San Francisco

Bay Area Braces for Protests in Wake of Charlottesville Violence

As tensions continue to mount in response to the while nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, cities in the Bay Area are gearing up to handle rallies believed to be planned by the same groups involved in last weekend's violent events.

One of those scheduled rallies is slated to take place on Aug. 27 in Berkeley, but Mayor Jesse Arreguin wrote in a blog post that, "This rally, and its hateful rhetoric, is not welcome in Berkeley."

"I think residents understand the extremely difficult position Berkeley finds itself in, made even more so by dealing with an amorphous group with no specific organizers," a statement on the blog read. "I want to reiterate that we will not allow our community to be terrorized by a small band of white supremacists whose ideology of hate is a losing one. Berkeley is proud of its multiculturalism and diversity, and we will continue to stand united against those who want to divide us.”

The group "No to Marxism in America" is believed to be spearheading the event, which is slated to take place at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park beginning at 1 p.m., according to a Facebook event page. As of Wednesday morning, at least 270 people indicated on Facebook that they will be attending the event.

NBC Bay Area is attempting to contact the organizer of the event.

Arreguin on Wednesday noted that the rally is still not permitted. Even if it were to receive a permit, the mayor said he would continue to denounce the idea of such an event taking place in the East Bay city.

"Honestly, if they sought a permit, I would say that permit should be denied because we know they're not here for free speech," Arreguin told NBC Bay Area. "They're here for violent provocation. You don't come dressed like a soldier with helmets and shields and weapons if you're here for free speech."

One day before the Berkeley event, organizers of a right-wing rally are expected to gather at San Francisco's Crissy Field. That event has also generated strong messages from area politicians.

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