A protester carries a shield in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park during a rally demonstrating against the far right in Berkeley on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)

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More than 3,000 people marched through the streets of Berkeley on Sunday, toting signs reading “Not in our town,” playing music and chanting, “No hate, no fear,” to protest against plans for a far-right rally — though its organizer asked supporters not to turn up.

The festive but defiant crowd was mostly peaceful until the early afternoon, when skirmishes broke out between black-clad anti-fascist protesters and a few far-right supporters at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, where marchers had gathered.

People hit the streets to protest the “No to Marxism in America” rally planned for MLK Civic Center Park. The rally had been expected to draw white supremacist and nationalist groups, but only a few far-right supporters turned out.

In the crowd were a range of people, including anti-fascists, a Holocaust survivor, medics, musical protesters, Berkeley resident and comedian W. Kamau Bell, and supporters of President Trump.

The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. The organizer of that rally, Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, came to the Berkeley protest, where he was chased from the area.

Here are photos of some of the action on Sunday.

W. Kamau Bell speaks to a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. (Bert Johnson/KQED)
Protesters confront a woman in Berkeley, calling her a “Nazi,” during a rally demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)
A masked anti-fascist protester runs as smoke bombs are set off during clashes between far-right supporters and leftists. (Bert Johnson/KQED)
A protest against a far-right rally gathers near UC Berkeley on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)
This spent ordnance was found on a street in Berkeley after far-right members of Patriot Prayer and anti-fascist protesters clashed on Allston Way on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Bert Johnson/KQED)
Marco Gutierrez, a Donald Trump supporter, argues about immigration issues with a crowd of people protesting the far right in Berkeley on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Devin Katayama/KQED)
Protesters gather at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley to demonstrate against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)
Berkeley police stand on the lawn next to Berkeley City Hall as they are confronted by protesters demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)
Police lead a man away in handcuffs after clashes between far-right supporters and anti-fascist protesters. (Bert Johnson/KQED)
“Since Charlottesville, it became clear to a huge number of people that Nazis and fascists were going to be coming to Berkeley. So showing up was mandatory, showing up was the only way to shut them down. We have a chant, we want peace in our parks, no to Nazis, yes to Marx!” said Isobel White, a spokeswoman for Groucho Marxists Against Hate and White Supremacy. She joined the protests in Berkeley on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)
A member of Struggalo Circus talks to a fellow protester in downtown Berkeley. The group combines anti-racist politics with Juggalo culture. (Bert Johnson/KQED)
People chant “Cops and Klan! Hand in hand!” during a standoff between protesters and police in Berkeley on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Bert Johnson/KQED)
Protesters rally outside Berkeley City Hall demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. (Sheraz Shadiq/KQED)
Ben Stern, a 95-year-old survivor of the Holocaust (center, in cap and blue shirt), leads a march of Jewish activists in Berkeley to protest against far-right activities in that city. Stern had nine siblings, and all but one died in the Holocaust. “They’ll be marching in front of me, in my mind,” he said. (Eli Wirtschafter/KQED)
Apparently in response to the far-right “No to Marxism’ rally, many people at the Berkeley protest donned Groucho Marx gear on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Dan Brekke/KQED)
John Connor, a second-year resident at San Francisco General Hospital, attended the Berkeley protests, where he said he treated five people who’d been sprayed with pepper spray. “I believe it’s important to confront Nazis and white supremacists directly, show them they’re not welcome in the Bay Area. And as a medic, I’m here to support the counterprotesters by providing water and first aid,” he said. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)
Protesters descended on the streets of Berkeley demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. (Dan Brekke/KQED)
Protesters descended on the streets of Berkeley demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. (Dan Brekke/KQED)
Protesters descended on the streets of Berkeley demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. (John Sepulvado/KQED)
Demonstrators hold signs at Oxford and Center streets in Berkeley on Aug. 27, 2017. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)
A group of musicians protest on the streets of Berkeley, demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED )
Protesters descended on the streets of Berkeley demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. (John Sepulvado/KQED)
Protesters descended on the streets of Berkeley demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. (John Sepulvado/KQED)
Protesters descended on the streets of Berkeley demonstrating against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The protests come a day after thousands turned out to demonstrate against a far-right rally in San Francisco that was twice relocated and then canceled before it began. (John Sepulvado/KQED)
“We should make a monument to him (Trump), leave it out for the birds to poo on,” says John Seabury, an illustrator who made this poster for today’s protest. (Erika Aguilar/KQED)
A banner with the words, “Berkeley Stands United Against Hate,” hangs on the building of Berkeley City Hall during a rally against the far right on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)

KQED’s Carly Severn, John Sepulvado, Eli Wirtschafter, Erika Aguilar, Devin Katayama and Sheraz Sadiq contributed to the post.

PHOTOS: Violence and Defiance Mark Berkeley Protest of Far Right 29 August,2017Miranda Leitsinger

  • MiltonDValler

    SF and Berkeley are demonstrably the most intolerant cities in the US.
    Madison’s 1st Amendment preserving free speech is null and void if the Alt-Left don’t like what you want to say.

    • virgil

      Try living here!!! Yikes is like being in the church of political correctness 24/7!!

    • Nancy Taylor

      I have to agree with you. I’ve lived in the area for years and used to consider myself a liberal but as I get older, I recognize the intolerance of the area as downright undemocratic.

  • Margaret

    How many times do you need to repeat that the demonstration was a day later than SF blah blah blah? Did anyone think to mention how many people in Berkeley showed up in solidarity against hate?????? There are facts that make up good journalism i.e. more than one or two statements repeated over and over and over.

  • DrJedi001

    There weren’t “clashes,” antifa psychopaths assaulted the rally attendees.

  • virgil

    DJT was attacked by the left for his weak response to violence in VA. Will Pelosi and Ed Lee denounce the violence here from the anarchists? Don’t hold your breath.

  • Dirk Calloway

    What “far right” are you talking about? Not a single right wing extremist was present. Shame on you KQED. Get your facts straight.

    These people were simple conservatives and they weer attacked by crowds of thousands of people.

    • Jennifer R.

      The whole right/left spectrum has shifted right – slowly, so you don’t notice. Republicans used to be pro-union. Now even Democrats are anti-union. Liberals are, for the most part, in favor of the status quo, other than things like gay marriage and such. People who call themselves “conservative” make blatantly racist remarks on a regular basis.

  • Curious

    Why is the left unable to be civilized? Why the violence?

  • Nancy Taylor

    Why doesn’t KQED get someone from the other side of the equation on the radio instead of always representing one side only (generally the liberal side). I want to hear what these “hate” groups have to say (whether I like it or not) because I don’t feel I’m getting the whole picture – I am only getting the characterization of these people from those on the other side of the issue.

    • Check out Patriot Prayer’s Facebook page for more information. I think you’ll be astonished by their moderate, inclusive, and loving message.

      • Nancy Taylor

        Is there anything else underlying that message? Loving toward ALL of humanity?

      • Jennifer R.

        Was that sarcasm?

        • No, it wasn’t sarcasm. Did you go to their page and watch any of the videos about their message?

          • Jennifer R.

            Do they think they can love the racism out of the White Nationalists?

          • Jennifer R.

            Why don’t you people have a rally in favor of love or inclusion rather than against what you call “Marxism” – which is apparently anything that isn’t far right extremism?

  • NewRep

    The conservatives just brought up their opinions and the Lefties acted violently. BLM and the left wing protesters gave business owners and residents heart attack each time they announced the gatherings.

  • Curious

    In a surprisingly accurate report contrary to the establishment media’s recent tendency to downplay Antifa violence, The Washington Post recounted visceral details Monday of the violence the anti-fascists unleashed on “peaceful right-wing demonstrators.”

    “A pepper-spray wielding Trump supporter was smacked to the ground with homemade shields,”reports Kyle Swenson for The Post. “Another was attacked by five black-clad antifas, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself. Their faces hidden behind black bandannas and hoodies, about a 100 anarchists and antifa — ‘anti-fascist’ — barreled into a protest Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park.”

  • Neither the Saturday rally in San Francisco or Berkeley’s on Sunday were organized by the “far right”, nor could their messages have been construed as remotely extreme. The author is either lying or woefully ignorant (or both). Such disdain for the truth is unforgivable in a journalist.

    • Jennifer R.

      How else do you explain the fervor they have for rounding up Latinos and putting them into concentration camps?

      • Who is “they”? Patriot Prayer”? The woman against Marxism?

        • Jennifer R.

          Anyone who thinks Sheriff Joe and Trump are their friends and heroes. You know, like all of those guys.

Author

Miranda Leitsinger

Miranda Leitsinger has worked in journalism as a reporter and editor since 2000, including seven years at The Associated Press in locales such as Cambodia and Puerto Rico, four years at NBC News Digital in New York and 2.5 years at CNN.com International in Hong Kong. Major stories she has covered included the aftermath of the 2004 and 2011 tsunamis, the initial military hearings at Guantanamo, the Aurora movie theater attack, the Newtown school shooting, Superstorm Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing. Reach her at mleitsinger@kqed.org or https://www.facebook.com/mirandasleitsinger/

Author

KQED News Staff