National Security

UC-Berkeley: The Place Where Free Speech Ends and Violence Begins

“It is simply fact that a strict diet of extreme-left wing and communistic indoctrination has turned Berkeley away from its classical liberal roots and towards a revolutionary third world Che Guevara fantasyland.”

UC Berkeley—formerly known as the birthplace of the free speech movement by older generations of American liberals—has taken on a new identity in the minds of our nation’s younger generations. For an exponentially growing number of millennials, the bay-area college town is now the place where free speech ends and violence begins. Back in February, America watched on in horror and disbelief as a mob of almost two thousand turned out to “protest” a Milo Yiannopoulos event on campus. Fights were had, weapons were used, and fires were set. Ultimately, the rioting shut down the free-speech rights of Yiannopoulos and his team when the event was cancelled in a city built on the foundations of first amendment freedoms. How’s that for irony?

When the smoke cleared, approximately 1,500 Berkley students, self-named Antifa “activists” (short for Anti-Fascists – yes, more irony) and “Black Bloc” anarchists were blamed for over $100,000 in damage done to the school and community – all because they didn’t want someone with differing opinions to have a platform on their turf. One female wearing what appeared to be a red “Make America Great Again” style hat was attacked with pepper spray by an anarchist coward as she gave an interview with the media. Epitomizing the complete senselessness of the “protests”, the hat worn by the victim turned out to not even be a Trump campaign hat, but rather a clever play on the iconic headwear that read “Make Bitcoin Great Again”. As you can see, I use the word “turf” because this was less of a protest than it was a gang of thugs wreaking havoc in their own neighborhood at the sight of an outsider wearing the wrong colors.

Of course, the university tripped all over itself in its response. By blaming the entirety of the violence on a group of 150 “Black Bloc” anarchists based out of Oakland, UC Berkeley denied their own Dr. Frankenstein role in creating such a significant number of intellectually intolerant monsters within the student body. It is simply fact that a strict diet of extreme-left wing and communistic indoctrination has turned Berkeley away from its classical liberal roots and towards a revolutionary third world Che Guevara fantasyland. Being that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, UC Berkeley has established itself as ground zero for the cultural war now taking place.

In response to the February rioting that shutdown the Milo speech, Alt/New-Right activist Rich Black created a movement of his own. On March 4th, Black hosted the March-4-Trump Rally in Berkeley, and it garnered some pretty significant media attention. Pro-Trump rally goers were met with violence by larger numbers of Antifa attendees, but rather than shutdown and scare-off their opposition, Antifa’s attacks served to further unify their new enemy. Thus, the Liberty Alliance Revival was born — and we all tuned into this month’s episode of “Third-World Politics Comes to America” this past Saturday as they made their official debut.

This weekend’s event was dubbed Patriots Day and it featured several scheduled speeches by popular YouTube sensations such as Lauren Southern, Kyle “Based Stick Man” Chapman, Vaughn Neville, Irma Hinojosa, and Brittany Pettibone. Operating under the motto, “Punk’s not dead, it’s conservative”, the rally aimed to combat the bullying tactics of the Antifa movement and advocate for first amendment right to free speech regardless of who it might offend. That’s their story on the surface of course.

With memories of innocent people such as Kiara Robles being assaulted for simply wearing a hat that resembled a MAGA hat still fresh in their minds from this past February, Liberty Alliance Revival came ready to fight the always aggressive Antifa agitators. It didn’t take long for the whole thing to completely degenerate into a scene from the movie Gangs of New York as the two opposing sides battled it out with fists, sticks, knives, rocks, Pepsi cans filled with concrete, pepper spray, and M80’s. Don’t believe me? See for yourself below.

With all of this happening in the absence of any significant police presence, it appeared as if a stand down order was given to the Berkeley Police Department from above. In contrast to the previous two Berkeley showdowns, the “Patriot” faction appeared to emerge victorious. After running off opposing Antifa forces, members of the Liberty Alliance Revival celebrated the victory as their figureheads delivered their speeches. Do not doubt for a second that Antifa will be back to retaliate with a vengeance in the same way that LAR just did. There is no reason to think that this is anything other than the very beginning.

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t something intensely satisfying about watching a bunch of people decked out in glorious red, white, and blue flags beat back an Antifa army while chanting “Trust fund commies, off our street!” — but it’s like eating a Supersized Extra Value Meal at McDonald’s. It feels great going down, and then you’re left feeling empty and sick over it as you realized you just poisoned yourself.

While there is no doubt in my mind that these Antifa kids need to be stopped, I worry that the events taking place in Berkeley are deteriorating into nothing more than two blindly allegiant tribes fighting for the sake of fighting. Dr. Seuss’s The Butter Battle Book was my favorite as a kid and I still have a copy of the book that I read to my own. Am I the only one that feels like this is turning into the Yooks and the Zooks escalating a war over what side of the toast the butter should go on?

T.B. Lefever

T.B. Lefever is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and active police officer in the Metro-Atlanta area. Throughout his career, Lefever has served as a SWAT Hostage Negotiator, a member of the Crime Suppression Unit, a School Resource Officer, and a Uniformed Patrol Officer. T.B. is also a certified Field Training Officer. He has a BA in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Rutgers University. Follow T.B. on Twitter @tblefever.

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