Counter protesters criticize media coverage of Sunday protest

BERKELEY (BCN)-- Anti-fascist protesters spoke out today against media coverage of demonstrations in Berkeley on Sunday that were marked by scattered violent clashes, tear gas and 13 arrests.

Speaking at a news conference in front of Old Berkeley City Hall, faith community leader Zen Green said, "At least 4,000 people came out to protest against fascism and racism and for the most part people were united and peaceful."

Green said, "We know there was some violence but it was only a small amount and yet it was emphasized by the national media."

Green said, "This is a country of love and our message was that we will not allow racists and fascists on our streets."

Xochitl Johnson of Refuse Facism said there is "a lot of misinformation" about the large demonstration, which was organized to counter an anti-Marxism rally that had been organized by a conservative group.

Johnson alleged that the organizers of the anti-Marxist rally "want to make Berkeley ground zero for fascism" and she said the counter-protest was held to let people know that, "We refuse to live in a
fascist America."

Johnson said, "The very fate of the country hangs in the balance."

Alex U. Inn, a lesbian and gay rights activist who was the grand marshal of the Pride Parade in San Francisco in June, said that most of the thousands who participated in the demonstration were peaceful and it's wrong for the media to focus on the violence that occurred.

Inn admitted that a large crowd of people gathered around Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, who was led off by Berkeley police for his own protection, but Inn alleged that Gibson had incited the crowd by "antagonistic behavior."

"You can only take so much," Inn said. "I'm not justifying what happened, I'm just human-naturing it," Inn said.

    Berkeley police have identified the 13 people arrested Sunday as:

    -Seth Vasquez, 25, of Berkeley.
    -Mark Misohink, 23, of Berkeley.
    -James Dominic, 23, of Oakland.
    -Kristopher Wyrick, 39, of Alpine.
    -Harlan Pankau, 38, of Jamul.
    -Levi Smith, 32, of Sparks, Nev.
    -Sean Hines, 20, of Santa Rosa.
    -Brittany Moorman, 26, of Oakland.
    -Yesenia Mendez, 22, residence unknown.
    -Emily Gillespie, 24, of Berkeley.
    -Sean Dougan, 47, of Portland, Ore.
    -Rachel Moore, 40, of Oakland.
    -Joshua Phillips, 36, of Oakland.

The alleged offenses in which the 13 people were arrested included assault, battery, resisting arrest, conspiracy, disturbing the peace and being drunk in public, according to police.