#Berkeleyprotests Turn Violent


Anyone on the ground there who can tell us what when down and what’s next?
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/12/07/ferguson-garner-protesters-take-to-streets-of-berkeley-for-second-night-running/
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/12/08/photo-gallery-two-nights-of-protests-riots-in-berkeley/

14 responses to “#Berkeleyprotests Turn Violent

  1. As someone who was on the ground both Saturday and Sunday nights, the situation was rather complicated. The police were exceptionally aggressive from the get-go on Saturday night, dispensing tear gas less than an hour into the protest near the Berkeley Police Department. Many protesters, probably 100 or 150 including several young children, were entrapped on a residential street and were forced to climb a fence to get away from riot police, at which time police shot a Black male protester with a rubber bullet causing the protester to break his leg. The police would not allow medics in to see the protester, who they were keeping behind the police line. We notified the National Lawyers Guild of this incident. Though I left shortly after this, I had several friends on the ground into the night who were gassed multiple times, bullied by police, and witnessed police engaging in many acts of unprovoked violence, which included using their clubs to beat protesters (and a homeless individual from one video I saw) and shooting several protesters with rubber bullets. Per “rabble-rousing,” this is additionally complicated and obscures the complexity of the political emotions and tactics I saw expressed and engaged in that night. Ultimately, there was a large crowd engaging in a multiplicity of tactics, some of which did include property damage and only after encountering a preemptively aggressive police force on the streets of Berkeley.

    • thanks for the update/overview, sounds all too familiar, please let us know if we can help to share any requests for support or just coverage or anything else really.

    • Hi Andrea, thanks for this update! As Dirk points out this sounds all too familiar… I experienced one such police enclosure in New York back in 2011 and it was very frightening, especially given that injured people weren’t allowed to leave or receive aid. Keep up the good work, and please let those of us who are geographically removed if there is anything we can do to support!

      Btw, I hope that my comment above didn’t make it seem like I thought it was “immature rabble rousing”…

      • Hi all, thank you so much for your offers of support! I wish I could also provide more helpful information, as I have been out but certainly not as much or as late as many folks. I actually might have someone in mind who would be good to put you in contact with–someone who was on the ground and had an excellent critique of what went down this weekend in a way that feels particularly aligned with your work here. I was looking in the about section to see if there was a general email address that would be good to use as a point of contact but did not see one (admittedly, I may have overlooked it in my pre-caffeine haze)?

        Also, Edmund, I certainly did not think you were implying that the events are immature rabble rousing, though I realize that my hasty comment made it seem that way. This has become, as is often the case, a really strong point of contention not just in media coverage but also for the protesters themselves, as there are lots of disagreements about tactical decisions, who is making those decisions, and at the expense/erasure of what other bodies and voices. Not that this is anything particularly new, of course, either, which is what your initial comment points to.

      • ah yeah sorry we aren’t (yet?) organized enough (ups and downs to being a cross space and timezone collective) to have an email @ for the page, if your comrade would be interested in commenting in this thread I’m sure we could work something out in our own piecemeal sort of way.

  2. The main focus of this string of protests at the moment is blocking traffic and shutting down “business-as-usual”. Last night, a major highway connecting the East Bay to the Bay Bridge (into San Francisco) was shutdown for a while, causing many heads to turn. These protests have been sustained for three consecutive days now in Berkeley and grow as the night wears on. The momentum of the #BerkeleyProtests most definitely fed off of the daily Mike Brown protests in Oakland.

    I think the feeling is that if people can grind the flow of traffic and business to a halt, more people will participate and there will be a generalized riot/strike in the East Bay that will force major changes to police system. Of course there are plenty of folks with more revolutionary intentions.

    Especially in Berkeley, the divide between “peaceful protest” chanters and vandals is pretty sharp: kids are lining up and trying to block businesses windows from being smashed. Some black bloc-ers are out seeking to create a more riotous atmosphere and have occasionally hit some good local businesses, but for the most part it is the banks and internet providers who have felt the brunt of it.

    This is definitely spreadable.

    • thanks brt, we are always interested in open-sourcing modes of resistance to land-grabs (and the like) and all that come with them.

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