Anti-Nazi signs appear in windows of businesses in Berkeley

Joshua Jordan/Staff

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Update 08/24/17: This article has been updated to remove several paragraphs because of safety concerns.  

A poster warning Berkeley residents of the advent of Nazis and alt-right fascists cropped up in the window of Spats, a pub at 1974 Shattuck Ave. — “Nazis are coming, defend Berkeley!” cautioned the sign.

In light of the upcoming alt-right protest Aug. 27, signs will start appearing in other local businesses in Berkeley as well, according to a tweet published Saturday by Berkeley Antifa. It is unconfirmed, however, if Antifa is directly involved in distributing the signs. Jovan Grogan, deputy city manager, said in an email that no organization has contacted the administration to ask for permission. So far, the public has not complained about the appearance of these signs to the city.

Jessica Karadi, a UC Berkeley alumna and an herbalist in Lhasa Karnak Herb Company on Shattuck Avenue, said multiple groups are organizing a resistance including Standing Up for Racial Justice, or SURJ, and Antifa. Twitter accounts for Occupy Oakland and Reclaim UC are also being used to express and share these sentiments.

The Telegraph Business Association is also collaborating with the self-proclaimed anti-hate groups in delivering these signs to merchants under its domain, which they can put up in their stores.

Stuart Baker, executive director of the Telegraph Business Association, said the official stance of his organization is to stand against these protesters from coming to Berkeley because, as seen during the April 15 and April 27 protests this year, the demonstrations “can get violent.”

The mayor’s office is leading its own campaign to develop posters that state, “Berkeley Stands United Against Hate,” which residents, business owners and others can put in their windows or on their lawns, according to Grogan. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín has expressed a will in the past to prevent the Aug. 27 protest, through legal means if necessary.

“There are also a series of activities partner organizations are developing for the 27th where residents can express their opposition to bigotry and racism in a positive way,” Grogan said in his email. “The mayor’s office will share more information about these events as they become available.”

Contact Azwar Shakeel at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @azwarshakeel12.

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  • roccolore

    Anti-fa are the real fascists.

    • roflquest


  • lspanker

    LOL, that window display sums up the total hypocrisy and inconsistency of liberals…

    • babybunny

      The left sign addresses acceptance of all things that are unchangeable (where they were born, their gender, perhaps their religion) whereas the right sign addresses behavior. No one was born a nazi.

      • lspanker

        The left defines anyone who disagrees with them as Nazis. In addition, they were so desperate to promote street fighting with the class/race/gender division rhetoric they have peddling for way too long now, so they get what they deserve as far as I’m concerned…

        • babybunny

          You obviously have a chip on your shoulder. My point is that the signs aren’t inconsistent (nor are they inconsistent with the law)

        • SaburoDaimando

          You forget one thing: America has fought the monsters that are Nazis. Including one called Adolf Hitler.

          • California Defender

            Are? They last existed 72 years ago.

            On a side note, as part of a veterans’ outreach group to connect young vets with old, I was recently chatting with a few vets in a nursing home who actually did fight them. One, who lost four fingers to a Nazi grenade, told us that if he knew then how Europe would turn out today, he wouldn’t have sacrificed his fingers. Many other vets (young and old) nodded in agreement as I sat in silence, processing the gravity of what he just said.

            Finger food for thought, Saburo.

      • California Defender

        Religion is unchangeable?

        Gender is unchangeable?

        Hmm… not sure where you’re going with this, babybunny.

        • babybunny

          Religion: you can’t get unbaptized. But yeah, laws are old and assume that once born a Christian, that’s an innate property.

          Gender: Again, laws are old, but I think it’s fair to say that ones gender is innate, much like being born Chinese means you’re Chinese for life, and people will treat you as Chinese. That’s innate.

          The physical body may or may not match but that’s not the point. The important part: The difference between an non-behavioral innate property (race, gender, height) vs a learned behavior (like fascism or racism).

          • California Defender

            Sounds like you have discovered libertariansm. Welcome to the club!

            But if you can’t change your gender, then what is a transgendered person? You can change the gender on your birth certificate, even to “intersex” or “non-binary”. Why do you disagree with that? Perhaps you’re not ready to be a libertarian.

            As for religion, you can get unbaptized. You can be excommunicated or renounce the faith your parents assigned to you. Of course, this is punishable by death in some religions, particularly Islam, but it proves that religion is definitely a choice.

            Back to the OP, yes, the store in the photo is hypocritical. The only people who are welcome are those they like, hence the Muslim woman, a person who has made the choice to be a Muslim and wear a headscarf in order to tell everyone in public that she is Muslim. In fact, the sign would make no sense to leftists without the image because “everyone” might imply EVERYONE.

          • babybunny

            Not sure how you get libertarianism out of my explanation. My point is that the signs in the window are not actually hypocritical when taken in the context of the legal foundations I described. Read what I wrote again.

            And re: gender, what you were born as is not necessarily the same as your legal status. That’s the legal catching up I refer to.

          • California Defender

            It a common libertarian belief that the government should not discriminate against anyone for physical traits, personal beliefs, speech, etc. While individuals can discriminate against anyone for any reason provided that they are not threatening or harming others (feelings don’t count).

            To libertarians, the leftist store in the photo may prohibit anyone they dislike. But common leftist hypocrisy is displayed by the store posting those two signs together. One or the other would be perfectly fine.

            I have no idea which “legal foundations” you mean. You mentioned none.

          • babybunny

            A general principle of our legal system is that you should not be prosecuted for things over which you have no control over. That would include gender, disability, lack of money, religion, your parents crimes, etc. North Carolina and Sessions notwithstanding. And those will be fixed with time.

            Like I wrote, no one is born a nazi. The signs work just fine as they are.

            That said, libertarianism is a selfish and childish fantasy worldview, held by people who care more about themselves than the common good. That’s also the opposite of the signs in the window.

          • California Defender

            You are in control over your religion, your money, and (recently) your gender.

            True, nobody is born a Nazi and none are today. The party ceased to exist 72 years ago. Perhaps you’ll see British royalty dressing up like them at Halloween parties, but they’re still not Nazis. Nobody is.

            As for the signs, nobody is born a Muslim either. It is taught, oppressively and under penalty of law to achieve nearly universal submission in many nations, but it is still a personal choice. Besides that, “everyone” means EVERYONE regardless of the image on the sign. That would include every conceivable personal choice from crime to job to ethnicity to political belief. Thus, your argument fails to hold water.

            And libertarians supports BOTH signs, but not at the same time. We abhor hypocrisy, but support your right to be hypocritical in calling US selfish children. In fact, it makes me laugh and channel Balzac:

            “It is the mark of a great man that he puts to flight all ordinary calculations. He is at once sublime and touching, childlike and of the race of giants.”

            You are losing this debate, babybunny. Do try harder!

          • babybunny

            Wow. Yup, kids who were sent to concentration camps totally chose their religion. Like I said, a childish worldview. Please stop.

          • California Defender

            Where are kids in religious concentration camps? Do you mean Islamic madrasas?

            Are there people who really believe in Nazi Party philosophy? Sure. But the intellectually challenged use this playground insult for anyone/anything they don’t like which causes it lose all meaning. Or, thanks to people like you, even grow into a hippie-like counterculture movement among youth as we are currently seeing.

            Lastly, I’m curious what you think my worldview is. I’ve only mentioned that I’m a libertarian. I’m guessing you’re super big Hollywood fan, so here is a short list of some more childish libertarians:

            Clint Eastwood
            Bruce Willis
            Tom Selleck
            Kurt Russell
            Vince Vaughn
            Drew Carey
            Kelly Clarkson

            Like me, they would all be unwelcome in whatever store that is. And we’re ok with that because it’s (1) not a place we’d want to go, (2) if it was, not a place we’d want to patronize, and (3) it probably stinks in there.

          • babybunny

            The fates of Jewish and non-Jewish children can be categorized in the following ways:

            1) children killed when they arrived in killing centers

            2) children killed immediately after birth or in institutions

            3) children born in ghettos and camps who survived because prisoners hid them

            4) children, usually over age 12, who were used as laborers and as subjects of medical experiments

            5) children killed during reprisal operations or so-called anti-partisan operations.


            Now tell us again that religion and related persecution is a choice. Stop trying to convince us that your fantasy is reality.

          • California Defender

            Good lord. Where is that happening right now? Nowhere and hasn’t for over 70 years.

            Ignoring that fact, there were plenty of Jewish Nazi collaborators in WWII who were able to avoid persecution. Even more who renounced Judaism and became Catholic, particularly in Italy. There were so many that the Pope (a Nazi sympathizer) had to move thousands to Brazil. So even in the worst of conditions, religion is still a CHOICE.

            You’re unable to answer my questions, come up with irrelevant points, and have deflected the discussion to this esoteric topic (and lost), what now? Shall we discuss transmutation?

            You’re obviously stuck in an anti-intellectual loop of leftism. I’m not sure how to break you out of it. But I’ll keep trying for it’s a labor of compassion.

          • babybunny

            Wow. This went south quickly. Thanks, alt-right nazi apologist, for sharing your thoughts.