Mayor Arreguin Thanks Police, Peaceful Protesters Following Aug. 27 Rally
“I applaud the more than 7,000 people who came out today to peacefully oppose bigotry, hatred and racism that we saw on display in Charlottesville. They gave impassioned speeches, they played music and they showed that Berkeley and the Bay Area will always stand for tolerance, diversity and justice. However, the violence that a small group of protesters engaged in against residents and the police, including throwing smoke bombs, is unacceptable. Fighting hate with hate does not work and only makes each side more entrenched in their ideological camps.
Faced by extremists who were intent to fight, the Berkeley Police Department made the right call to deescalate the situation. In the end, 13 people were arrested and two taken to the hospital. I regret that people were injured, but am glad that serious violence was averted. Thank you to the Berkeley Police Department, Fire Department, and our mutual aid partners for their efforts. And thanks to the thousands of people who peacefully and creatively exercised their right to freedom of speech and assembly. Our nation is deeply divided, but Berkeley will forge onward to protect immigrants, people of color and others who are marginalized, and to continue to peacefully stand up for justice.”