14 arrests, reports of violence during Berkeley protests

Geneva Matthews
August 29, 2017

Roughly 2,000 anti-hate activists protested a canceled right-wing rally that was scheduled to take place in Berkeley, CA, on Sunday. "I believe it's important to confront Nazis and white supremacists directly, show them they're not welcome in the Bay Area and as a medic, I'm here to support the counter protesters by providing water and first aid", he says.

SAN FRANCISCO, USA - AUGUST 26: Counter protesters cheer as they demonstrate in opposition of the cancelled Patriot Prayer rally in San Francisco, California on August 26, 2017.

Police in riot gear fired a rubber bullet at one demonstrator who attempted to cross a barricade into the park, which was closed to the public.

Some downtown Berkeley stores were already boarded up early Sunday morning, as property owners anxious about vandalism.

In the afternoon, the shofar was sounded on the steps of San Francisco City Hall when Sherith Israel Senior Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf gave an invocation at the United Against Hate rally, attended by civic and faith leaders. "We're just puzzled as to why people consider violence a valid tactic", a 60-year-old Berkeley resident who left the protest when things turned chaotic.

Protesters said they feared the violence would create a much-needed distraction for Trump and his supporters need to deflect attention from his response to Charlottesville.

However, the deadly confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12 during a rally of white supremacists led San Francisco police and civil leaders to rethink their response to protests.

The move came as officials erected fencing at Alamo Square park and a large contingent of police monitored the location to prevent possible violence. But by 10:30 a.m., a small group of protesters from both sides had started to gather, a few of them getting into heated arguments. The left-wing group By Any Means Necessary, which has been involved in violent confrontations, had vowed to shut down the rally at Civic Center Park. We do not want racist people there.

Members of Antifa were seen involved in a number of violent scuffles.

Police said helmets and masks of any kind, including gas masks, are prohibited.

Chaos soon erupted and was captured on social media.

The No to Marxism in America rally was organized by Amber Cummings, a transgender Trump supporter of President Trump who had previously denied allegations that the No to Marxism event was a white-supremacy gathering.

Later in the day, protesters converged on Berkeley's Ohlone Park, where the protest eventually subsided and disbanded.

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