Berkeley Police Allowed Antifa to Jump Barricade, Assault Demonstrators

Posted August 29, 2017

San Francisco police announced Saturday afternoon that they had seen no major incidents and made only one arrest.

They accused Trump supporters of being racist. Patriot Prayer's news conference is scheduled there later in the day. Sunday's rally was to be the provocatively titled "No to Marxism in America", seemingly created to needle Berkeley's famously liberal populace.

The violence that did occur was in the realm of tense shoving-matches, surrounding such figures as far-right wingers Johnny Benitez and Joey Gibson, who provoked outbursts when they showed up. The SPLC does not list Patriot Prayer as a hate group.

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

More than 1,000 people filled almost every seat at Congregation Emanu-El, with people from other synagogues and faith communities joining the Interfaith Gathering Against Hate. "If antifa is going to be the nuclear defense of the left against the horrors of White Supremacy, they will need to act with restraint when militant response is not called for".

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, did her part by labeling it a "white supremacist rally at Crissy Field" - there's no indication Pelosi was asked to support her statement with facts. The march turned violent after a 20-year-old man plowed his vehicle into a group of counter-demonstrators protesting against racism, killing a woman and injuring 20 others.

By Friday evening, the pressure against the demonstrations had become too much, and they were called off. The Trump supporter who organized the "anti-Marxism" rally ended up canceling the event out of fear that violence would break out but thousands of counterprotesters still took to the streets.

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"We should be talking out for all the oppressed people when the Nazis don't show up", he told the crowd.

Gibson, however, was not finished. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, Calif., was also canceled after the event was never granted a permit.

By Saturday morning, the police had fenced off the area and heavily surrounded it with officers. Update at 2:45 p.m.

Police were checking bags of those entering the park and had erected barricades around the park as part of tight security measures to prevent violence.

Many saw the weekend, ultimately, as a win.

"We're residents of the Bay Area - people of color, working class people, immigrants, queer, lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people, liberals, leftists, and others", the event read on Facebook.

Berkeley, which lies eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, had been set to host a "No To Marxism in America" rally of right-wing activists at the Martin Luther King Civic Center Park Sunday.