Weekend of Protests in the Street

Photo: Sergio Ruiz
Photo: Sergio Ruiz

From Alamo Square, to Market Street, to the East Bay, the Bay Area’s streets and other public spaces were the scene of large protests against white supremacists this weekend. Most were peaceful, but there were a few incidents of violence. And there was one arrest in San Francisco and fourteen in Berkeley on Sunday, according to the San Francisco Examiner’s story on the protester groups:

The groups were met with a heavy police presence. Officers surrounded the four corners of the park in crowd-control gear including gas masks and body armor, swooping in to stop clashes. Police made 14 arrests as of 4 p.m. “for a number of violations” after several fights broke out, according to the Berkeley Police Department. The demonstrations came a day after rallies spread out across San Francisco to protest a planned rally at Crissy Field from a group called Patriot Prayer, which is known to attract extremists. In Berkeley, most of the crowd stood nearby as groups of black-clad protesters chased down individuals who apparently espoused right-wing views.

The “if-it-bleeds-it-leads” focus of mainstream journalism may have obfuscated that most protests were nonviolent and did what they were meant to do: show solidarity against hate groups that want to despoil our progressive and tolerant city.

A family on bikes at the Berkeley rally. Photo: Streetsblog/Curry
A family on bikes at the Berkeley rally. Photo: Streetsblog/Curry

Some city residents listened to official calls to stay home, but others showed up with humor, song, chanting, drumming, and prayer.

The few alt-right protesters who did show up were greatly outnumbered. One woman in the crowd was spotted wearing a red baseball cap. She got some dirty looks, and at one point some people tried to stand in front of her to block her from the marchers going by. But anyone who looked closely could see that her hat read “Taco Trucks Make America Great Again.”

Another sign could have been carried by many of the Berkeley residents who showed up: “Just another crazy middle-aged anti-fascist mom.”

Berkeleyside published this tweet from a very Berkeley landmark, the Cheeseboard. Protests can be delicious.
Berkeleyside published this tweet from a very Berkeley landmark, the Cheeseboard. Protests can be delicious.
Clever signs ruled the day in Berkeley. Photo by Melanie Curry
Clever signs ruled the day in Berkeley. Photo by Melanie Curry
Berkeley prefers cake to the KKK. Photo by Melanie Curry
Berkeley prefers cake to the KKK. Photo by Melanie Curry
Humor aside, people who showed up in Berkeley had few illusions about the seriousness of the matter. Photo by Melanie Curry
Humor aside, people who showed up in Berkeley had few illusions about the seriousness of the matter. Photo by Melanie Curry

Meanwhile, others, including many familiar names from the livable streets movement, shared and reported their experiences during the demonstrations.

SFMTA Planning Director Sarah Jones Tweeted this pic from the protests.
SFMTA Planning Director Sarah Jones Tweeted this pic from the protests.

Paul Valdez, a safe-streets activist and active member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, took these photos from Castro and Civic Center:

PaulValdezCastro_impeach

PaulValdezCityHall

As Streetsblog reported after the inauguration of President Trump, the streets are, and will continue to be, a forum for community, protest and resistance–as they have been throughout history.

Did you participate in the protests this weekend? Please share your experiences and post photos below.

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