Saturday, December 12, 2009

Protesters Trash the Home of Berkeley Chancellor

University House, home of the Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley

If this is any indication of what’s to come in this country, then bear in mind one thing—many of the protesters who were arrested weren’t even students:

Eight people were under arrest Saturday after protesters broke windows, lights and planters outside the home of the chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.

University spokesman Dan Mogulof said 40 to 70 protesters also threw incendiary devices at police cars and the home of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau about 11 p.m. Friday. There were no fires or injuries.

The protest at the chancellor’s home came late the same day that police arrested 66 protesters at a campus classroom building that was partially taken over for four days.

The protesters are demonstrating against state funding cuts that have led to course cutbacks, faculty furloughs and sharp fee increases.

“The attack at our home was extraordinarily frightening and violent. My wife and I genuinely feared for our lives,” Birgeneau said in a statement issued through the university.

The eight were arrested on suspicion of rioting, threatening an education official, attempted burglary, attempted arson of an occupied building, felony vandalism, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.

They include two Berkeley students and one from the University of California, Davis, Mogulof said. Of the remaining five, four had San Francisco Bay-area addresses, while one is from Brooklyn, N.Y. Their ages ranged from 20-41. At least three are women.

I thought that the fact that five of the people arrested were apparently not even students at the school affected by the budget cuts should have been featured more prominently in the article. Clearly, this was the work of people who just wanted a reason to trash something, and they probably aren’t even acquainted with the particulars.

California is broke. It cannot pay state workers, it cannot agree on a budget, and it cannot continue bleeding money. Everyone is going to be affected by a situation like that, and until California can figure out how to properly tax the property of state residents, and return to some sort of fiscal sanity, then everyone, including pampered college students, is going to have to pay more. It’s as simple as that.

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