UC Berkeley Students Lose their Minds, Champion Violent Suppression of Speech

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 7:49 am, February 9, 2017

The birthplace of the Free Speech Movement has become its grave.

Following the riots over Milo Yiannopoulos’ canceled speaking event in UC Berkeley, the university’s student newspaper, the Daily Californian, has published a series of op-eds defending the violence. The paper put out five op-eds and a comic praising the masked rioters and criticizing the school for allowing the conservative provocateur to speak in the first place.

The first piece by Josh Hardman, titled “Plurality of tactics contributed to cancellation of Milo Yiannopoulos event” states the author’s intent to “problematize” the characterization of Antifa rioters as both violent and repressively undemocratic. Hardman argues that free speech should not be extended to what he calls “hate speech,” stating that, if left unchecked, it could lead to “real consequences.”

The author adds that the distinction between UC Berkeley students and outside agitators is an arbitrary one, and that the rioters had every right to ruin the event. In his view, damaging storefronts and school property doesn’t constitute violence.

It’s only violence if you hurt someone’s feelings.

A second op-ed by Nisa Dang, titled “Check your privilege when speaking of protests”, is a condescending bit of drivel aimed at commentators—especially liberals—who decried the campus riot. Dang states that “no protest is nonviolent”, arguing that police are “violent agents of the state” who “enforce laws that place our communities in danger.”

If you’re opposed to riots, you “speak from a place of immense privilege,” says Dang. “Here’s a big fuck you from the descendants of people who survived genocides by killing Nazis and people just like them.”

Juan Prieto argues that “Violence helped ensure the safety of students” in an op-ed defending the violent conduct of Antifa members. He extends his thanks to the masked rioters, saying their radical measures came about to “ensure his safety.”

Prieto says that he is an undocumented immigrant, and that the prospect of being outed frightens him. Given the fact that Prieto did not write his post anonymously, his claim is certainly dubious. We previously identified Prieto as the ringleader behind the violent harassment of other students at UC Berkeley. The radical activist calls for “spaces of color” and openly expresses his hatred of white people.

A piece by Neil Lawrence says “Black bloc did what campus should have.” Should campus have destroyed light fixtures, assaulted conservative students, and destroyed storefronts?

Lawrence says that the riots were done in “self-defense” and that there is no distinction between peaceful protesters and violent rioters, which the liberal media painted as “unaffiliated white anarchists.”

“Behind those bandanas and black T-shirts were faces of your fellow UC Berkeley and Berkeley City college students, of women, of people of color, of queer and trans people,” he wrote.

Thanks for confirming that.

Desmond Meagley paints anyone who condemns the riot as a Nazi sympathizer in his piece titled “Condemning protesters same as condoning hate speech.” In his piece, Meagley stokes fears that attempts to engage the “violent politics” of Yiannopoulos will only get peaceful speakers attacked by Nazis.

“I put my safety and my freedom on the line because letting Yiannopoulos speak was more terrifying to me than potential injury or arrest,” he wrote.

Beyond the op-eds, the paper also published an embarrassing comic titled “Students cleaning up campus,” which depicts the Yiannopoulos being literally kicked into a trashcan. Pathetic.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.