- The Washington Times - Friday, April 28, 2017

Jesse Arreguin, the first Latino mayor of Berkeley, California, on Thursday questioned whether the city would still be the target of such animosity from conservatives if he was white.

Mr. Arreguin spoke to the Los Angeles Times from his fifth-floor office as pro-President Trump demonstrators gathered outside to protest Ann Coulter’s canceled speech at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mr. Arreguin, who has reportedly participated in Black Lives Matter and Occupy Movement protests, said the city has become a “surrogate” for the resistance against the Trump administration, which makes it the target of “engineered” animosity from the right.

“It’s engineered intense animosity against Berkeley, and that’s a narrative they keep putting out there,” the mayor told the Times.

“It’s not lost on me that I’m Berkeley’s first Latino mayor. I have been outspoken against the Trump administration,” he said. “I have to wonder if the mayor was white, would we see such hate.”

Mr. Arreguin, who co-sponsored a resolution last month calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment, said he’s been on the receiving end of hate mail and death threats.

His biggest fear, however, is that someone will get killed in one of the clashes, he told the Times.

Free speech supporters descended upon the city Thursday to protest the canceling of Ms. Coulter’s speech at the UC Berkeley campus. Canadian contrarians Gavin McInnes and Lauren Southern headlined a free speech rally at MLK Civic Center Park and read an excerpt from the conservative firebrand’s planned remarks.

Ms. Coulter was forced to cancel her appearance after university officials cited “very specific intelligence” of threats of violence against her. It came nearly three months after Mr. Yiannopoulos’s event at the campus was cut short due to an outbreak of violent protests.

The Berkeley Police Department arrested five people and confiscated numerous weapons during Thursday’s demonstrations, the Times reported.

“There were no reports of injuries nor any property damage,” police said in a statement.


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