Berkeley Protests: From Calm to Chaos

This weekend, two rallies — one in San Francisco and one in Berkeley — were expected to draw white supremacists to the Bay Area, but things didn’t turn out quite how some people expected. San Francisco’s demonstration turned into an anti-hate dance party. Berkeley’s demonstrations… didn’t.

Thousands of people showed up to Berkeley on Sunday to protest — not all of them peacefully. As the afternoon wore on, violence broke out with police deploying what appeared to be tear gas on some sections of the crowd. As of 4 p.m. we’re hearing there have been around ten people arrested. But lets back up.

The day started out peacefully enough, with clashes between pro-Trump supporters and anti-hate counter protesters still resembling discussions. Police barricades at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, across the street from Berkeley High School, helped officers screen attendees for weapons and other banned items.


There were a few minor scuffles early on, but police officers or non-violent protesters quickly stepped in to intervene.

Even early on, anti-hate counter protesters greatly outnumbered the small groups of original demonstrators. Many demonstrators in pro-Trump gear were escorted out of the park as people around them chanted, “Go Home, Nazis.”


Outside the park, a separate group of counter protesters in black began to amass around noon. Police officers detained several people wearing masks, as crowds grew.


Around 1:30 p.m. a group of protesters broke through the barricades and made their way into the park. Police deployed what appeared to be tear gas in an effort to disperse the crowd. The scene became more chaotic from there.

So how did we get here again? Youth Radio reporter Pablo De La Hoya, who was on the ground during the protests breaks it down:

On the scene reporting by Youth Radio reporters Sayre Quevedo,Pablo De La Hoya, and Haldun Morgan.

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