Sticks, pipes, poles and anything else that can be used for a "riot" will be banned on Saturday April 15 at Civic Center Park in an effort to ensure the peaceful expression of free speech.
Anyone violating these rules will be subject to citation and arrest.
Organizers have promoted Saturday's gathering as a follow-up to an unpermitted March 4demonstration, when numerous people were hurt due to violence. Ten people were arrested for their roles in the events, and other arrests are being actively pursued. No one has applied for or obtained a permit for Saturday, and as a result, anyone at the park will be subject to these rules.
Given that many individuals brought various items that were used as weapons into Civic Center Park on March 4, the following items are prohibited from being brought into the park by any person on April 15, 2017:
- Metal pipes
- Baseball or softball bats
- Lengths of lumber or wood (any size)
- Wooden dowels
- Glass bottles
- Pepper spray (OC spray)
- Knives or daggers
- Axes, axe handles, or hatchets
- Ice picks
- Razor blades
- Any other item that is generally considered an "implement of riot" that can be used as a weapon
Signs and flags on Saturday at the park must be held by hand, and may not be affixed to any pole or stick.
For peaceful protesters, there are a number of things people can do to stay safe. Separate yourself from people committing violence. Doing so not only keeps you safe, it prevents criminals from being done under the cover of a peaceful crowd. That allows police to focus on criminal acts. To read more, see an earlier news release.
The City will work to safeguard our community while facilitating the peaceful expression of the First Amendment. If anyone commits a crime in our community, we will work with the community to identify, investigate and prosecute suspects. That applies both during and after the event.
In recent protests in Berkeley, we have seen a small portion who come seeking to hurt others or to destroy property. We have seen that individuals who come armed and armored use peaceful protesters
If you are at a demonstration and you see violence, separate yourself. Keep a distance. If you can do so safely, report it to police.
This is the best way to keep yourself and others safe, and it allows police to intervene safely. When individuals commit violence surrounded by a peaceful crowd, police are always concerned about how the violence might spill over onto those who are not committing any crime whatsoever.
Separating yourself from violence also prevents those individuals from making their actions the image of your cause.
Don't get baited by provocateurs.