Attention and tension is building as two battling political groups plan to converge on Santa Clara Saturday and hold demonstrations right across the street from each other.
NBC Bay Area was first to report about the protest march by the group Act for America, scheduled near the Santana Row Shopping Center.
Act for America has been labeled an anti-Muslim hate group, a description the group emphatically denies.
The group said it is protesting parts of Muslim law, which it said leads to abuse of women. But the nation's largest Muslim American group, CAIR, said the march is really to promote hate. CAIR, along with 75 other community groups, will stage a counter protest against Act for America.
More than 100 organizations sent letters to the mayors of the 29 cities where marches are planned. The letters request mayors to "disavow" the marches.
Santa Clara and San Jose police are boosting staff and said they will monitor the events to prevent confrontations and violence.
Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor provided the following statement:
In the wake of recent events happening locally, nationally, and internationally, we, at the City of Santa Clara, would like to reassure our community that we stand in solidarity with those who have been the targets of discrimination and bigotry.
The City of Santa Clara strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and will not tolerate hate crimes. It is the commitment of the City of Santa Clara that it does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
The City of Santa Clara is devoted to promoting the public health and welfare of all who live and work in our city, and has policies in place to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to be free from arbitrary discrimination. The Santa Clara Police Department is dedicated to the highest professional standards when investigating hate crimes to ensure that offenders are held fully responsible for their actions.
Our community is stronger and united when each person is treated equitably, and we will remain committed to ensure that everyone will be accorded with equal civil rights and civil liberties.