Chalk graffiti targeting undocumented, LGBTQ+ communities seen on Sproul Plaza

Jackie Mitchell/Courtesy

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Update 09/20/17: This article has been updated to reflect additional information from campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff.

Phrases written in chalk such as “Illegals, ICE is coming” and “They’re called Dreamers for a reason” were spotted on Sproul Plaza late Monday night.

The graffiti also included included phrases such as “Build a wall, deport them all,” “ANTIFAGS” and “Abortion is genocide,” according to photographs posted to Facebook by ASUC Senator Alexander Wilfert. Chalking on UC Berkeley property is not allowed at any time and is a violation of campus policy, according to campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff.

ASUC Senator Juniperangelica Cordova-Goff said she was not in Berkeley when she was first notified of the graffiti, but she arrived on campus soon after finding out about the messages to help wash the chalk off Sproul Plaza. She was joined by several other students, and the group spent about half an hour early Tuesday morning erasing the graffiti, she said.

Cordova-Goff added that she sent an email to UC Berkeley Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell after midnight Tuesday, alerting him of the presence of the chalk messages on campus.

“I think they were trying to intimidate us. … This was intended to make people uncomfortable,” Cordova-Goff said. “But I’m also really proud of the students that came out (at) 1 a.m. to wash off the chalk.”

UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich said in an email that UCPD received a report about 11:16 p.m. Monday of a hate incident. At the time officers responded, however, there was no hate speech chalking visible, according to Reich. Reich added that the photographs posted online of the graffiti messages do not appear to resemble what was reported to UCPD.

UC Berkeley has seen instances of anti-LGBTQ+ chalking in the past. In August 2016, chalk graffiti advocating the “straight liberation movement” and a “straight-only safe space” appeared on parts of Telegraph Avenue and Sproul Plaza.

“These messages go against everything we stand for as a community,” Ratliff said in an email. “Every member of our community should be treated with respect and should feel safe and valued here.”

Harini Shyamsundar is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @hshyamsundar.

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  • rychastings

    so much fake outrage here

  • jim hoch

    odds are they did it themselves

    • lspanker

      Always the possibility when there are those who live to be offended because victimization gives them political power.

    • World Class Running-Man

      Based on what?

      • jim hoch


  • California Defender

    “This is not okay, and this is not what we endorse.”

    Said the Bubbled Berkeleyite who is apparently opposed to the democratic rule of law.

    But perhaps not so much in opposition to signs that read “Behead BCR” and “Lynch BCR”, directed at a marginalized group of oppressed minorities, the Berkeley College Republicans.

  • lspanker

    I see nothing targeting LGBT people, just an anti-abortion message and an insult to Antifa. Anyway, it’s chalk and washes up readily with water and a stiff bristle brush, so what’s the problem again?

    • Jubilutus

      You see nothing because you choose to see nothing.

      • California Defender

        I see a rational observation of reality, a commentary on the democratic rule of law, a message about cause and effect, and some religious nonsense.

        What do you see?

      • lspanker

        Unlike you, I don’t see bogeymen hiding under every rock. You really need to grow up.

      • SecludedCompoundTTYS

        Where is it? I’m trying to see!

  • Nina

    Many 19 year olds around the world are risking their lives to defend their country, or fleeing war and persecution. Meanwhile the privileged students at Berkeley are whining because of chalk. smh

    • Jubilutus

      Jealous? Didn’t get into Berkeley 50 years ago?

      • lspanker

        Did you have a point to make? Apparently not.

    • smarm_alarm

      “Because there are truly horrific things happening elsewhere in the world, people are not allowed to complain about things that are merely bad on their college campus.” -Nina, logic genius

      • SecludedCompoundTTYS

        No, you can complain but she can still think its stupid that your complaining about chalk written by some 18 year old idiot when you be writing about other important serious issues.

    • BerkeleyCitizen

      Yea, many of them fleeing the destruction of their homes, communities and livelihoods in war zones like Syria and Afghanistan, brought to them all or in-part by the US. So I agree, 19 year olds here need to know more about that. But not sure how our side discussion has anything to do with this story.

      • lspanker

        Yea, many of them fleeing the destruction of their homes, communities and livelihoods in war zones like Syria and Afghanistan, brought to them all or in-part by the US.

        The religious strife that motivates much of that destruction has been going on for centuries, long before the US ever got involved there…

        • BerkeleyCitizen

          See above.

      • SecludedCompoundTTYS

        It’s mostly because they lack any form of centralized government and are taken control of by terrorists organizations, which were allowed to rise during the last decade. You think the US is the cause for all of their war zones? Wow…