Berkeley police ask residents to stay home ahead of political rally

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City officials in Berkeley are asking the public to stay away from potential conflict as a result of a planned right-wing rally next week. (KGO-TV )

City officials in Berkeley are asking the public to stay away from potential conflict as a result of a planned right-wing rally next week.

The rally, which is being called "No to Marxism in America," is scheduled to take place at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park at 1 p.m. on Aug. 27.
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City officials said the event does not have a permit and comes after the "Unite the Right" rally by white nationalists Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, which turned deadly when a man allegedly drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 others.

City officials said there is no evidence of organizational connections between that rally and the one planned in Berkeley.

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In a statement Wednesday, officials from the Berkeley City Manager's Office said the best response for those seeking to safeguard the community is to stay away.

"Doing so prevents those on the fringe from garnering attention to their causes, which is their primary goal. It also allows police to focus resources on those who might do damage to others or to the city," the statement said.

City officials are also asking the public to not create alternative events near the downtown area. A counter-protest, "Bay Area Rally Against Hate," has already been scheduled at UC Berkeley for earlier in the day on Aug. 27.

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"Even if peaceful, nearby counter-events take police officers away from those intent on committing violence or damage," the statement said.

City officials said that extremists often provoke counter-protesters as a way to generate publicity for their cause and said, "The best way to deny them the attention they seek is to not engage and avoid such events entirely."

Related Topics:
politicsracismwhite supremacistsviolenceprotestrallyinvestigationeventsu.s. & worldbay areacaliforniadiversitylgbtqcivil rightsfirst amendmentfreedom of speechBerkeley
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