With new sign, mayor hopes city can show that ‘Berkeley stands above hate’

A new protest sign, “Berkeley Stands United Against Hate,” was unveiled during a press conference Tuesday. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín is calling on community members to blanket the city, over the next few days, with a newly created poster to “show the white supremacists coming to our city that Berkeley Stands United Against Hate.”

The new poster — which features the message “Berkeley stands united against hate” in pink and purple capital letters — was created in collaboration with local artists, the mayor said, “so we can show our opposition to hate, racism and bigotry as a community. Let’s show the nation that Berkeley stands above hate and is for love and unity.” Its release comes as the city prepares for an “anti-Marxist” rally Sunday that’s expected to draw hundreds of people to Civic Center Park downtown.

Arreguín’s office is making 20,000 posters available to community members who want to support the “Berkeley stands united” campaign. Tuesday night, by email, he announced the locations where the posters can be picked up. A map of those pick-up spots, created by Berkeleyside, appears below.

A GoFundMe fundraiser, launched by Jacquelyn McCormick, the mayor’s senior advisor, is underway to help pay for the posters. As of publication time, it had raised about $5,100 of its $6,900 goal. On Tuesday, the mayor stood behind a podium featuring the new poster during a press conference where he denounced hate speech with other local political leaders, but not much detail was shared about the new sign itself.


The poster was created by Berkeley-based Another Country Studios. That’s a project linked to artist Lena Wolff, whose wife Miriam Klein Stahl is the creator of the popular Rad Women books. Stahl is also in the running to design a new pro-choice license plate the state is considering as part of a contest. The couple lives in Berkeley with their daughter.

According to Wolff’s website bio, since the November presidential election, she “is bent on generating new work in a range of artistic disciplines that turns the tide toward a better future for all through poetic, unexpected collaborations that spark inclusivity, empathy, inquiry and imagination.” An upcoming interdisciplinary project she’s working on “looks at the transformative power of art and collaboration to generate resilience and sublime experiences in times of political and ecological disaster.”

McCormick said the poster will be paid for solely by the fundraiser. If there is a gap, she said, “then someone will be making a large donation to the cause.”

The mayor’s office said, in a prepared statement, that the poster is one of the many positive ways the community can express its opposition to “intolerance, bigotry and racism.”

Of Sunday’s rally, the mayor’s office said that, “we have great concerns that extremists will show up there and engage not only in hate speech, but violence.” That’s “despite the event being billed as an ‘anti-Marxist’ gathering.”

The mayor said he hopes residents, business owners and others will hang the poster in their windows or post it in their yards to “show their support for our city.”

Posters will be available Thursday by around noon at many of the locations listed in the map below. As of Wednesday, they are already available at City Hall, at 2180 Milvia St., McCormick said. Volunteers are set to meet Saturday at 2 p.m. behind City Hall to hang signs throughout town on light posts, according to the mayor’s office.


McCormick hopes at least 50 people will come to help, and is asking them to bring clear packing tape, and be sure to avoid posting anything on telephone or PG&E poles.

The mayor is also asking people to photograph themselves with their sign to share on his Facebook page. People can also make the poster image their Facebook profile photo, he said.

In some storefronts, the new “Berkeley stands united” poster may join signs against Nazis and “alt-right fascists” that the Daily Californian reported have recently been appearing in Berkeley.

City officials have asked community members to avoid Sunday’s rally at Civic Center Park and instead go elsewhere to other events to express their opposition to hate speech and racism. A list of alternative events compiled by the mayor’s office appears below.

Even people attending alternative events should take care, however, according to Tuesday’s statement: “Please note that large rallies come with inherent risk, so we ask that you exercise caution and stay safe.”

A map of pick-up locations for the new poster appears below. Click each marker for details. Scroll below the map to see the list of alternative events distributed by the mayor’s office.


Community events compiled by the mayor’s office

Standing Together: Gatherings for People of All Faiths and Backgrounds to Affirm Our Values
Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m.
Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

Sign Making and Art party for Rally Against Hate
Thursday, Aug. 24, noon to 6 p.m.
Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley, Berkeley

March Against Hate to Crissy Field
Saturday, Aug. 26, 9:30 a.m. 400 North Point St.; 11 a.m. on the Marina Green
Longshore workers’ union and San Francisco community groups march to Crissy Field to protest white supremacist gathering.

Pray With Our Feet (Network of Spiritual Progressives and Beyt Tikkun)
Saturday, Aug. 26, 3-4:30 p.m.
Civic Center Park, Berkeley

Bay Area Rally Against Hate
Sunday, Aug. 27, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Addison and Oxford streets, Berkeley

Sanctuary Homes & Racial Justice Playdate
Sunday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to noon
The Frog Park, 5353 Miles Ave., Oakland

Anti-Racist Storytime (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
Sunday, Aug. 27, 3-5 p.m.
1367 Valencia St., San Francisco