City of Berkeley: ‘Stay away’ from upcoming alt-right rally, counter-protest

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Julian Kilchling/File

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The city of Berkeley is now advising community members to “stay away” from an alt-right “No to Marxism in America” rally scheduled in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on Aug. 27 and to not “create alternative events near downtown Berkeley,” according to a city of Berkeley press release issued Wednesday. “Stay away from conflict. There are many alternative ways to respond,” the release reads.

The “No to Marxism” rally invites attendees “to come stand against Marxism,” according to a Facebook event description. Mayor Jesse Arreguín announced in a Tuesday press release his office was exploring options to prevent the event from taking place, including whether the city has “the legal means to stop this rally from taking place.”

“We don’t want the rally to take place due to a high probability of violence,” said Karina Ioffee, a spokesperson with the mayor’s office. “The reality is: we really can’t stop people from gathering in a public venue. We’re still meeting with police and the city manager to find out what are our options. We want to de-escalate the situation (and) make sure our city does not turn into a war zone.”

A permit for the event has not yet been sought by event organizers or granted by the city, according to city spokesperson Matthai Chakko. Amber Cummings, a person listed as the host for the “No to Marxism” rally, could not be reached for comment.

Berkeley City Council will be holding an emergency meeting Friday at 3 p.m. to consider the adoption of an urgency ordinance to issue regulations “that are deemed necessary to preserve public health, welfare, safety, and property” for street events without permits.

Chakko said while the city “does not have any evidence” that organizations connected to last week’s Charlottesville, Virginia protests are planning on attending the scheduled Berkeley rally, the city is advising residents to stay away from the protests to assist police “in terms of managing crowds and keeping people safe.”

We don’t want police officers who could be focused on people breaking the law instead busy helping to manage counter-protesters,” Chakko said. “But when you create an alternative event, that poses real risk. It compromises the ability for police to respond. We want to use every available tool we have to keep our people safe. ”

Multiple campus student leaders cited community safety as a concern for the scheduled rally. ASUC External Affairs Vice President Rigel Robinson said in an email he is meeting with Arreguín later to week to explore “every possible avenue” to best secure the protection of students and community members.

ASUC Senator-elect Juniperangelica Cordova added that she was “happy to see the city strongly condemning the upcoming actions of white supremacists” and hopes that “every possible action” is taken to prevent harm and violence from coming to Berkeley.

“The UC Berkeley/City of Berkeley name and reputation will be used to score headlines and national attention. While this leaves communities vulnerable, the legalities of free speech continue to outline the boundaries of what officials can and/or choose to act on,” Cordova said in an email. Nevertheless, people are mad. And with anger may come violence. My hope for the events is that marginalized communities are able to stay as safe as possible and the greater community uses this opportunity to be critical of where we are in the political and social environment today.”

Bobby Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Bobby Lee at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @bobbylee_dc.

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  • Sam Spade

    We Go Where They Go!
    #antifa

  • FreedomFan

    Marxists and fascists are both scum, but marxists have much more power in today’s FUBAR America.

  • ShadrachSmith

    the face of antifa.

  • Professor S Freeman

    ‘Antifa’ Grows as Left-Wing Faction Set to, Literally, Fight the Far Right

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Last weekend, when a 27-year-old bike messenger showed up at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., he came ready for battle. He joined a human chain that stretched in front of Emancipation Park and linked his arms with others, blocking waves of white supremacists — some of them in full Nazi regalia — from entering.

    “As soon as they got close,” said the young man, who declined to give his real name and goes by Frank Sabaté after the famous Spanish anarchist, “they started swinging clubs, fists, shields. I’m not embarrassed to say that we were not shy in defending ourselves.”

    Sabaté is an adherent of a controversial force on the left known as antifa. The term, a contraction of the word “anti-fascist,” describes the loose affiliation of radical activists who have surfaced in recent months at events around the country and have openly scuffled with white supremacists, right-wing extremists and, in some cases, ordinary supporters of President Trump. Energized in part by Mr. Trump’s election, they have sparred with their conservative opponents at political rallies and college campus speaking engagements, arguing that one crucial way to combat the far right is to confront its supporters on the streets
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/us/antifa-left-wing-faction-far-right.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    • zzz

      Two sets of morons.

    • Trulahn

      Anti-fascists are now the “radical activists”? Most of the world would think fascism is “radical” extremism. But yeah, criticize the people who are against fascism as if they are the crazy ones.

      • Nunya Beeswax

        Well, sure, both sides are not equally wrong. I find anarchist ideology easier to accept than fascist ideology. But both sides are guilty of using unacceptable tactics. So although the anarchists have a slight edge, neither side is right. The end does not justify the means.

        • Jorge Carolinos

          The way this country is dividing up behind left and right now is very odd, instead of the left getting more say leftist with free speech, individual liberty, personal agency, actually being able to think about things in some abstract sense. None of these things I associated with the left are happening, rioting anti-fascists are often just destroying parked cars and store fronts of the actual working class, not fighting fascism.

          Also argument by definition is such a low form of argument, “I’m anti-fascist, excuse me while I run wild in the streets attacking people and objects” Trulahn “OK, have at it, as long as you claim to be anti-fascist, all is good”

      • lspanker

        Anti-fascists are now the “radical activists”?

        You choose to ignore the fact that the people YOU think are the “anti-fascists” think it’s perfectly OK to beat up people because they don’t share their views. Who are the real fascists again?

      • Pietro Gambadilegno

        “Antifa” does not refer to all anti-fascists. It is a name of a group that dresses in black, wears masks, carries weapons, and assaults people whom they consider fascists – including many conservatives who are not really fascists.

        Here in Berkeley, antifa has caused more violence than fascists.

    • D.Plorable

      I’m still looking for one picture of “full Nazi regalia, I saw one flag with a swastika–and alarm bells when the organizer (did you know he was an Occupy Wall St vet) did not grab it away. Counted 3 Klan suits. And how can you be sure they weren’t fake provocateurs? See post at top of column.

  • s randall

    This is what the editor of the University of Virginia school newspaper had to say.

    I defended the rights of these white supremacists to assemble based on a belief of open access to the marketplace of ideas, where open discourse allows society to sort through ideologies without the outsize interference of institutions or governments. What I now realize is that the alt-right has no interest in participating in open discourse. Their weekend of demonstrations, and their entire movement, is based on overt and unapologetic intimidation, harassment and threats of violence. I defended the right of the alt-right to peacefully assemble, but they never intended for their assembly to be peaceful. They organized, applied for a permit and came to town with the full intention of inciting violence and agitating both the community and the national media.

    http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2017/08/novak-i-was-wrong-about-the-alt-right

    • lspanker

      What I now realize is that the alt-right has no interest in participating in open discourse.

      SOME members of the alt-right, same of which can be said of the alt-left. Seems, however, that the outrage expressed by some people is directly dependent on whether it’s their side throwing the punches or not.

      • s randall

        Does the “alt-left” bring assault rifles to a “rally”? Here’s the quote from Virginia’s governor.

        By the time both groups converged on the park, a line of camouflage-clad militia members toting assault rifles were standing outside the park, looking very much like an invading army. “They had better equipment than our State Police had,” Mr. McAuliffe said.

        https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/us/charlottesville-protests-white-nationalists.html

        Law enforcement will have the worst job ever on August 27.

        • lspanker

          Does the “alt-left” bring assault rifles to a “rally”?

          No, they bring rocks, bottles, and bike locks, parade around with banners declaring THIS IS WAR, then act all shocked when somebody else raises the ante.

          Does the “alt-left” bring assault rifles to a “rally”?

          It would have been a lot easier if they had stepped up to the plate a few months ago and smacked down the thugs beating up people who are clearly too immature to handle opposing points of view as grown adults. Some of us saw this coming, sorry you did not.

          • s randall

            No, they bring rocks, bottles, and bike locks, parade around with banners declaring THIS IS WAR, then act all shocked when somebody else raises the ante.

            Those “somebodies” were always ready, willing and able to do violence. They just needed an enabler-in-chief. Like I posted earlier, law enforcement will have the worst job ever on August 27.

          • zzz

            Antifa it came natural then?

            How do you defend such losers?

          • D.Plorable

            Don’t forget the M-80s. Not a single arrest for explosive devices yet, the relevant statutes was toughened up after 9/11 and it’s a felony with mandatory jail.

          • TNT

            Jerry Coyne wrote a blog post about the Charlottesville incident. Lo and behold, there were in fact Regressive leftists who were armed with assault rifles as demonstrated in the pictures.
            https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/armed-leftists-in-charlottesville/

            The funniest thinh about these masked, cowardly “Antifa” Regressive Leftists is that even Noam Chomsky has publicly denounced them:
            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/noam-chomsky-antifa-major-gift-right-wing-anti-fascist-alt-left-a7906406.html

        • Professor S Freeman

          1. Virginia is an open carry state.
          2. Assault rifles are prohibited by law in Virginia.
          3. Virginia State Police carry a SIG P229 (.357 SIG). Each Trooper is also issued a Colt 6921, 14.5″ semi auto M4 carbine.

          Also, Democratic Virginia Governor Mcauliffe and Democratic Charlottesville Mayor Signer are persons responsible for events in Charlottesville not President Trump.

          • s randall

            Wow! You sure know a lot about guns. Did you learn that online?

            Why would anyone bring rifles, semi-automatic, automatic or otherwise to a “free speech demonstration”? Hint. That is a rhetorical question.

          • Professor S Freeman

            By the time both groups converged on the park, a line of camouflage-clad militia members toting ASSAULT RIFLES were standing outside the park, looking very much like an invading army. “They had BETTER EQUIPMENT THAN OUR STATE POLICE had,” Mr. McAuliffe said.

            Governor McAuliffe is wrong!

            I repeat:
            2. Assault rifles are prohibited by law in Virginia.
            3. Virginia State Police carry a SIG P229 (.357 SIG). Each Trooper is also issued a Colt 6921, 14.5″ semi auto M4 carbine.

          • s randall

            Whether or not the Virginia Governor’s statement is absolutely correct is irrelevant. Fact is the alt-right people had weapons, and a lot of them.

            However, if you look at this video from about 19:10, you will see that one of the leaders, Christopher Cantwell, actually did have more equipment. I’ll leave the better part up to you to decide.

            https://news.vice.com/story/vice-news-tonight-full-episode-charlottesville-race-and-terror

          • Kurt VanderKoi

            Facts do matter:

            The police had light armored vehicles at Charlottesville.

            “There was clearly a coordinated effort to get as many police officers out there as possible,” he said. “They had armored vehicles driving down the mall. They had probably hundreds of officers, some of whom were in riot gear, some of whom weren’t, but they clearly had some sort of coordinated strategy.”
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/charlottesville-police-response_us_5991de97e4b090964298e5bc

            Democratic Virginia Governor Mcauliffe and Democratic Charlottesville Mayor Signer are persons responsible for events in Charlottesville not President Trump.

          • s randall

            My sense is that the comment by the Virginia Governor was meant to deflect criticism of the police. The feeling was that law enforcement was not up to the task. The feeling was that they were afraid. The police leadership understood that and understood the criticism they were getting from other law enforcement agencies. “Equipment” became a metaphor. As in, the kind of “equipment” that males have.

            This is all going to be a huge recipe for miscalculation at any of the “demonstrations” the neo-Nazis are now emboldened to have. Neo-Nazis will push the envelope and law enforcement will feel like their manhood is challenged.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            Anyone with any sense could have seen this coming.

            Your antifa idiots….

          • Trulahn

            We all should be antifa. Fascism should be opposed by everyone. The fact that you are defending fascism and criticizing those who oppose fascism puts you on the wrong side automatically.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            In the 80 i got in real fights with real fascist skinheads at punk shows. I’m not going to belong to the lefts version of skinheads. Dumb people with a need to belong doesn’t appeal to me. To say I defend fasism because I don’t like violent man babies is an odd position for you to hold.

          • D.Plorable

            What would you call the trash who smashed up the campus and downtown at the Milo event? Peace activists? Read any Orwell ever?

            One-way ticket to Venezuela for you.

          • D.Plorable

            McAuliffe engineered this thing for political purposes and his ilk are delighted to have a bloody shirt to wave.You can find the after-the-fact complaints of the VA ACLU regarding weak police action, you can easily find the correct sequence of events which begin with the police waiting until the alt-rights are assembled so they can be driven into the line of “protestors” after the declaration of “unlawful assembly”
            2 years ago McAuliffe while running for governor proclaimed the monuments are “part of out heritage”. Funny how these things stood ever since the days of MLK and now all of a sudden they are a crisis? It’s avoidance behavior as the left can’t manage a sack lunch—ask the families who lost loved ones in the catastrophic fires the Oakland fire dept picked fumbled.

          • SnuggleBear

            Notice that all those “alt-right” and “right wing” and “scary evil hate filled people” brought plenty of guns and not one shot was fired? Imagine if Antifa had their hands on the same kind of weapons.

          • Pietro Gambadilegno

            And I repeat this summary of Virginia law:

            Proof of age (18+ for long arms, 21+ for pistols) and proof of
            citizenship (or permanent residence license) are required for the
            purchase of “assault weapons”. “Assault weapons” are defined as a
            semi-automatic, centerfire, firearm equipped with a folding/adjustable
            stock, or equipped at the time with a magazine capable of holding more
            than 20 rounds, or capable of accommodating a silencer/suppressor.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Virginia

          • Pietro Gambadilegno

            Assault rifles are NOT prohibited in Virginia according to Wikipedia. Here is their summary of the state’s law:

            Proof of age (18+ for long arms, 21+ for pistols) and proof of
            citizenship (or permanent residence license) are required for the
            purchase of “assault weapons”. “Assault weapons” are defined as a
            semi-automatic, centerfire, firearm equipped with a folding/adjustable
            stock, or equipped at the time with a magazine capable of holding more
            than 20 rounds, or capable of accommodating a silencer/suppressor.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Virginia

          • Kurt VanderKoi

            A GENUINE ASSAULT WEAPON, as opposed to a legal definition, is a hand-held, SELECTIVE FIRE WEAPON, WHICH MEANS IT’S CAPABLE OF FIRING IN EITHER AN AUTOMATIC OR A SEMIAUTOMATIC MODE DEPENDING ON THE POSITION OF A SELECTOR SWITCH. These kinds of weapons are heavily regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and are further regulated in some states.

          • Pietro Gambadilegno

            No true Scotsman.

            Only you know what a GENUINE ASSAULT WEAPON is. Everyone else, including the Virginia law, doesn’t know what a GENUINE assault weapon is.

          • Kurt VanderKoi

            An assault rifle is a selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles were first used during World War II.

            The U.S. Army defines assault rifles as “short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges.”[16] In a strict definition, a firearm must have at least the following characteristics to be considered an assault rifle:[2][3][4]
            It must be capable of selective fire.
            It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle, such as the 7.92×33mm Kurz, the 7.62x39mm and the 5.56x45mm NATO.
            Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine.[5]
            It must have an effective range of at least 300 metres (330 yards).
            Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles, despite frequently being called such.
            For example:
            Select-fire M2 Carbines are not assault rifles; their effective range is only 200 yards.[17]
            Select-fire rifles such as the FN FAL battle rifle are not assault rifles; they fire full-powered rifle cartridges.
            Semi-automatic-only rifles like variants of the Colt AR-15 are not assault rifles; they do not have select-fire capabilities.
            Semi-auto rifles with fixed magazines like the SKS are not assault rifles; they do not have detachable box magazines and are not capable of automatic fire.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifle

        • zzz

          It’s good of you to make his point.

      • SecludedCompoundTTYS

        These kids don’t even know what the alt-right is or the history of how it began. They just want to paint with a huge brush, per usual!

    • D.Plorable

      That is a pile of false premises designed to smear anyone to the “right” of maybe Rand Paul as a Nazi. Just who has it been shutting down free speech all over the country? One of the CNN/MSDNC cupie dolls, Lamont Hill was on TV the other night and was challenged to produce a single episode where any conservative group had shut down an event the way the whacko left has done many times. He couldn’t; can you cite one?