Bates' Office Officially Announces Cancellation of Berkeley City Council

Scott Morris (BCN)
Tuesday December 09, 2014 - 01:05:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council has postponed its scheduled meeting for this evening because of planned disruptions by protesters, Mayor Tom Bates' office announced this afternoon. 

A protest announcement posted online had called on demonstrators to shut down the meeting and demand Bates' resignation over the police response to protests in Berkeley on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 

The protests were the latest in a series over the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of Eric Garner, 43, by a New York police officer's chokehold. 

While demonstrations in Oakland last week had been largely peaceful, protests in Berkeley Saturday quickly led to police tear-gassing protesters, who vandalized various businesses and hurled rocks and bottles at police officers. 

Sunday night's protests saw more vandalism before protesters marched to Oakland and blocked a freeway, where they were tear-gassed by the California Highway Patrol and eight were arrested. 

There was little vandalism in protests Monday night, but protesters again blocked a highway and Amtrak trains. Eventually the CHP arrested more than 150 demonstrators. 

With as many as 2,000 people attending Monday night's demonstrations and the call-out for protesters to attend this evening's City Council meeting, this evening's meeting was postponed. 

"The Council Chambers can hold about 125 people, and we understand substantially more people are interested in attending the meeting due to recent events in Berkeley," the mayor's office said in a statement. 

"We want to ensure that the community has as much access as possible to public meetings. The agenda for the December 9 meeting will be rescheduled for a future date and public notice will be given prior to that meeting," Bates' office said.