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Anti-Semitic flyers show up on hundreds of Berkeley doorsteps

The Berkeley Police Department and City Council released a joint statement on Monday afternoon condemning hateful messages left on the doorsteps of houses in the north Berkeley hills.

According to the statement, “hundreds” of neighbors found plastic sandwich bags on their doorsteps on Feb. 20 that were “filled with hateful, Anti-Semitic messaging.” The police said that the bags were delivered “randomly.”

The council and police say the messages were placed by a “small, fringe white supremacist extreme group” that targets Jewish communities as well as other minority groups throughout the Bay Area.

Though the joint statement doesn’t explicitly say what was in the messages, it notes that “identical” anti-Semitic “screeds” blaming the COVID pandemic on the Jewish people have been disseminated across the country.

The message reads:

“As the center of the free-speech movement, Berkeley has always supported people’s rights under the First Amendment. … But let’s be clear– The Berkeley City Council and our community soundly reject and condemn ANY hate-filled messages and any inference to discrimination of any kind to any person or group.”

The Berkeley Police said they were “highly prioritizing” the hate messages and are actively investigating the case. BPD is asking anyone with camera footage or any other information about the canvassing to call (510) 981-5900.

Editor’s note: Several similar incidents involving anti-Semitic flyers left on residential lawns and doorsteps have been reported over the past week in cities like Palo Alto, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. Flyers have also appeared at groups of homes in Texas, Oregon and Colorado.
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