Occupy Berkeley

by Henry Farrell on November 14, 2011

If you’re not reading “Aaron Bady”:http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/the-grass-is-closed-what-i-have-learned-about-power-from-the-police-chancellor-birgeneau-and-occupy-cal/ on this, you need to be.

bq. This was a very modest lesson in how power works. On Wednesday, several thousand UC Berkeley students learned a much bigger lesson, but in many ways it was exactly the same lesson: the rule is what the people with the force to enforce it say it is. And it becomes the rule when you either obey it, or when they use their force to make you obey it.

bq. …The person on the left is a colleague of mine, and I’ve seen his swollen hand and watched him limp and talked to him about what happened. I saw how physically shaken up he was, several hours after being beaten, and I went with a friend to get an Ace bandage for his hand. On the right, you can see someone I know who acquired several cracked ribs. I could go on. Or this video, in which you see the police yanking the director of the Townsend Center for the Humanities to the ground by her hair, applying choke-holds with batons, and punching people in the face.

“Jesse Kornbluh”:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-kornbluth/the-police-riot-at-berkel_b_1091208.html?ref=college&ir=College adds that police broke the ribs of a 70 year old poet at the demonstration. Aaron “suggests that people contact Berkeley’s Chancellor Birgeneau”:http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/sunday-reading-24/ at

Email: chancellor@berkeley.edu
Phone: (510) 642-7464
Fax: (510) 643-5499
200 California Hall, MC#1500
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500

“to suggest to him that this angers you and that he shouldn’t do it again, or perhaps that he should resign, yesterday.” I’m of the ‘he should resign, yesterday’ school myself. At the very best he is an _ex post_ apologist for the brutality of the riot police he called in, and he is plausibly directly culpable for it. If anyone knows the email addresses for the board of trustees (who I am guessing are politically appointed, but still), or other pressure points, feel free to provide them in comments, and I will modify the main post accordingly.

The only reason Catholics like Joe Paterno and Darío Castrillón Hoyos are able to commit such uniquely awful crimes is because they are ethical in a way that run-of-the-mill godless folk cannot understand. Plus, I hereby stipulate that raping children is, admittedly, bad, mumble.

Even shorter: I don’t doubt that people whom I have just admitted committed evil acts are, in fact good, because [makes mysterious, several-part gesture with hand and wrists which magically resolves obvious contradictions.]