Thousands assembled in Berkeley, California on Sunday for a massive "Rally Against Hate" meant to counter an ultimately meek far-right protest, with clashes among the two groups leading to the arrests of at least ten people.
Despite the fact that rally organizer Amber Cummings had earlier canceled her demonstration, saying she anxious that protesters would attack her supporters, an estimated 4,000 people still showed up in the record heat to voice their opposition to white supremacists and other "alt-right" groups, which accounted for about two dozen in all.
Police in riot gear fired a rubber bullet at a demonstrator who attempted to cross a barricade into the park, according to the Los Angeles Times, while protesters set off smoke bombs.
Some downtown Berkeley stores were already boarded up early Sunday morning, as property owners anxious about vandalism.
The "Rally Against Hate" drew thousands of people to city parks, along with the Berkeley college campus, at Sunday afternoon.
The march was part of the Bay Area Rally Against Hate Rally.
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Gibson downgraded his Saturday rally into a news conference at a San Francisco park, but was thwarted when police swarmed the park and city workers erected a fence around it.
As the rally wound down, police arrested members of the crowd who refused to remove their masks.
Another protester who traveled to Alamo Square on Saturday was Meg, a 33-year-old Oakland resident and self-described Wiccan, joined by a group called "Witches and Pagans Against White Supremacy". "We're here in the middle of nowhere because we don't want the violence", he said. Civic Center Park in Berkeley to demonstrate against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. A substantial number of the counterprotesters were black-masked members of antifa.
The original "No to Marxism" protest had been denied a permit by the city, but a small group of protesters showed up anyway, as did 2,000 "largely peaceful" counter-demonstrators, the Mercury News reported.
Police said helmets and masks of any kind, including gas masks, are prohibited.
Mayor Jesse Arreguin condemned the violence, while also commending city officials for quickly responding. Then suddenly, the police left.
Several other people also yelled at the man, who said he was born in Mexico but supports Mr. Trump's proposal to build a wall along the southern border. Civic Center Park to nearby Ohlone Park, where the anti-fascist group known as "Antifa" had initially gathered earlier in the day.