March 21 2018

Free speech vs. safety debated after rally turns violent

March 21 2018, 12:47 | Van Peters

Enlarge this image

Enlarge this image

Many in the group yelled profanities at the police as they stood to protect the park across the street from Berkeley City Hall.

Trump's gravest sins with regard to the Charlottesville violence were that he did not specifically condemn white supremacists and that he suggested there were good people among them, evidence of which I haven't seen.

The peaceful gathering became violent after protesters from across the political left wing-right wing divide got into a brief tussle as the police deployed in the area tried to keep them apart. "He was cuffed and released after being shoved through the police line".

But by 10:30 a.m., a small group of protesters from both sides had started to gather, a few of them getting into heated arguments.

One officer and six others were injured; two people were taken to hospital.

Various fights erupted when hundreds of leftist "antifa" activists stormed the protest by right-wing demonstrators being held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Berkeley Police's Lt. Joe Okies told The Washington Post the rally resulted in "13 arrests on a range of charges including assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer, and various Berkeley municipal code violations". Some of the 7,000 counter-protesters confronted a small group of "alt-right" protesters who had originally meant to gather for a "Say No to Marxism in America" rally that was called off two days earlier, the Daily Californian reports. Police are also requiring all demonstrators to pass through a security checkpoint, in which cops are combing through bags and patting down people.

Anti-fascist and anarchist protesters attacked when Joey Gibson of right-wing group Patriot Prayer arrived with a handful of supporters, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Police have set up barricades in a downtown Berkeley park in preparation for possible demonstrations by right-wing and left-wing groups.

Some of the antifa protesters threatened to break the cameras of anyone who filmed them, including journalists. In addition to Berkeley police, members of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, Alameda police, and the California Highway Patrol are on hand.

"We're concerned about how this is going to impact our public safety resources and our community as a whole", the mayor said. Anti-hate protesters declared victory after marching from downtown to Ohlone Park. A far-right rally which included a large element of neo-Nazis and white supremacists ended in tragedy when a man with alleged white supremacy ties drove a auto into a group of counter-protestors, killing the woman.

Other news