The Threat Of The Berkeley Riots
Politics and Activism

The Threat Of The Berkeley Riots

"Today is the day!" you say to yourself. "Today is the day that we will stop the fascists."

21
Occupy Oakland

The light is no longer filtering through the windows as you wake up. "Today is the day!" you say to yourself. "Today is the day that we will stop the fascists." You walk over to your neatly set out sweater that will keep you warm and the scarf that will protect your identity. Next to the clothes that will keep you warm and safe is your little league, aluminum baseball bat.

This bat is what you will use to break the shop windows in Berkeley while protesting. This is a movement against the misogynist, hate speech spewing Nazi Milo Yiannopoulos. You know that now is the time that he and his people pay for the evil of their actions. Nazis will pay tonight.

This fictional situation was inspired by the real events that happened the first day of February 2017. The protest gained traction when the accused fascist Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak in Berkeley about cultural appropriation. The outcome of the protest was well beyond the realm of free speech.

What started as a protest against hate speech turned into a riot. According to this CNN article, this riot in Berkeley caused $100,000 worth of damage to the campus. The article also states that rioters injured at least six people there who came to watch apart from the protest. Among the damage and the carnage from the riot stood a clear message to the people of the United States. Those causing the riot do not respect the law of the United States, and they do not respect the president.

Despite the anarchy that broke out at Berkeley that night, the message from the violence made things clear. People in the United States exist and are amassing to silence those with violence whose speech they do not agree with. Before now, it was not clear who were the people who led these destructive riots that seem to be occurring more frequently into the new year. With Berkeley's riot, a name has emerged from the violence. That name is ANTIFA or anti-fascism.

The part most closely associated with the Berkeley riot can be found here. A member of the website wrote an accord of the riots titled "Rubber Bullets and MAGA Hats: My Account of #MiloatCal." This article is the account of one present at the protest who claims it was peaceful and that he served as a medic for protesters at the event.

The anonymous poster would have you believe that the Berkeley protest remained a protest and that those there were respectful. He talked about police pepper spraying protesters and firing rubber bullets at them. He claims a part of ANTIFA called the Black Bloc was there to respectfully protest. In the wake of a $100,000 tab for the burning, broken glass, and destruction of property, it seems that the individual who wrote this article has a disconnect with the truth behind brutality of the riot in Berkeley.

This picture taken at Berkeley is of the Black Bloc. They are the militarized arm of the ANTIFA movement that goes on location and pushes the ANTIFA agenda through protest and violence. They can be seen waving the ANTIFA flag during protests turned riots. This red and black flag represents anarchy and communism. Not only does their communist through anarchy and violence principal go against everything that the United States has stood for over the past one hundred years, but these ANTIFA Black Bloc rioters are gaining power through prominent people and groups supporting their actions.

In the San Francisco Chronicle article where this picture is from, the author states, "I believe in freedom of speech, but openly vile, divisive and hate-filled commentary shouldn’t be tolerated." The author by the name of Otis R. Taylor Jr. does not use his article to detest the actions of the Black Bloc and their impediment to an individual's freedom of speech. Instead, this author focuses on how Yiannopoulos' speech was dangerous and how his power should be boycotted.

This peaceful protest made this country what it is. When protest turns violent, damages property, hurts people, and takes away constitutional rights, Americans must recognize that their way of life is threatened by the actions of anarchists. Otis R. Taylor Jr. is just one of many who does not recognize the evil of the rioters at Berkeley. Many more powerful people in Hollywood have proclaimed that the anarchists' actions in Berkeley were just because they removed a man's "hateful" platform.

Many men and women in the United states quote Evelyn Beatrice Hall who wrote, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Hall attributed this quote to the great philosopher and satirist Voltaire who wrote prolifically and was jailed for writing what he believed in. Hall's quote describes freedom of speech that the United States enjoys. I subscribe to this notion of free speech, and like Voltaire, I too see the hypocrisy in taking away an individual's right to freedom.

The citizens of the United States must recognize who their enemy is. Political parties will always disagree. The answer is not to eradicate those who disagree. Individuals with different opinions have lived together peacefully in the United States from its creation. The possibility to live in freedom and peace makes the United States a beautiful country. When rioters burn, loot, and destroy a town to eradicate freedom of speech, citizens must recognize the danger that these anarchists pose.

Know your enemy. Stand up for peace, freedom, and harmony in the United States.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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