Berkeley mayor: Speaker who sparked protests a ‘white nationalist’

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Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin (D) on Thursday described right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos as a “white nationalist” in a statement encouraging inclusion and peaceful demonstrations.

“Destruction and violence are contrary to progressive values and have no place in our community,” Arreguin said in a statement after protests forced the cancellation of Yiannopoulos’s planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley, Wednesday evening.

Arreguin said he supports those who “peacefully come together in pursuit of a just and inclusive country that stands united with our immigrant population and the many others who are being targeted in this national political climate.” 

{mosads}”Unfortunately, last night, a small minority of the protesters who had assembled in opposition to a speaking engagement featuring a prominent white nationalist engaged in violence and property damage,” he said referring to Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart senior editor.

“They also provided the ultra-nationalist far right exactly the images they want to use to try to discredit the vast majority of peaceful protesters in Berkeley and across America who are deeply concerned about where our country is headed.”

Arreguin went on to say he represents a city that stands against “bigotry,” “fear mongering” and “violence towards anyone.”

“For our community to be a beacon of light in these dark times,” he said, “we must display our values of inclusion, keep each other and our community safe, embrace our right to peacefully assemble, and show the rest of the country our values in both speech and in action.”

In response, Yiannopoulos told Breitbart News that he wants an apology.

The university said in a statement the violence was “instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest.” 

More than 1,500 people had showed up to protest Yiannopoulos’s appearance on the campus.

President Trump on Thursday threatened to cut federal funding to the university, tweeting: “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view — NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” 


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