Demonstrators gather in Oakland to protest white nationalist violence

Protesters gathered in downtown Oakland Saturday night in response to violence during a rally by white supremacists in Virginia that left one woman dead and many injured.

The woman was killed when a car plunged into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the rally.

A group calling itself Bay Area United Against White Supremacy planned the “emergency solidarity demo” for 7 p.m. at 14th Street and Broadway, the rendezvous point for numerous demonstrations in recent years.

By the set hour, more than 100 protesters gathered at Broadway near 16th Street as a handful of police officers watched from across the street.

Several expressed words of respect for their “comrade” who died.

Earlier in the day, Bay Area politicians were among the flood of officials condemning the bloody clashes in Charlottesville and President Trump’s equivocal response, in which he did not single out neo-Nazis, members of the Ku Klux Klan or white nationalists, insisting that “hatred, bigotry and violence” were coming from “many sides.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, called the violence an “act of terror.”

“The vile beliefs of the perpetrators of this violence insult our fundamental American values and must be condemned in the strongest terms,” she said. “The president’s talk of violence ‘on many side’ ignores the shameful reality of white supremacism in our country today, and continues a disturbing pattern of complacency around such acts of hate”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted, “We reject hate & bigotry in our communities.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, also took to Twitter to condemn the violence.

“Make no mistake: The white supremacists in #Charlottesville feel emboldened by the Trump Admin,” she said. “All Americans must condemn this bigotry.”

A scuffle during clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters on the streets of Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. After the © EDU BAYER, NYT A scuffle during clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters on the streets of Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. After the “Unite the Right” rally descended into violence and was subsequently dispersed, a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing at least one person and injuring at least 19 others. (Edu Bayer/The New York Times)

In Berkeley, Mayor Jesse Arreguin called the violence as “horrifying.”

“We cannot stand by and watch while neo-Nazis, the Klan and other extremist groups, who have been emboldened by our president, take over U.S. cities,” he said. “Berkeley stands in solidarity against bigotry, hate and white supremacy and support those who embrace peaceful assembly and debate.”

In San Francisco, word of the violence in Virginia spread through the crowds at Outside Lands music festival. Early afternoon performers Joseph — a Oregon folk trio made up of sisters Allison, Meegan, and Natalie Closner — acknowledged the victims.

“We are thinking about Charlottesville today,” Closner said from the Sutro stage in Lindley Meadow. “It’s a scary time we are in we need to come together.”

Later in the day, Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith condemned the act and expressed his gratitude for the ability to play for such a peaceful crowd.

“I’m able to celebrate love and connection and music,” he said. “Thank by for reminding me, and for reminding all of us, what it’s really all about and how easy it actually is to love each other.”

Kimberly Veklerov, Michael Bodley and Jill Tucker are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email: KVeklerov@sfchronicle.com, mbodley@sfchronicle.com and jtucker@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kveklerov, @jilltucker

from Demonstrators gather in Oakland to protest white nationalist violence

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