One of the surest signs that someone is up to no good is when they take something in plain sight and try to tell you that it is something else.
Take, for example, this video from this weeks Occupy Cal protest:
I’ve watched this over and over. And every time I watch it, I see the same thing: a bunch of students standing peacefully trying to prevent the police from crossing their line. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine anyone seeing anything else in this video.
That is why it was so shocking to receive this “letter to campus” from UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, in which he made the following astonishing statement:
It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience.
That isn’t non-violent civil disobedience???? What????
This is mind-blowing example of doublespeak worthy of the most disingenuous and deceitful politicians. In both form and function the students were following what is inarguably the freaking apotheosis of non-violent civil disobedience – Martin Luther King in the march from Selma to Montgomery.
In putting forth the ridiculous argument that the university’s actions on Wednesday were warranted because, in locking arms, the protesters had become violent, Birgeneau is saying that MLK was also not engaging in non-violent civil disobedience.
It is frightening and disgraceful how similar his stance is to that put forth in 1965 by infamous Alabama governor George Wallace, who used police to beat marchers in an effort to “protect public safety”. Let’s hope sanity is restored and that Berkeley does not end up with its own Bloody Sunday.