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Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward issued a statement today regarding the violence that erupted Saturday during a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Va.

Hayward, on Monday, said:

“I am saddened by the ongoing events in Charlottesville, and I know that I speak for our community when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Virginia.

I have always taken a strong position in support of civil rights and in opposition to racism and discrimination of all kinds. Together with mayors from across the country, and on behalf of the citizens of Pensacola, I am reiterating my unequivocal belief that hate and bigotry have no place in America. I condemn the white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and all other hate groups who do not share our democratic values. I deplore the violence and the terrible loss of life and injuries in Charlottesville, and I urge leaders at all levels of government to do the same.

Pensacola‚Äôs future is best served by a reputation for being a welcoming community and a beacon of respect for all. I intend to continue to work with everyone in our community to make sure that we live up to that reputation.”

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