Berkeley Calms as Counterprotesters Declare Victory

Scattered violence gives way to celebration.

Comedian W. Kamau Bell and others celebrate in Berkeley on Sunday.Madison Pauly

Right-wing rallies planned for San Francisco largely fizzled on Saturday, but thousands of counterprotesters filled the streets, demonstrating against hate. Today, all eyes turn to Berkeley. As we explained last week:

[O]n Sunday, August 27, an estimated 300 people are supposed to descend on an anti-communist rally, known as “No to Marxism in America,” in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. The online event’s organizer, Amber Cummings, recently decried white nationalists and called for nonviolent demonstrations; she posted on Facebook, “I myself am a transsexual female who embraces diversity and loves diversity. This event is not a event of hate speech.” Even still, politicians and city officials have expressed concern that the rally could attract far-right agitators, particularly as the location was the site of clashes between right-wing groups and counterdemonstrators earlier this year.

It’s unclear whether that event will actually happen. On Friday, Cummings released a statement saying, “I will be attending the event alone. I stress I DO NOT WANT ANYONE COMING and if they do you will be turned away.” Meanwhile, Joey Gibson, the organizer of Saturday’s unsuccessful right-wing “Patriot Prayer” rally, wrote yesterday that his group would descend on Berkeley on Sunday.

Regardless of what happens, counterprotesters are expected to be out in force. We’ve got reporters on the scene and will keep you up to date on the latest developments.

2:50 pm PT: The crowd, consisting of both antifa and everyday folks, has decamped from Berkeley’s Civic Center Park, marched a few blocks to Ohlone Park on Berkeley’s Northside, and declared victory. Things have calmed down, at least for now. And hey, look who’s at the barricades…

2:32 pm PT:

Madison Pauly also has been talking with the medics:

Another Mojo reporter required their services:

2:26 pm PT:

1:50 pm PT: Mojo reporters confirm police are firing off teargas at antifa crowd. And reports of rubber bullets as well. Things have turned very sour.

(SF Chronicle reporter Lizzie Johnson tweeted this update later…)

1:30 pm PT: Black Bloc crowd has taken over Civic Center park.

1:21 pm PT: Berkeley Police donning gas masks. An officer told our reporter they may use gas—without warning.

1:00 pm PT:

12:55 pm PT:

12:30 pm PT:

12:20 pm PT:

12:10 pm PT:

We have no words to add to this.

12:07 pm PT:

#RESIST.

12:05 pm PT:

Right-wing activists seem to be vastly outnumbered by counterprotesters once again.

12:00 pm PT:

Police are breaking up scuffles between Trump supporters and counterprotesters:

10:50 am PT:

Counterprotesters are gathering for Berkeley’s Rally Against Hate.

10:40 am PT:

Small confrontations are already taking place.

10:25 am PT:

More than 500 police officers are on hand to try to control the crowds and prevent the type of violence that happened in Charlottesville.

 

10:17 am PT:

Gibson is still saying he plans to appear in Berkeley today…

…residents of Berkeley, meanwhile, are making their views clear.