Just received a response from the UC Berkeley Media department. My original ask was this:
Pretty simple. Should be a quick response? Right?
UC’s response with my commentary in bold:
The day after a scheduled appearance at the University of California, Berkeley, by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos erupted in violence and ended before it began, campus officials condemned the actions of agitators who invaded the campus and disrupted nearly 1,500 peaceful protesters. They also praised small brigades of Berkeley students who organized themselves to begin cleaning up debris.
At least they didn’t call him “White-supremacist alt-righter,” but it is written to frame him as the issue, and not the rioters. Also deflects any student/university culpability. This is definitely scrubbed by an attorney.
UCPD has launched an investigation of last night’s riotous actions, instigated by some 150 masked individuals with paramilitary tactics, that included hurling Molotov cocktails, setting fires, throwing fireworks at police, pushing barricades into windows, and damaging campus and city property.
1,500 wonderful cuddly protesters, 150 paramilitary rioters. From the videos I watched, these numbers are doubtful. Streams of last night are all over the web, you be the judge of that.
“The violence was an attack on our fundamental values, which are maintaining and nurturing open inquiry and an inclusive, civil society – the bedrock of a genuinely democratic nation,” said Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. “We are now, and will remain in the future, completely committed to Free Speech not only as a vital component of our campus identity, but as essential to our educational mission.”
Yes, he gave lip service. Their commitment to free speech was a falsehood though, as he helped instigate this by penning an email a week ago to the UC staff and others condemning Milo a “troll” (hey, sound familiar as a tactic to dismiss and diminish someone’s credibility? ) who engages in, and here’s where he justifies what happened last night, “hate speech”. Then, they hit the students with a huge security fee, with little time for them to prepare for it. All efforts were made to try to force them to cancel the event without Berkeley being culpable. Make no mistake that Chancellor Dirks is making PR here and giving little truth.
He added that “we appreciate the efforts of our police and Student Affairs staff to protect the rights of both speaker and protesters and their commitment to public safety and minimizing injuries.”
They really did a stellar job…
Sgt. Sabrina Reich, UCPD public information officer, said campus police made one arrest last night of a non-student, on charges of failure to disperse. Officers made several dispersal announcements to the crowd assembled outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, where Yiannopoulos had been invited speak at 8 p.m. by the Berkeley College Republicans.
One arrest? That’s it? I saw videos of people getting pepper sprayed, private property getting smashed. I have a witness who is anonymous who said she was “severely injured” along with a friend. There were TONS of cops there. How did they do such a dismal job in protecting the public? This was supposed to address my question… is it an implied answer “yes they were told to stand down and let it happen?” Why do we pay for police if that’s the case?
This morning, two Berkeley College Republicans were attacked while conducting an interview in front of Sproul Plaza by two men not affiliated with the campus. The men were arrested by UCPD, which is investigating the incident and did not yet have more details.
Because they weren’t arrested last night when they were out punching people in the street with their, what did you say, Berkeley? Oh yeah, Molotov cocktails. No reason to arrest them then.
UCPD is compiling video from Wednesday’s violence and will be reviewing it to try to identify suspects, Reich added. She encouraged anyone with information or who may have been a victim to contact police. While police are aware that while some members of the crowd that had gathered outside the student union on Wednesday were hurt, Reich said, “no one has come forward and made a police report regarding being assaulted or injured.” UCPD rescued multiple individuals in the crowd who were being attacked, trapped or injured.
I have an eye witness who says that “police were not taking reports on the scene.” So no one came forward because it wasn’t asked. This is a story that needs to break! Ugly stuff! Sith Lord News Network will report, you’ll decide.
An early estimate of campus damage is around $100,000, according to campus officials, and includes fixing broken windows at the MLK Student Union, replacing a generator that caught fire and was destroyed, sand-blasting paint off the concrete steps of the student union, cleaning up graffiti and possibly replacing some pavers and trees on Sproul Plaza. One tree on the plaza was badly singed by fire.
Wow. And yet, one arrest was made. Why? Gross negligence are words that come to mind now.
The city of Berkeley’s Downtown Business Association is reporting damage to more than 10 businesses including several banks, a Starbucks, a TargetExpress and both a Sprint and a T-Mobile store.
Already last night, an ad hoc group of UC Berkeley students who organized through social media and word of mouth decided to start picking up the broken pieces of their campus with brooms and paper bags, and they returned this morning around 5 a.m. to continue working.
The wonderful students. I’m sure none, as energetic, drunken 18-22 year olds are usually peaceful and wonderful in mobs, were involved.
Among them was William Morrow, president of the Associated Students of the University of California, who said the clean-up “was a real statement that the students of this campus care about this campus – about the buildings, the people, about maintaining a campus atmosphere that’s inviting to the rest of the world, so it can engage with it.”
“Last night was not reflective of that,” he continued. “What students were partaking in was a peaceful protest and anticipating a sharing of opinions and a dance party, but outside agitators infiltrated our community and didn’t treat it with the respect for our historic tradition of non-violence.”
The narrative is what I’m starting to see: this is a conspiracy. What this is going to signal to the media is that these were “outside agitators” now. And I’m not talking people from the community of berkeley/oakland who get marching orders from moveon.org (even though that’s who they were). It’s going to be conspiracies that Darth Bannon himself with the order of the God-Emperor planted people to create violence in order to bring in the brownshirts. It’ll be everywhere in like a day, you watch.
Meanwhile, no one will pay any attention to the fact that cops were told to stand down, that they allowed this to happen, that this was known and allowed by the UC and the police. This is how fake news is born.
The campus also has received reports that Berkeley students took it upon themselves to try and protect Lower Sproul Plaza and privately-owned shops on Bancroft Way from being vandalized.
I didn’t see much of that in the videoes. A lot of time talking about how great students are, but I suppose that they don’t want a 2nd riot on their hands as well. That’s why the posturing. That’s why the non-answers. In their lack of anything substantive, we can make conclusions about what happened. That’s why their attorneys wrote it this way. Someone needs to sue the University of California immediately.