'I Experienced Hate First-Hand Today': Bay Area TV Anchor On Berkeley Antifa

Chris Menahan
Aug. 28, 2017

"My wife told me I'm going to get crucified by posting this," KTVU anchor Frank Somerville wrote Sunday on his personal Facebook page after attending the "Rally Against Hate" at Berkeley.

"I told her I didn't care. This is what happened," Somerville said. "This is what I saw. This is what I experienced. This is the truth. Period."

"If people don't want to hear the truth that's not my problem," he said. "I have no agenda. I'm just saying that this is what happened to me today, think about it. And make your own decision."

Somerville wrote about his experience trying to speak with antifa members at Sunday's violent rally:
I experienced hate first hand today... It came from these people dressed in all black at a protest in Berkeley.

Ironically they were all chanting about NO hate.

Some had shields and gloves. Some had helmets. Some had gas masks.

I was watching them and taking it all in. I came there on my own time. Because I wanted to see things first hand. I was dressed in shorts and a tank top.

At one point I took out my phone to take a picture. And that's when it all happened. (And just to be clear they were playing for the cameras in front but I was toward the back. And since there were already so many people taking their picture I didn't think it would be an issue.)

I took these two pictures and afterward they started screaming at me. I thought for sure they were going to attack. I was just waiting for it. I wasn't scared.

But I stayed calm even though I thought this may not end well for me. Here's how the conversation went (and as you're reading this keep in mind that they were yelling at me and their words were filled with venom, anger, hate and intolerance.)

There's just no other way to describe it. I was stunned.
Them: Hey! No pictures or we'll take your phone!!! (At that point I'd already taken these shots)

Me (In calm voice): You're on public property and I can take a picture if I want to.

Them: Oh so you're a big man with a camera?

Me: No I just wanted to take a picture and talk with you.

Them (rushing toward me): We outnumber you and we will take your camera!

Me: You're not going to take my camera and you're not going to tell me what to do. Why can't we just have a respectful conversation. (I then touched one of them on her hand to say it's okay I just want to talk)

Them: Don't touch me!!

Me: I'm not trying to do anything. I just want to try to understand and have a respectful conversation.

Them: We'll block your shot!!!

Me: That's fine. All I wanted to do was have a conversation.

Them: Now is not the time. (In fairness he was the one person who was respectful)

Then as I started to walk away a woman started screaming at me saying: We're not interested in talking to you!! We're not interested in talking to you!!

I walked away stunned. I grew up in Berkeley. I marched in anti-war protests during the sixties.

Its one thing to read about HATE, It's another thing to be right next to it.

In my opinion, these people dressed in black are just as hateful and intolerant as the people they are protesting against.

Afterward I was talking to several other protesters. (Not dressed in black)

One of them actually stood up for me as the people dressed in black were threatening me. I was touched. They were just as disappointed as I was. They said that the people dressed in black represent a small minority and that they "hijack" the protests.

And I agree. MOST of the people out there today in Berkeley were non-violent.

They were there for the cause. They just wanted to come out and stand up against hate. I totally support them. But I do not support extremists, whether they are on the right or the left.

Hate is hate. And I experienced it first hand today. It was sad to see.
If you watch all the videos from the event, you'll see this was no small minority.

This was a hate-filled mob which violently assaulted moderate Republicans with the backing of the mayor and the police who stood down and let the mob attack.

Somerville's discussion carried on in the Facebook comment section.

Tion King Davis wrote: "I love frank but they were NOT spreading hate, they were just being rude because they're very upset. That doesn't put them on the same moral plane as people who are actually spreading REAL hate... being MEAN is not synonymous with being HATEFUL. If you hit me and I hit you back, that doesn't make us both equal. Im just defending myself. These people are fighting to prevent the nation from becoming a hateful society."

Somerville responded: "Tion I was ther..I FELT the hate and venom they had for me. It was very eye opening."

Niki D'Amore wrote: "That's not hate. They were prepared for battle. They're fighting for your daughter's rights, for my rights. They had a preconceived notion of the kind of man you are, based on your whiteness, and the way you were dressed. Is their presumption of you ok, absolutely not, but we're in the midst of a revolution, at a turning point, and some people expect you to pick a side. This wasn't hate. It was anger."

Mileen Nahon wrote: "I wouldn't be surprised if they were actually part of the Neo Nazi group and are dressed as counter-protestors to make the opposing side look bad.

WHY wear so much disguise unless you are there to cause real damage? WHY are you there to cause damage if you are there to oppose these fascist morons?"

Somerville responded: "I was there... i can tell you with 99 percent certainty that they wer NOT imposters."

Bob Demello said similar: "How do we know they were not far right hater's there to make peaceful protesters look bad?"

Somerville responded: "Because I walked thru the crowd... I couldn't find any from the far right."

Eric Anderson wrote: "Surprising to hear you taking a political position and agreeing with our President's statement regarding violence from many sides. Equivocation between fascists and anti-fascists is a core strategy of the alt-right."

Somerville responded: "Eric I'm not taking a political position... I'm just saying that the sad truth is that the extremists on the left are as hateful and intolerant as the extremists on the right... and I saw it first hand. If you don't believe me... just go to the next rally and watch them for yourself."

Somerville also commented on his initial motivation for going to the event: "What's so interesting to me about all of this is that I actually went there because I wanted to see if I could talk to a white supremacist... i was wondering what it would be like to be standing next to someone hates... instead I experienced hate by finding finding myself standing next to extremists on the left..."

Mr. Somerville, I think if you did go and talk to those so-called "white supremacists" you'd find they're not "white supremacists" at all and the media has been lying to you about them just as they lied to you about antifa.

HT: Zero Hedge.

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