Berkeley police arrest 17, seize different improvised ‘weapons’ at the beginning of the planned protests

Berkeley Police announced the arrests on Sunday of three protesters on gun control costs: (from left to right) Jason Wallach, 41, Kate Brenner, 69, and Kristen Edith Koster, 50. (Berkeley Police)

The police in Berkeley, Calif., arrested at least 17 people Sunday, a few hundred people gathered in the city for the planned duel protests, which led to the fears of wider violence.

Two groups of alt-right protesters had announced plans for a “No to War” rally on the city and the Civic Center Park earlier in the week. That prompted plans for a “Sweep Off The Facists” march and counter-rally that drew hundreds of people downtown.

We are the seizure of weapons and making arrests.

— Berkeley Police (@berkeleypolice) 5 August 2018

The San Francisco Chronicle that several dozen “anti-Marxist” protesters arrived at Civic Center at 12:30 p.m. At one point, the group pushed books off a table will be set up by a local Communist bookstore, but the police and bystanders stepped in to head off any confrontation.

About an hour later, a group of marching counterprotesters threw fireworks and flares at the police. No injuries were reported.

City officials said none of both groups had sought or obtained a permit for that rally. On Friday, the police issued rules prohibiting masks and items that can be used as weapons.

On Sunday, the police department posted photos of the weapons they had seized on Facebook and Twitter. They contain a hammer, rocks, wooden sticks, metal rods and bushings pepper spray.

A few hundred start protest in #Berkeley.

— Anser Hassan (@AnserHassan) 5 August 2018

“We are confiscating weapons and making arrests,” police said.

Those arrested included Jason Wallach, 41, and Kate Brenner, 69, both of Oakland, were charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, police said. Another Oakland native, 35-year-old Andres Gonzalez, was charged with five counts of carrying a prohibited weapon.

Kristen Edith Sexton, 50, of Berkeley, was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon. Mary Lewis, 29, of Emeryville, was charged with carrying a prohibited weapon and working with others to commit a crime.

Arrested protesters Mary Lewis and Thomas Parker.

(Berkeley Police)

Thomas Parker, 22, of Berkeley, was also charged with working with others to commit a crime, as was the 27-year-old Caitlin Boyle of Oakland. Blake Griffith, 29, of Oakland, was charged with vandalism.

Sarena Perez, 39, of Oakland, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon. David Chou, 26, of Santa Cruz, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon and working with others to commit a crime. Freddy Martinez, 31, of Berkeley, was charged with battery.

Arrested protesters, David Chou, and Freddy Martinez.

(Berkeley Police)

Ericka Sokolower-Shain, 28, Cruz, and Javier-O’connell, 22, both of Berkeley, were charged with possession of a prohibited weapon. Jamie Hill, 30, of Emeryville, was also accused of possession of a prohibited weapon, as was the 27-year-old Bella Podolsky of San Francisco.

“We have seen what the patterns are, and one of the patterns is by using non-violent protests as a cover for violence, and how we encourage people to do is to separate themselves from the violence,” Berkeley city spokesman Matthai Chakko told KTVU Saturday.

Events of last year turned violent when the so-called “alt-right” groups clashed with anti-fascist groups, the station reported.

Arrested protesters Blake Griffith and Sarena Perez

(Berkeley Police)


“No War” rally organizer Amber Cummings held a “No to the War” rally in Berkeley last August in which 10 people were arrested, the Bay City News Service reported. A person dressed in black, the feature of the infamous Black Bloc, advocating violence, destroying another person’s camera, according to the news outlet.

The police said that the list of prohibited items in the Civic Center and Ohlone parks included metal pipes, baseball bats, glass bottles, pepper spray, knives or daggers, shields and catapults, KTVU reported.

Arrested protesters Ericka Sokolower-Shain and Jamie Hill.

(Berkeley Police)

The police is also prohibited people from wearing masks, scarves or bandanas or something on their faces, except for religious or medical reasons.

Sunday’s protests came a day after police in Portland, Ore. clashed with demonstrators protesting a rally by extreme right-wing groups. Local media reported that the police ordered the demonstrators to disperse, then moved in behind a volley of grenades. One of the rounds reportedly hit a counter-protester in the head, still embedded in his helmet, and wounded him. A woman was taken to a hospital after he is hit in the arm and chest with a “flash-bang” grenade.

Arrested protesters Bella Podolsky, and Javier Cruz-O’connell

(Berkeley Police )

Four people were arrested.

On Sunday, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw ordered a review of the use of violence by the police to determine whether they followed the policy and the training guidelines.

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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