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Not Just a Demonstration

War has been declared in Berkeley. The Resistance has moved to California. Rise Up.

While these may sound like headlines from Anarchist’s Digest, they were all written and shouted at just another demonstration of the intolerant Left.

Last Wednesday, Breitbart News senior editor and conservative activist Milo Yiannopoulos planned to give a speech at the University of California, Berkeley. However, his speech was quickly cancelled after a crowd of over 1,500 people gathered to protest Yiannopoulos in front of the University’s Sproul Hall.  It was reported that the protests caused an estimated $100,000 worth of damage to the campus. Also, two Berkeley College Republicans “were attacked while conducting an interview” on the UC Berkeley campus last Thursday. In an attempt to mask its liberal agenda and pass the blame, the University pointed to 150 masked agitators and two attackers for the unrest, and supposedly, none of these agitators were students at Berkeley, even though it was shown that many students participated in the destruction.

It is extremely ironic that this event occurred at the school that sparked the Free Speech Movement back in 1964. At the time, a student named Mario Savio emerged as the student leader when he jumped on top of a police car in Sproul Plaza. However, after Savio jumped on the police car, almost all 10,000 of the students surrounding the car passed around a collection to fund the repair of the police car.  It was in that moment when these UC Berkeley students made it clear that they wanted to prove above everything that they were good Americans, and fighting for those liberties were part of their duty as citizens. The movement would go on to last for roughly ten years, until 1974.

However, what happened in Berkeley was not just a demonstration. It was domestic terrorism. Was it hijacking a plane? Setting hostages on fire? No. But it was the definition of terrorism: the use of violence in the pursuit of political aims.

Let us consider some of the events committed by a rioting gang of masked bandits in all black: pepper spraying a woman wearing a “Make America Great Again,” chasing down and beating Milo supporters, vandalizing, property damage, looting, physical assault, and setting property on fire. And yet, the Left and the media only promotes these actions and the University has taken no real action to hold those students accountable.

Why is it that, in a much more accepting and developed nation today, do we still have such violent and destructive uprisings towards opinions we don’t agree with? I have a colleague whom I went to highschool with and she now attends Berkeley, and was kind to let me share her opinions on the matter.  “The events of this evening are not representative of the respect that UC Berkeley students and community members usually practice. Although I disagree with hateful rhetoric, I believe that everyone’s voice has a place on our campus. To destroy a institution of higher education is the opposite of the action that should be taken in order to make change. Let’s clean up the mess that has been made of our community, and come together to prove that we are civil and willing to make change in a positive way.”

I agree with what my colleague said in that it’s important to hear different voices and experience unfamiliar events while in college. I would encourage our liberal friends, both here on campus and across the nation, to ask themselves some uncomfortable questions about their need to silence political opponents and to bully institutions to exclude critical voices. As conservatives, we respect the other side’s right to have an opinion and freely express their ideas. As a country of free-thinkers and free-speakers, our Republic deserves better.

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