Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín released the following statement just before 5 p.m. Tuesday. It appears below in full.
The City of Berkeley has received many emails and calls about the impending August 27 white nationalist rally at Civic Center Park. We want to reiterate that the city has not approved this gathering. It is an event organized online. No one has tried to obtain a permit nor has one been granted.
This rally, and its hateful rhetoric, is not welcome in Berkeley. We are currently exploring all options. The city will keep residents informed as the date approaches.
I also want to be clear that anyone who threatens to engage in violence — and we have seen from earlier events that this is exactly their intent — will be arrested and punished to the fullest extent of the law. We urge residents to avoid the Martin Luther King Jr Civic Center Park on this day. The best way to silence the white nationalists is by turning your back on their message. (Stay tuned for updates from us about how to positively send a message that the hate will not be tolerated.)
I think residents understand the extremely difficult position Berkeley finds itself in, made even more so by dealing with an amorphous group with no specific organizers. I want to reiterate that we will not allow our community to be terrorized by a small band of white supremacists whose ideology of hate is a losing one. Berkeley is proud of its multiculturalism and diversity, and we will continue to stand united against those who want to divide us.
Read more about recent Berkeley protests on Berkeleyside. Stay tuned to Berkeleyside for additional coverage.