These are from Thursday, March 4th 2008 in Berkeley, CA. This was the day of a big, coordinated day of strikes and protest, for public education, or public education in California, or for the UCs, or for general chaos and revolution depending on who you were talking to. I was curious about what the turnout would be like, and who specifically would show up, and you can never trust mainstream media coverage of a protest so I ran down to campus to check it out myself.
Note that Michelle Malkin has a nice roundup of events on other campuses today. (and thanks for the link! Always appreciated!)
Here's the schedule for Cal (UC Berkeley). What this doesn't really show are that some schools had things on their own campuses, then marching to Oakland, or maybe staying there. It also doesn't show the reason why the Oakland thing ends at 4:00 is so they can hop on the subway and be in San Francisco for the 5:00 protest there. So it's basically this all day big rolling protest. I decided I was curious enough to pop over to Cal for an hour or so, but not to follow along for the whole sequence. If they can't get a decent turnout with 35,000 Cal students I don't really care if they pick up another hundred from local high scools or community colleges.
Here's one of the entrances to the college. Sure enough, there's picketing, although I think classes were mostly cancelled today so it's more for the appearance of it all.
By the time I got over there somebody was giving a speech and they weren't facing the street anymore. We'll move on, but notice the pink "Restribute the Wealth Tax the Rich" sign.
Turnout's never as good as they hope.
The equivalent picket at the main pedestrian route into campus.
Unfortunately this guy was blocking the view from the street but they hung signs on his hot dog truck.
Ever wondered what the back of a protest looked like? Let's move on to Sproul gate and check out if the rally part has started yet.
Bye, bye, protesters. Note how minor this appears even a short distance away.
As usual, much overtime was had. This cost the state and the city of Berkeley quite a lot of money since there were large numbers of UC and city policy handy. Notice they have extra wrist ties handy, but not a huge number and they're not wearing extra protective gear - they're prepared for minor trouble but don't expect a real riot.
This guy was off on his own.
And there's the gate, which they have more or less symbolically blocked. Note the various accusations - UC thinks its above the law, is racist, and could use the money spent on wars and jails.
Note on the left - the (something) capitalist system has to go! We need Revolution + Communism. You know, in some ways I'm sympathetic to the protesters here - the state budget is a disaster and it's not the students fault and they're getting screwed. But then they go hanging massive signs about revolution, or communism, or saying the money's going to war (which is why every other state has the same problems as California, right? Or maybe it's because we've been spending like drunken sailors? nah....)
This just goes to show that you can't pull one sign out of context and read too much into it. It's really patterns we're looking for. But if I were dishonest I'd crop this and start going on and on about how they think Obama's a Nazi when in fact everybody was ignoring this nut.
And here's the other side of the gate. By now all the pickets have joined up and they're in one big mass of maybe 300-500 people. They'll march soon.
Go on to page two to see Cal frat boys burst their barrier.
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