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

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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…

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901930363240333312

2:32 pm PT:

Madison Pauly also has been talking with the medics:

Another Mojo reporter required their services:

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901915423653871616

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.

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901910367239938048

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901909988792180737

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

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901909971637379072

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.

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901902402462261248

1:00 pm PT:

12:55 pm PT:

12:30 pm PT:

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901882141180440576

12:20 pm PT:

https://twitter.com/m_katzzz/status/901886363414347776

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.

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901881438198423553

12:00 pm PT:

Police are breaking up scuffles between Trump supporters and counterprotesters:

https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901881013332094976

https://twitter.com/m_katzzz/status/901881215703060480

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.

https://twitter.com/m_katzzz/status/901853219764051968

 

10:17 am PT:

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

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

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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