November 20, 2009
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
Demonstrators struggle with police with a barricade in front of a closed off building on the University of California, Berkeley on the Berkeley, Calif., campus, Friday,. Nov. 20, 2009, during a demonstration against university fee hikes and layoffs.Berkeley. Why is it that despite having lived on the edge of the Berkeley campus for over 3 years, attending school each day and having witnessed some of the essential goodness that occasionally reared its head in that town, that each time someone mentions its name, I still recall the bloody, gory and totally repugnant series of riots that swept through Berkeley over People's Park? The Alameda County Sheriff's Department went on a head-hunting session after students overturned a Berkley Police squad car in front of Sproul Hall Plaza, and in the process of out-of-control police a Circuit Court judge threw out the cases of everyone they arrested, even those who were guilty. A peaceful poet, standing atop Shakespeare's Bookstore on Telegraph Avenue to take a better picture of the “festivities” was shot dead by an Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy who thought his zoom lens was a gun.
I remember the anti-war demonstration that turned into a riot where several City Council and former City Council members were among the arrested. Joan Baez sang in front of Moe's Bookstore on Telegraph Avenue while, up the street, people were overturning squad cars and getting themselves arrested.
In my day, people protested all manner of things, especially against war in all its formidable forms. However, my generation never protested about the price of education.
My how times have changed.