A couple of demonstrations over the weekend showed Bay Area folk on the left of the political spectrum coming out in defiance of the recently defiant displays by those on the far-right end of the spectrum. First, on Saturday, a planned counter-protest for a March on Google organized by alt-right figure Jack Posobiec (of Pizzagate fame) went on despite the march itself getting postponed last week. The rally, titled Stand Up for Equality and Diversity, drew a couple of hundred people outside City Hall in Mountain View, as NBC Bay Area reports, and the event, originally meant to counter a right-wing rally in protest of the firing of Google engineer James Damore, took on greater significance for some attendees after the events in Charlottesville the week before.
"I don’t support violence, and I certainly don’t support terrorism and people marching around with tiki torches," said protester Elizabeth Beheler to NBC Bay Area. "So yes, I think that I am a suburban soccer mom here peacefully expressing myself."
Protesters chanted things like "What do we want? Equality. When do we want it? Now!” Indybay has some more photos here.
The March on Google was postponed due to what Posobiec claimed were credible threats of violence from the "alt-left," and it comes just as the Bay Area is bracing for two other planned rallies this coming weekend in SF and Berkeley by the alt-right/conservative group Patriot Prayer one or both of which, some fear, will attract the type of extremist and neo-Nazi elements who showed up in Charlottesville.
Separately on Saturday the group Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) staged a rally in Justin Herman Plaza in SF in protest of the upcoming rallies and white supremacists in general, with attendees hoisting signs that said "White Supremacy Sucks!" and "Make America HUMAN Again!", as NBC Bay Area reports.
In related news, a fundraising campaign by a Bay Area lawyers' group has quickly raised over $80,000 for the Southern Poverty Law Center the non-profit group based in Alabama that tracks and documents hate groups of all kinds in the US.
The GoFundMe campaign, titled "Adopt a Nazi (Not Really)," was launched last week by Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco board member Cody Harris. He tells NBC Bay Area that the idea was inspired by a 2014 campaign launched in the small German town of Wunsiedel, where they "decided to combat an annual neo-Nazi march through town by donating money to an anti-extremist group for every marcher."
"These extremist groups are spoiling for a fight," Harris tells the station. "They are basically trolls they want a reaction, they want violence in the streets. It serves their purposes. Decent Americans cannot respond like that, tempting as it may be. We instead must channel our anguish and anger towards something positive. This campaign is an easy way to do that."