LOCAL CALIFORNIA

A pair of weekend rallies expected to generate major counter-protests in the San Francisco Bay Area have been canceled, but the possibility of tense street confrontations remains. The Times will be tracking developments on the ground all weekend in this space. Here's what we know so far:

  • Organizers have called off rallies planned at San Francisco's Crissy Field and in Berkeley
  • Photos from the scene showed large crowds with signs and banners
  • The expected crowds will test whether police can prevent the violent clashes recently seen in other cities.
  • Some politicians, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, wanted to block a permit for the Crissy Field protest in San Francisco.
  • Dog owners opposed to the event took a stand, of sorts.

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BerkeleyPoliceSan Francisco

Several arrested as tension grows between protest groups in Berkeley

One of several fights that broke out Sunday. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
One of several fights that broke out Sunday. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The Berkeley Police Department has arrested 10 people for various violations, including fighting, as tension grows between demonstrators protesting hate groups and supporters of President Trump on Sunday afternoon.

The mostly peaceful demonstration started heating up about noon at Martin Luther King Park, where the two rival groups faced off and several fights broke out.

 

There were shoving matches surrounding well-known Orange County far-right figure Johnny Benitez. Some screamed, “Go home Nazi!” as police tried to escort Benitez and Irma Hinojosa, a member of the Southern California group Latinos for Trump, through the crowd and out of the park.

Police in riot gear fired a rubber bullet at one demonstrator who attempted to cross a barricade into the park, which was closed to the public, but later opened. Some protesters set off purple smoke bombs.

The moderate counter-protesters are livid with the violence. "We need to get antifa out of here." said a man who helped break up fight. 

The size of counter-protest group grew even more when members of the Black Bloc arrived at the park. 

Antifa demonstrators, short for antifascists, at some point rushed a member of  Patriotic Prayer, a conservative group that says it advocates free speech and 1st Amendment rights, arrived at the park.

Shane Bauer, a reporter with Mother Jones, tweeted that he had been “pepper sprayed in the eye.” 

A Los Angeles Times reporter also tweeted that protesters threatened to break reporters' cameras if they film them.

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