolerate hate, this is absolutely a victory", Andrea Smith of Santa Clara, Calif. told NPR's Eric Westervelt.

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It was a deserved victory for the Welsh side who won their first league game of the season against a disappointing Eagles. Goals from Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew either side of half time punctuated a thoroughly professional performance.

The peace was soon interrupted, however, by tear gas and "violent skirmishes".

Berkeley police say about 4,000 protesters showed up, causing chaos at times.

Speaking from the back of a flatbed truck, one AntiFa speaker urged those gathered to "fight the white supremacists who wear the uniform".

San Francisco's push against the right-wing rallies took many forms, including an event at the Civic Center, not billed explicitly as a protest, that gave participants a place to engage in everything from yoga to blowing bubbles. Civic Park for a peaceful demonstration on Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED ) People chant "Cops and Klan!"

A full list of items that are prohibited from this event is available here.

Berkeley police were planning for a number of contingencies, police spokeswoman Jenn Coats said in an email Saturday. Up to 500 area law enforcement officials are expected to be on hand today.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin looks down on the demonstration from the 5th floor mayor's offices.

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