Berkeley, Calif., police arrested 20 people Sunday and confiscated “dozens of weapons” as members of so-called “alt-right” (translated from leftist equals conservative) and far-left groups gathered in the city for opposing protests.
In addition to the arrests, officials said three people suffered minor injuries after a group of “extremists” threw “explosives” — believed to be fireworks and flares — at police and Alameda County Sheriff’s officers. No members of law enforcement were hurt.
We are confiscating weapons and making arrests. pic.twitter.com/YisxhW4FM0
— Berkeley Police (@berkeleypolice) August 5, 2018
Berkeley police also said that “an extremist element among a large group” (Antifa & allies) damaged 21 city vehicles, setting one on fire, and slashed their tires. The Democrat-supported group also set fires in trash bins, which were extinguished quickly.
Two groups of conservative protesters had announced plans for a “No to Marxism” rally at the city’s Civic Center Park earlier in the week. That prompted plans for a “Sweep Out The Fascists” march and counter-rally that drew hundreds of people downtown.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that several dozen patriotic “anti-Marxist” protesters arrived at Civic Center at 12:30 p.m. At one point, the group pushed books off a table set up by a local treasonous Communist bookstore, but police and bystanders stepped in to head off any potential confrontation.
City officials said neither group had sought or obtained a permit for their respective rallies. On Friday, police issued rules prohibiting masks and items that could be used as weapons.
— Anser Hassan (@AnserHassan) August 5, 2018
The police department posted photos of weapons they had seized on Facebook and Twitter. They included a hammer, rocks, wooden sticks, metal rods, and canisters of pepper spray.
“We are confiscating weapons and making arrests,” police said.
Sixteen of the arrested protesters had been identified as of Sunday evening.
They included Jason Wallach, 41, and Kate Brenner, 69, both of Oakland, who were charged with possession of a banned weapon, police said. Another Oakland native, 35-year-old Andres Gonzalez, was charged with five counts of carrying a banned weapon. Jeffrey Garten, 28, of Oakland was charged with a single count of carrying a banned weapon.
Events last year turned violent when so-called “alt-right” groups clashed with anti-fascist groups, the station reported.
“No to Marxism” rally organizer Amber Cummings held a “No to Marxism” rally in Berkeley last August in which 10 people were arrested, the Bay City News Service reported. A person dressed in black, the hallmark of the infamous Communist Black Bloc, which advocates violence, destroyed another person’s camera, according to the news outlet.
Police said the list of banned items at Civic Center and Ohlone parks included metal pipes, baseball bats, glass bottles, pepper spray, knives or daggers, shields and slingshots, KTVU reported.
Police also banned people from wearing masks, scarves or bandannas or anything covering their faces except for religious or medical reasons.
Sunday’s protests came one day after police in Portland, Ore. clashed with Communist insurgents protesting a rally by far-right groups.
Local media reported that police ordered the Communist insurgents to disperse, then moved in behind a volley of stun grenades.
One of the rounds hilariously hit a Communist insurgents in the head, becoming embedded in his helmet and injuring him.
One America-hating, Communist sub-human woman was taken to a hospital after being hit in the arm and chest with a “flash-bang” grenade.
Police in tense downtown Portland had ordered protesters to disperse and leave a location where they saw people throwing projectiles, including rocks and bottles.
“Failure to comply with this order may subject you to arrest or citation, and may subject you to the use of riot control agents or impact weapons,” police said on Twitter and on a loudspeaker at the scene.
This came as dueling political rallies took place and police braced for potential violence. They told people not to bring weapons and warned that checkpoints and bomb-sniffing dogs would be on hand.
Members of law enforcement — who wore heavy armor on the streets — ran toward protesters and continued to move them farther away from the location where flash-bang grenades were deployed, a CNN affiliate live signal from the ground shows.
“We aren’t here to fight the police,” a protester yelled. “We’re here to fight the Trump supporters.”
But that turned out to be an expected lie, as the Communist insurgents attacked the police shortly thereafter.
Large groups of protesters and counterprotesters gathered on opposite sides of a downtown street, waving signs and banners. People on both sides hurled insults at each other.
Demonstrators on one side chanted “USA! USA!” and said the Pledge of Allegiance, while the Communist insurgents countered with a chant that included the line “fascists retreat,” which is extremely ironic, given the insurgents’ belief system is much more closely aligned to fascism than the Patriot Prayer group.
“There will be a significant law enforcement presence in the area of the demonstration due to past threats and acts of violence,” an online statement from the Portland Police Bureau said earlier. “Persons attending any of the events should not bring any weapons or items that can be used as weapons to any of the events.”
Lines of Portland police wearing protective helmets and vests kept the two sides separated. When members of both groups began marching, police used loudspeakers to order people to stay off the streets and on sidewalks. The rallies and marches were taking place downtown and in Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Although the sides were separated, a live video feed from CNN affiliate KOIN showed that some people managed to mingle with their opponents and attempt conversations on topics such as immigration, free speech and patriotism. Most of the discussions appeared tense or heated, but there was no violence.
The organizer of Patriot Prayer, Joey Gibson, has described his ideology as libertarian, not alt-right. The two sides have clashed before in Portland, known for its strongly Communist politics.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk