Several arrested as clashes break out during Berkeley protests

Posted August 29, 2017

They also fired a rubber bullet at a demonstrator who tried to cross a barricade into Martin Luther King Park.

Hundreds of counter protesters began marching on Saturday morning in Alamo Square Park, continuing until the afternoon, according to reports.

What was scheduled to be a Neo-nazi-type rally was transformed into anti-racist, solidarity actions that filled the streets of the Bay area in a series of protests. (Erika Aguilar/KQED) A group of musicians protest on the streets of Berkeley, demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017.

Berkeley police said 13 people were arrested at the Sunday demonstration.

According to local news sources, at least 10 people were arrested for violating rules against covering the face or carrying banned items. They were wearing black masks as they staged a brief standoff with a phalanx of police officers from Berkeley, Fremont and other law enforcement agencies. Police responded by setting off smoke bombs and targeting anarchists with tear gas. "Fighting hate with hate does not work and only makes each side more entrenched in their ideological camps".

The Berkeley Police Department was bolstered by the California Highway Patrol. The Chronicle reported that some participants carried "signs reading 'Berkeley stands united against hate, ' 'Queers against hate, ' and 'End white supremacy, '" while others handed out "no hate" shields.

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Berkeley is a hotbed of political protest and UC Berkeley is where the free-speech movement started in the 1960s.

While Patriot Prayer has been described by the ADL as Alt-lite and not Alt-right, its rallies have attracted white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

In April, at least 21 people were arrested as Trump supporters and opponents clashed at a park in Berkeley, police said. He took to Twitter to compare the police reaction to that in Charlottesville, even though it appears no one today was significantly injured. Concerns about violence were not unwarranted, since chaos erupted following the ultimately canceled visit of right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos back in February. The university blamed "150 masked agitators" for the unrest, saying they had come to campus to disturb an otherwise peaceful protest.

Gibson announced on Friday that his group had canceled its "Freedom Rally" planned for Saturday at Crissy Field Beach in San Francisco.

The recent violence has sparked outrage among Twitter users. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee declared victory over a group he branded as inviting hate.

Asked Saturday whether he had any plans to go to Berkeley, Gibson, the leader of Patriot Prayer, said he would "analyze the situation". In some cases, violence broke out.