Oh, you crazy California kids…you do love a good riot. There’s a kind of supreme irony in a bunch of college-aged white kids in no danger at all of being killed by the police, protesting police killings by doing things that would get anyone else killed by police.
Berkeley student defending his right to latte against the fascist police state
For the second night in a row, the Ferguson/Garner protests in Berkeley, California turned nasty. The protests began peacefully enough at the Berkley campus; but as is the way with most upsets in the Bay Area, it eventually spilled over into Oakland. Once that happened, splinter groups began breaking off…and that’s where someone got the microphone that you’re hearing today.
Actually, it’s where protesters gathered to block freeways and traffic throughout the area. For a time, freeways were filled with angry, destructive, heavily armed, potentially homicidal youths bent on causing chaos throughout the city.
However, on this particular night, police interceded by firing tear gas into the crowd. The crowd responded by throwing rocks, bottles and (on at least one occasion) some type of explosive device back at them. Garbage cans were lit on fire, and someone attempted to light their Camel with a burning police car…but the car didn’t go up.
Throughout the area, businesses were vandalized and looted. On Shattatuck, the world’s last remaining Radio Shack was heavily looted, as was (of course, Berkeley) a Whole Foods store. Looters were said to have left the tofu, but they were seen raising bottles of champagne later in the evening.
Police said there was “significant damage” to local businesses, five arrests were made and two officers received minor injuries. So, all things considered, a pretty peaceful night in Oakland. Not a single white college student was shot or choked to death. Again, standard.
The worst injury may have been to a protester who tried to stop others from committing acts of vandalism; he was hit with a hammer. Activities wrapped up around 3:30 a.m. Police spent the remainder of the night walking around menacingly in military squads and riot gear, relentlessly beating anything that emerged from those thick fogbanks of incendiary-lit tear gas.
Ahh..Monday morning in Northern Cali.
We can probably expect the same thing tonight…unless they’re serving waffles with blueberry syrup in the dining commons tomorrow morning. In which case, the riot will probably wrap up by midnight tonight. One suggestion, though, to our student friends in Berkeley:
Really swing for the fences tonight. Go for something dramatic. Like a plague of tigers. Transvestite clowns with pogo sticks. Flaming seagulls. Super-soakers filled with humpbacked-whale feces. Walnuts. Just, however the spirit moves you; your imagination is the only limit. Feel free to give ’em Hell: You’re white.
What are the cops going to do…shoot you?