Late last night, UC Berkeley students found Sproul Plaza covered in chalk graffiti containing hateful anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigration, anti-abortion messages. A few of the tags read: "Illegals, ICE is coming"; "Build a wall, deport them all"; "Abortion is genocide"; and "ANTIFAGS" the latter also an apparent reference to antifa.
After ASUC Senator Juniperangelica Cordova-Goff reported the graffiti to Dean of Students Joseph Goodwell, she and a few other students set to washing down the plaza early Tuesday morning. Speaking with the Daily Cal, Cordova-Goff said, "I think they were trying to intimidate us. This was intended to make people uncomfortable. But I’m also really proud of the students that came out at 1 a.m. to wash off the chalk."
As well, apparently, UCPD was made aware of a "hate incident" late Monday night, but did not see any chalk graffiti at Sproul Plaza, according to UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich. They also pointed out that the photos of the graffiti — which were posted online by ASUC Senator Alexander Wilfert shortly after they were found — did not match what was given in the report regarding the hate incident. Wilfert also commented on the graffiti, saying, "There’s clearly a disconnecting dialogue. This is not okay, and this is not what we endorse."
This incident comes just a few days before the Berkeley Patriot and Milo Yiannopoulos begin their so-called "Free Speech Week," where they've invited various "alt-right" pundits, provocateurs, and critics to speak on campus. That being said, the event has been losing "scheduled" speakers left and right, with ex-Googler James Damore being the most recent dropoff.
In addition to this, KRON 4 reports that Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley is dealing more anti-Semitic, racist graffiti, which was found spray-painted onto a school district bus. The school reported the graffiti (which included swastikas) and a smashed bus window to authorities at 6 a.m. this morning.
In response, community members around the school gathered to welcome students as they arrived at school in the morning, holding signs that said "Castro Valley United Against Hate."
Community members welcome kids to Castro Valley Mid school w/loving msg. after racist msg. scrawled on school truck. pic.twitter.com/hg3NlLWce9— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) September 20, 2017
ABC 7 says that authorities are currently investigating, and will treat the incident as a hate crime. There are unfortunately no witnesses, but police are currently reviewing surveillance footage. NBC shared Alameda County spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly's statement on the investigation. Kelly wrote: "We take crimes of this nature seriously. Racist and offensive vandalism will not be tolerated in our schools."