Berkeley protests
Berkeley is preparing for a rally downtown Sunday (file photo). Photo: Daniel McPartlan

Six East Bay political leaders, including Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, have announced plans to denounce racism and bigotry Tuesday morning on the steps of City Hall.

The media event, at 9 a.m. Tuesday at 2180 Milvia St., is set to include appearances by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Sen. Nancy Skinner, assembly members Tony Thurmond and Rob Bonta, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and Mayor Arreguín.

The announcement comes as the city prepares for what officials described in a statement as the “planned white nationalists rally” scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 27, at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park. It’s slated to be the fourth such rally this year.

Billed as a “No to Marxism in America” protest, Sunday’s rally is the second stop of “Free Speech Weekend,” which is set to start Saturday in San Francisco. The main organizer of the Berkeley event is Amber Cummings, known as “Based Tranny” among her supporters.

Other than the date and location, few details about Tuesday’s press event were shared in the prepared statement.

It’s the latest announcement in a series of updates as the city prepares for what could be a significant clash Sunday.

Last week, at a special meeting Friday, the Berkeley City Council passed an “urgency ordinance” to allow the city manager to issue temporary rules for large public events without permits.

The city has said that was necessary to ensure “the immediate preservation of public health and safety and preservation of property.”

That’s because many people have reportedly been armed with weapons at past events, and violence has occurred.

So far, there have been dozens of arrests, and two people have been charged following violence at prior Berkeley rallies: Eric Clanton was charged with assaulting four people with a bicycle lock on April 15, and Kyle Chapman was charged last week with possession of what authorities described as a “leaded cane/billy,” known also as a blackjack, sandbag, sandclub, sap or slungshot, during a rally in March.

Stay tuned to Berkeleyside for continuing coverage and updates.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...