By Gregory K. Taylor
I ditched classes for the day to go see history being made at “People’s Park” on Dwight Way in Berkeley, California. To those who don’t remember, this was ground-zero for the free speech movement representing a standoff between the Students, Board of Regents, and then Governor Ronald Reagan.
The nightly news showed running battles between gas-masked police and protesting students. The situation had grown so large, so exponentially in number, that the Governor activated the military police unit of the National Guard and deployed them to remove the students from the Park. Once evicted a temporary cyclone fence was erected and the confrontation of words began.
I witnessed this battle of nerves first hand by squirming my way through the sea of people to the front of the fence. On the other side, standing at port arms, were the Military Policemen holding M16 rifles and tear-gas launchers. Standing next to me was this shirtless student who was screaming at the top of his lungs, and I’ve never forgotten his words, “Let’s tear this mother fucking fence down.” Fearing the wrath of my mother if I got caught up in some melee and arrested, I squirmed my way back to the street and headed home.
|This is a sign that's asking for trouble|
I had the occasion to visit “Occupy Oakland” ten hours before the police raid. I was not impressed with what I saw. Contrary to your usual protest people appeared to be cooling their heels as though they were at a KOA camp ground. The smell, the unsanitary conditions, the dogs, food, and close proximity of the tents, to the untrained eye, appeared to pose a health hazard.
These people needed to be removed from this unhealthy situation for the good of all. View my Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vamb07HwcQ
Now, that Mayor Quan has reversed her own edict and allowed the squatters back in, how in the world will she ever get them out again? I guess she figures the weather will take care of that. Well, good luck on that one.