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2017-06-10: Roseville

We had planned to set up the empathy tent at Berkeley Civic Center Park this Saturday. We just found out about these Against Sharia Rallies in Roseville CA, it’s near Sacramento at the same date/time. We are switching to go to: 
March Against Sharia and a counter 2017 Unity Rally   (Google Map Link)

I set up the empathy tent at these demonstrations and offered listening.. Reached out to all the sides. The Anti Sharia, Unity and Answer groups.

Went over to the right wing side. The first guy I saw said, "Where are the chocolate empathy kisses?" He recognized me from the Berkeley events where I gave them out to the different sides..

"We didn't know what was in the empathy kisses, could have been poison." he smiled.

"Yeah, some people were suspicious and asked if there was ex-lax in them." :-)

"We figured since it was Berkeley, it was probably LSD!" he continued and laughed.

"We'll, I don't have any with me right now, but I've still got hugs." So I gave him a hug and talk about I was there to listen.

It felt good to know I was recognized and had build up a positive connection and trust with the different sides.

To effectively have an impact at this event I felt we needed more people for the tent. I was there on my own and didn't have the resources to deploy effectively.

Bummed out and Frustrated
The 3 groups were on 3 different intersections of a major 6 to 8 lane cross street with police at all the cross walks. If we had a few more people, we could have set up the empathy tent on it's own corner, and then have a couple of people staffing the tent, have a couple of us walking between the different groups giving out empathy kisses and inviting them to come and take part in empathy circles at the tent.

I'm a bit bummed out and frustrated that there is so few empathy activists out there since I know we could have had a big impact. Feels like a lost opportunity.

The media stories talked about the lack of dialogue and the polarization between the sides. We could have modeled that dialogue.


Three Groups Protested in Roseville today. Two identify themselves as Anti Sharia Law and one as a Pro Muslim Group. One person was arrested during the protest.

YouTube Video

Dueling rallies draw hundreds to Roseville - KCRA
Three rallies Saturday drew hundreds of people to the intersection of Roseville Parkway and Galleria Boulevard. Outside of the mall, three corners of the intersection were crowded with people holding signs and chanting. While one group opposed Sharia law, the two other groups expressed unity and anti-racism. 

YouTube Video

"Part 1 of 3. This is one of two counter protest sides, the more mellow of the two. WE started here because parking was easy. Act and Anti Sharia demonstrators in part 2. Antifa part 3."

YouTube Video

‘March Against Sharia:’ 3 Sides Protest at Roseville Intersection FOX40
"In a display of the nation's current political strife, three groups gathered at the intersection of Roseville Parkway and Galleria Boulevard Saturday to protest for and against the "March Against Sharia.""

"More than 300 people from Northern California traveled to Roseville on Saturday to protest sharia law as part of a nationwide rally organized by grass-roots organization ACT for America."

Anti-Sharia March Creates Tension as Dueling Rallies Face Off!
More than 300 people from Northern California traveled to Roseville on Saturday to protest sharia law as part of a nationwide rally organized by an organization known as ACT for America.

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