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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Jennifer Coats, (510) 981-5780

RULES IMPOSED FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 27 AT CIVIC CENTER PARK
Designed to allow peaceful expression of free speech

Berkeley, California (Friday, August 25, 2017) - To ensure the peaceful expression of free speech, the City of Berkeley will be prohibiting sticks, pipes, poles and anything else that can be used for a "riot" at Civic Center Park on Sunday August 27.

Anyone violating these rules will be subject to citation and arrest.

Organizers have promoted Sunday's gathering as a follow-up to recent unpermitted demonstrations, when numerous people were hurt due to violence. No permits have been issued for Civic Center Park on Sunday, and as a result, anyone at the park will be subject to these rules.

Given that many individuals brought items that were used as weapons into Civic Center Park on March 4, April 15 and April 27, the following items are prohibited from being brought into the park by any person on August 27, 2017:

  • Metal pipes
  • Baseball or softball bats
  • Lengths of lumber or wood (any size)
  • Wooden dowels
  • Poles
  • Bricks
  • Rocks
  • Glass bottles
  • Metal beverage or food cans or containers
  • Pepper or bear spray (OC spray)
  • Mace
  • Knives or daggers
  • Firearms
  • Shields
  • Axes, axe handles, or hatchets
  • Ice picks
  • Razor blades
  • Tasers
  • Eggs
  • Improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
  • Spray cans
  • Fire works
  • Dynamite
  • U-lock bike locks
  • Heavy-gauge chain
  • Dogs (except for service dogs)
  • Skate boards
  • Balloons
  • Torches, lanterns or other devices that use fire or fuel
  • Any other item that is generally considered an "implement of riot" that can be used as a weapon

Additionally, in Civic Center Park on Sunday, August 27, signs and flags must be held by hand, and may not be affixed to any pole or stick. Wearing of a mask, scarf, bandana or any other accessory or item that covers or partially covers the face and shields the wearer's face from view, or partially from view, is prohibited in Civic Center Park on August 27, except for coverings worn due to religious beliefs, practices or observances.

In light of the fact that several unpermitted demonstrations are also planned to occur in and around downtown Berkeley on August 27, the City is also issuing temporary regulations to restrict certain items, including bricks, rocks, axes, mace, knives, firearms, dynamite, and torches in a defined area of the City. This area is bounded by Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to the west, Oxford to the east, Bancroft Way and Channing to the south, and University Avenue to the north. Authority to issue this narrowly tailored regulation was granted by the City Council in a special meeting on August 18. At that meeting, the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance that amended Chapter 13.45 of the Municipal Code to authorize the City Manager to issue rules regarding street events without permits to protect public safety.

Copies of the two Administrative Rules for August 27, can be found at:

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 criminal acts 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.

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