Protests in Charlottesville and Berkeley Heat Up

On Saturday, August 5, 2017, white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” march. The rally was organized in protest of the plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation park. However, the rally quickly burst into a brawl filled with racial taunts and chants which prompted the governor of Virginia to declare a state of emergency. This led to the National Guard to arrive to help clear the area. After the rally in the city park had been dispersed, a car drove into a crowd of jubilant counter-protesters in a crowded downtown area, injuring at least thirty-four people and killing 32 year old, Heather Heyer.


The next weekend, a little closer to home, two back-to-back extreme anti-marxism rallies in San Francisco and Berkeley were cancelled due to “safety concerns.” With no sign of far-right demonstrators, hundreds of counter-protesters marched from Alamo Square Park to the Mission on Saturday afternoon. Organizers of the rally confronted protesters at Crissy Field (where the Freedom Rally was to originally take place) peacefully. On Sunday morning, protests and counter-protests in Berkeley broke out. Pro-Trump groups, anti-Trump groups, Antifa (a conservative anti fascist group) and other moderate counter-protesters all clashed with white supremacists and neo-Nazis. The Berkeley Police Department had a large presence around Martin Luther King Civic Center Park and many who attempted to start violence were taken into police custody. The protests began to heat up at noon when the two groups faced off physically. Shoving ensued and smoke bombs were thrown. As junior Jenny Tsai said, “At first it wasn’t so bad, but after it started getting violent, it went downhill.” Joey Gibson was arrested for rushing the police outside the park in the early afternoon. A total of thirteen people were arrested on Sunday for various violations of the law including fighting, violation of park rules, battery, police resistance, and inciting riots.


The protests in San Francisco and Berkeley show that even seemingly unrelated events across the country are relevant to Dublin High School. It is imperative that Dublin High School students and stay informed on current events, no matter how far away they might seem. Despite the magnitude of the event, some Dublin High students did not know about what happened at Charlottesville. Sophomore Jacqueline Ficarra said she “didn’t have anything to say” about the matter.  Others decided not to share their opinion.


Remember to stay updated on current events, Dublin High! It’s imperative that students know what’s going on outside of Dublin.