UC Berkeley Student Newspaper Condones Violent Protests

One week ago, the University of California, Berkeley was set aflame as leftist rioters ravaged the campus to prevent conservative icon Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at the school. The actions of the rioters were condemned and ridiculed by many afterwards, but a number of writers for the school’s student newspaper feel differently, and have come out in support of the violence.

Yesterday, Haruka Senju, senior staff writer for The Daily Californian, published a piece titled Violence as Self-Defense. Linking to articles from other authors for the newspaper, Senju writes:

“Last week, a violent protest erupted on campus, in response to a scheduled speaking event by Milo Yiannopoulos. Many people soon began to decry the protesters. Here are a few arguments in favor of the use of violence in protests.”

One article, written by Juan Prieto, is titled Violence Helped Ensure Safety of Students. Prieto writes:

“I’m here to thank the radical measures the AntiFas took to ensure my safety… A peaceful protest was not going to cancel that event, just like numerous letters from faculty, staff, Free Speech Movement veterans and even donors did not cancel the event. Only the destruction of glass and shooting of fireworks did that. The so-called ‘violence’ against private property that the media seems so concerned with stopped white supremacy from organizing itself against my community.”

Desmond Meagley published an article titled Condemning Protesters Same as Condoning Hate Speech, in which he states:

 “There was no easy way to shut down the event and keep Yiannopoulos and his fans from inciting violence. The UC administration and Berkeley College Republicans made that clear by refusing to hear the concerns of their community — not just at Cal, but throughout the Bay Area. Anyone who believes that engaging in that kind of aggression during a friendly discussion will keep the peace, be my guest, but prepare to get attacked.”

 In her article titled Check Your Privilege When Speaking of Protests, Nisa Dang writes:

“To people with platforms who decide when a protest should and should not be violent: You speak from a place of immense privilege. As I recently wrote in a tirade against this brand of idiocy, asking people to maintain peaceful dialogue with those who legitimately do not think their lives matter is a violent act. Putting #LoveTrumpsHate at the end of a post is a privilege that many of you take advantage of, especially when there are those of us who know that our grandparents and parents survived hate only through the grace of violent action.”

And in his piece Black Bloc Did What Campus Should Have, Neil Lawrence writes:

“Behind those bandanas and black T-shirts were the faces of your fellow UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College students, of women, of people of color, of queer and trans people… I went out to make good on my promise to revoke Yiannopoulos’ gay card, I wore black and covered my face… Antifa was there to protect UC Berkeley students when the administration was not. Within 15 minutes of the bloc’s arrival on Sproul Plaza, Yiannopoulos was being rushed from the building. These were not acts of violence. They were acts of self defense. And to Yiannopoulos and all your friends who invited you and hosted you and defended your ‘right’ to speak: I recommend you learn your lesson.”