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.