Bay Area counter-protests against racism, white nationalism
SAN FRANCISCO — Steel fences and police surrounded Alamo Square Park, as protesters denounced white nationalism, neo-Nazis, and hate.
The planned Free Speech rally by the right winged group “Patriot Prayer” was originally supposed to take place at Crissy Field on Saturday, but organizers canceled the event Friday night, saying they would move to the park.
With massive police presence and counter-protesters – Patriot prayer organizer Joey Gibson held a press conference at an undisclosed location in Pacifica – located about 20 minutes south of San Francisco.
Gibson said that he denounces white supremacists, and his event featured speakers and performers of different nationalities and religions to begin a dialogue to unify the country.
The next day in Berkeley, however, Gibson was pepper-sprayed by left-winged extremists known as Antifa as he attempted to flee the protesters.
Gibson and his associate were later in handcuffs. However, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, police say it was a rescue to protect them for protesters.
According to police, 13 arrests were made due to “various violations.”
Filipinos were among those present in Berkeley, saying that it is important that fellow kababayans stand in solidarity with other communities of color against racism.
“We know how white supremacy has shaped our lives. We know how white supremacy has created a colonial mentality that still persists within our community,” said college student Amado Canham.
“We know that white supremacy and racism is a tool to divide communities of color, including within our own Filipino community,” said Roberta Ryan from Anakbayan East Bay.
Today, protesters in the Bay Area are claiming victory against hate this past weekend, because the two right-winged rallies were forced to cancel.