[Editor’s note: The following live blog was intended to keep the community informed as this event happened. It was updated as new information became available. A reported story is forthcoming.]
Hundreds of people marched in Berkeley and Oakland on Saturday to express their opposition to white supremacy and fascism.
Isaac Lev Szmonko, of the Catalyst Project, said the group is in Berkeley “as a part of a broad-based movement against white supremacy and fascism.” He said the march would eventually end up on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza “to oppose the ongoing presence of white supremacy there, as well as the chancellor’s decision to militarize the campus in relation to this and spend over a million dollars on bringing in different police forces.”
In response to the organzers’ plans for Sunday, when Milo Yiannopoulos and others have said they will hold their own rally on Sproul, Szmonko said he hopes “student groups that have been organizing against this will take the lead in opposing this on their campus.”
Saturday’s march began with a rally at 63rd and Adeline streets, and participants then marched through South Berkeley. Shortly before 1:30 p.m., the group — estimated at 250-300 people — was on Shattuck and Alcatraz avenues. The marchers then moved into Oakland, where they had a police escort.
Berkeley police reported just before 2 p.m. that “A group of about 300+ protestors is marching northbound on Telegraph Aveneue [sic] from Ashby Avenue towards the south campus. They are currently blocking all lanes of traffic. Anticipate delays.”
Berkeleyside freelancer Carlo David said most of the crowd appears to be millennials, and about half are “wearing masks or some protective cover.” Others in attendance, he said, include “security volunteers, lots of seniors, some from group ‘Showing Up for Racial Justice.'”
As of about 2:25 p.m., Berkeley police said the march is heading northbound on Telegraph Avenue from Dwight Way: “They are moving slowly towards Sproul Plaza. Anticipate impacts to local traffic.”
David reports that the police presence so far is “limited,” mostly following behind the march, which was on campus as of about 2:30 p.m. Wrote the University of California Police Department, “Group of protesters has reached Bancroft Ave/Telegraph Ave. Please continue to use caution in the area.”
As of 2:50 p.m., Berkeley police estimated there were 100-200 protesters blocking Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way. Several streets are closed: “Bancroft Way is closed from Bowditch Street west. Durant is closed from Dana Street east. College Avenue is closed at Channing Way for northbound traffic.”
As of 3:40 p.m., BPD said roadways were open and the event had ended.
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