VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — “Hate has no place in Virginia Beach,” City Council Member Michael Berlucchi emphasized after a known white supremacist group recently distributed promotional materials around the city’s resort area.
The American Identity Movement, formerly known as Identity Evropa, is a neo-Nazi group with ties to the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
WAVY has chosen to not share the materials (posters, stickers, etc.) which Berlucchi says are being removed from public property where the law permits.
“I condemn, in the strongest manner possible, every form of discrimination and division, Berlucchi said in a statement. “Virginia Beach is a warm, inclusive community; we love our Country and respect our neighbors. We warmly welcome everyone who wants to live, visit, work, or do business in our City.”
Berlucchi says he’s spoken with both the Virginia Beach Police Department and the FBI about the materials, and says “they will address the matter with the seriousness it merits.”
He has this message for the group. “For the individuals responsible for distributing this information, I encourage you to leave our community as quickly as possible – we have no use or need for hate, fear, or division in Virginia Beach.”