I lived in Berkeley for a bit over a year some decades ago. Seems the insanity has not yet abated.
Berkeleyside’s article following the September 25th City Council Meeting shows how dangerous it is when reporters adopt police narratives that attack social justice movements.
The Left (capital “L”) in Berkeley still, after all these years, pretends that their own police force is somehow magically not under the control of the far-left politicians they elect. :-)
News flash: The Chief of Police works for the Mayor. The Mayor can fire him/her at will. Ergo, the police are doing their job the way the Mayor wants them to. If you don’t like it, change the Mayor. Simple.
On September 25th, responding to public outcry over leaked emails showing Berkeley police and city attorneys planning intimidation of protesters, the City Council rightfully approved a measure that stops the police department from releasing pictures and identifying information of people involved in “First Amendment activities” through social media.
That’s fair. That’s a task for citizen journalism, if they think that’s important.
She submitted the measure in large part to protect the ability of people to protest white supremacist gatherings without fear of retaliation from the police and white supremacists.
Hm. So, the Mayor, which you elected, allows the police to attack peaceful protestors?
Or, are they not ‘peaceful’?
Emilie Raguso’s original piece and her update from September 26 make the deeply misleading case that Sara Kershnar, a local progressive Jewish activist, single-handedly organized the anti-fascist demonstrations (ridiculous, as those vibrant counter-protests were organized by various groups and leaders from many backgrounds, united in opposition to white supremacy in Berkeley).
Hm. OK. Let’s keep in mind that anyone who threatens violence towards anyone else because of ideological differences should be subject to arrest. From either side. I dislike white supremacists as much as you do, I suspect (I’m Muslim, and they don’t like me much), but if they are peaceful, they have a right to speak their minds.
Further, the articles leave the dangerous impression that it is those same anti-racist demonstrators, and not the white supremacists themselves, who pose a danger to the Berkeley community.
Well, it;s rather well-established that the groups that align with “Antifa” are domestic terrorists. Keep in mind that ALL domestic terrorists, not just in the US but throughout history, always seem to be able to articulate “good reasons” why they are engaging in domestic terror. But there ARE no “good reasons” for threatening violence in a civil society.
The police department takes the same wrongheaded approach when it publishes photos of anti-racist demonstrators to intimidate them and thereby reduce their numbers, while expending enormous resources to protect the ability of far-right extremists to march unimpeded — a strategy that was made illegal by the City Council’s action last week. It is deeply disappointing to see that same false narrative reproduced in Raguso’s reporting here at Berkeleyside.
The police SHOULD be posting photos of everyone wanted for a crime. That’s their job. Regardless of ideology. If they’re posting photos of protestors NOT wanted for a crime, that’s a problem. But if a protestors IS wanted for a crime, post away.
The idea that there is a Jewish puppet-master behind a Black leader is so classically anti-semitic and racist that it could have been ripped from the pages of a white supremacist handbook.
Perhaps. But there is also a non-zero chance that it actually happens. So, it must be taken into account, it’s racial overtones nonwithstanding.
Councilmember Davila works constantly with the progressive community. That Davila wrote and introduced a resolution to challenge the dangerous and unconstitutional protocol where Berkeley police “doxx” protestors is consistent with all she stands for. Kershnar is Davila’s aide and, of course, helped to edit the resolution. Sara works under the leadership of Councilwoman Davila and to claim otherwise is racism, pure and simple.
Hmmm. The problem in this allegation is not racist. The policie certainly shouldn’t be doxxing anyone. But if they doxx a group of protestors of mixed race, then obviously “racism” is off the board.
There are several other irresponsible mischaracterizations in Berkeleyside’s piece. Raguso allows the police’s description of demonstrators’ “weapons” while making no mention that that the “weapons” that people were arrested for were, with very few exceptions, the normal accessories of a demonstrator: signs on sticks, masks and scarves.
Very odd. Why do you, as a citizen, employ police (they ARE your employees, after all) that lie about things like weapons? Why doesn’t the Mayor, whom you elected, just fire the Chief?
Could it be because there’s another side to this story?
Raguso describes the right-wing march as a “No on Marxism” event, but fails to report that the reason hundreds of people gathered to oppose it was because — with even the most basic research — you find it was organized by extreme right-wing, white supremacist, xenophobic, misogynist, queer and transphobic, islamophobic and anti-semitic groups who have sometimes called for genocide.
They may be all of that. But if they are peaceful, and are in compliance with the law, they have a right to express themselves.
It is a common reaction for white people, even well-meaning white people, to claim that they feel threatened or bullied when challenged for their racism.
Well, it’s a common reaction for any human to claim all that when he or she is challenged on anything. Not seeing how you can derive the conclusions you do from what is (unfortunately) a rather normal human reaction.
Calling people who challenge racism “threatening” or “divisive” is a way of avoiding accountability and betrays our responsibility to work together to transform racism.
Challenge racism all you like; I’m in agreement with you. But it IS POSSIBLE for such a well-meaning activist to cross the line to threatening behavior, and that cannot be tolerated if we are to have a broad free exchange of ideas in the USA.
Sara has been a resident of Berkeley for over 25 years.
She must be extremely patient.
I’ve seen her be attacked by white supremacists, police, and conservative reporters for taking these stands so unfortunately this is nothing new.
Physically? Or verbally? The former is impermissible, the latter may well be permissible.