Berkeley Police Arrest 13 as Anarchists Storm Right-Wing Event

Leigh Mccormick
August 29, 2017

He later said in a Facebook video that he feared the way officials had organized the event would cause a "huge riot" and clash between his groups and Antifa, or anti-fascist protesters.

A spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department, Jennifer Coats, said 500 police officers were at the scene of the protests to ensure the safety of the demonstrators. He applauded officers' restraint, saying it forestalled greater violence. Six people were injured, including two who were taken to the hospital.

There were 13 arrests on various charges including, assault with a deadly weapon.

The pivots by the group didn't deter more than 1,000 left-wing counter-protesters from descending on Alamo Square park, where they suspected right-wing supporters still might show up. Unlike many groups on the right and left, antifa doesn't publicly eschew violence but instead sanctions it as self-defense against white supremacists and, in many cases, police trying to maintain order at rallies, marches, and protests.

There was "no need for a confrontation over a grass patch", Greenwood said. (Dan Brekke/KQED)Protesters descended on the streets of Berkeley demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. Gibson, the leader of the Oregon-based Patriot Prayer group, had planned to hold a "Freedom Rally" at Crissy Field Beach.

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.

Hundreds of counter protesters began marching on Saturday morning in Alamo Square Park, continuing until the afternoon, according to reports. However, last week, that event's organizer, Amber Cummings, also signaled the event was off due to the growing tensions. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee declared victory over a group he branded as inviting hate. She was not seen there, though Gibson vowed to come and when he did anarchists set upon him. But several Trump supporters and right-wing demonstrators were also chased away by groups, who chanted "Nazis go home".

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All told, the Associated Press reported at least five individuals were attacked.

"What you saw today is a city that came together", he said.

CNN affiliate KRON reported at least one arrest of a man who claimed he was detained because he was wearing a mask.

Counter protesters chanted, "No Trump, no KKK, no racist United States of America". Participants carried signs condemning white supremacy, racism and hate speech.

Joey Gibson was among the right-wing activists assaulted on Sunday. Even with that counterprotesters turned out in San Francisco on Saturday.

Berkeley police were planning for a number of contingencies, police spokeswoman Jenn Coats said in an email Saturday.

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