Sunday, August 5, 2018

Berkeley police report weapon-related arrests as demonstrations begin

Berkeley Police announced the arrests on
 Sunday of three protesters on weapon  possession charges:
 (left to right) Jason Wallach, 41,
Kate Brenner, 69,
and Kristen Edith Koster, 50.
(Berkeley Police Department)
By Michael Barba

Berkeley police on Sunday made multiple arrests for possession of a banned or dangerous weapon as city officials prepared for possible violence between conservative demonstrators and left-wing protesters at rallies in the city.

Hundreds of people were expected to demonstrate at Ohlone Park in the afternoon for a “Stop the Hate” counterprotest against a planned “No to Marxism in America” rally at Civic Center Park.

The events are just two of several planned for Sunday in a city that has been the site of clashes between far-right Trump supporters and anti-fascist protesters over the last 18 months.

The city banned protesters from carrying a range of items that could be used as weapons in Ohlone and Civic Center parks in response to the violence.

By noon Sunday, police had already arrested three people and confiscated numerous weapons from protesters including a hammer, sticks and poles.

Berkeley police on Twitter identified those arrested on suspicion of possession of a banned or dangerous weapon as Jason Wallach, 49, of Oakland, Kate Brenner, 69, of Oakland and Kristin Edith Koster, 50, of Berkeley.

All three arrests were made in or near Ohlone Park.

City officials in advance of the rallies warned demonstrators to avoid violence.

“Don’t get baited by provocateurs,” Matthai Chakko, a city spokesperson, said in a statement. “The best way to deny them the attention they seek is to not engage and avoid such events entirely.”

Original piece >>



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