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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

RULES IMPOSED FOR SELECT CITY PARKS, STREETS ON AUG. 5.
Designed to allow peaceful expression of free speech

Berkeley, California (Friday, August 03, 2018) - To ensure the peaceful expression of free speech, the City of Berkeley will temporarily prohibit sticks, pipes, poles and anything else that can be used for a "riot" on Sunday August 5 at two city parks.

In addition, there will also be temporary rules prohibiting various weapons on streets and sidewalks within a defined area.

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

These rules are intended to assist those wishing to peaceably express their First Amendment Rights. There are concerns that the motivation behind some of the August 5 events is to mark and revive violent conflicts that occurred during protests in Berkeley in 2017, both on the University of California campus and in City parks and streets. The 2017 events drew large crowds, including masked agitators who started fires, destroyed property, and engaged in violent confrontations with those endorsing opposing viewpoints.

The events of 2017, occurring on February 1, March 4, April 15, April 27, August 27, September 14 and September 24-27, required a substantial police response, including mutual aid. During many of these events, participants came armed with metal pipes, baseball bats, lengths of 2"x 4" lumber spiked with nails, bricks, pepper spray, mace, daggers, combat shields, poles, axe handles, hatchets, helmets, masks, and similar items. Fights broke out and numerous people were seriously injured at some of the events.

The items that will be banned in Civic Center and Ohlone parks include:

  • Metal Pipes
  • Lengths of lumber or wood (any size)
  • Wooden dowels
  • Poles or staffs
  • Baseball bats or sticks modified for use as a weapon
  • Glass bottles or metal cans modified for use as a weapon
  • Bricks
  • Rocks
  • Pepper or bear spray (OC spray)
  • Mace
  • Knives or daggers
  • Firearms
  • Shields
  • Axes, axe handles, or hatchets
  • Ice picks
  • Razor blades
  • Tasers
  • Improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
  • Spray cans
  • Fire works
  • Smoke canisters
  • Dynamite
  • Heavy-gauge chain
  • Torches, lanterns or other devices that use fire or fuel
  • Slingshots
  • Any other item that is generally considered an "implement of riot" that can be used as a weapon

Additionally, in Civic Center Park and Ohlone Park on August 5, 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 and Ohlone Park on August 5, except for coverings worn due to religious beliefs, practices or observances, or medical necessity.

On August 5, 2018, a number of items will be prohibited from being brought by any person into a defined area of Berkeley bounded by Sacramento Street to the west, Piedmont Avenue to the east (between Dwight Way and Bancroft Way) and Oxford Street to the east (between Hearst Avenue and Bancroft Way), Dwight Way to the south, and Delaware Street to the north (except between Shattuck and Avenue and Oxford Street, where Hearst Avenue will mark the northern boundary). The items include:

  • Bricks
  • Rocks
  • Billy clubs
  • Poles, sticks, staffs, dowels or baseball bats modified for use as a weapon
  • No flags, signs, or banners mounted on poles, boards, sticks, or staffs unless affixed to a building or non-movable structure
  • Pepper or bear spray (OC spray)
  • Mace
  • Knives or daggers
  • Firearms
  • Shields
  • Axes, axe handles, or hatchets
  • Ice picks
  • Tasers
  • Improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
  • Fireworks, firecrackers, explosives
  • Dynamite
  • Torches, lanterns or other devices that use fire or fuel
  • Slingshots
  • Any other item that is generally considered an "implement of riot" that can be used as a weapon.

 

Copies of the two Administrative Rules for Aug 5, 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.

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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