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Peaceful Rallies to Counter CA Right-Wing Protests This Weekend

Groups from the Berkeley Women's March will reunite this Sunday at an event to counter right-wing rallies. (Berkeley Teacher's Union)
Groups from the Berkeley Women's March will reunite this Sunday at an event to counter right-wing rallies. (Berkeley Teacher's Union)
August 25, 2017

BERKELEY, Calif. – Thousands of people are expected at anti-hate counter protests this weekend in San Francisco and Berkeley, aimed at drowning out the messages of right wing rallies nearby.

Large events denouncing racism are planned Saturday at Ocean Beach, and Sunday at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco – with another on Sunday near the UC Berkeley campus.

Cathy Campbell, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, is helping to organize the East Bay event to peacefully protest groups she says have come out of the shadows to promote hate and intolerance.

"These groups feel empowered,” she states. “That is largely a result of our president. They see support and they feel emboldened.

“And the best response is for people of good faith to come out and show that they are not the values of the majority of people."

A group that calls itself Patriot Prayer is hosting a rally on Saturday near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Another group is planning a Sunday event called "No to Marxism in America" at Civic Center Park in Berkeley, featuring speakers who were associated with violent protests in that city a few months ago.

Authorities in both cities are taking measures to keep the two sides apart.

Berkeley High School teacher Matt Meyer says the Berkeley Rally Against Hate will be peaceful, but rally organizers will have 50 trained medics standing by in case of trouble.

"People in the Berkeley community and the greater East Bay can come out and let their voices be heard and rally together – that we're not going to be complacent, that we are going to stand up and say, 'This is not the society that we want to live in,'" Meyer states.

Multiple, separate peaceful counter protests in solidarity with the Bay area events are planned for this weekend, including one in Fresno on Saturday, and another on Sunday in San Diego.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA