Security officials said that about 150 “masked agitators” joined the demonstration, setting fires, throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks and attacking some members of the crowd. Officers from the city of Oakland and Alameda County arrived at 7:45 p.m. to help the university and Berkeley city police. There were no immediate reports of arrests or serious injuries. The “shelter in place” order was lifted about 10 p.m., although campus police warned that protests were still going on in the surrounding community and advised people to avoid neighboring streets....Lots more at the link, with plenty of photographs.
The demonstrators included “Black bloc” protesters, who wear masks and black clothing to present a unified front as they disrupt events, making it difficult for police to recognize individuals in the group. They are often seen at protests organized by groups such as Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street, destroying property and setting fires. They torched a limousine in Washington last month on the day of Trump’s inauguration, and a group spray-painted buildings and smashed electrical boxes during a demonstration in Portland, Ore., earlier in January. When a group of them arrived at Berkeley, it swiftly changed the tenor of the peaceful demonstration....
More than 100 faculty members signed two letters to Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. One said: “Although we object strenuously to Yiannopoulos’s views — he advocates white supremacy, transphobia and misogyny — it is rather his harmful conduct to which we call attention in asking for the cancellation of this event.”His harmful conduct?? According to the professors:
"Yiannopoulos’s views pass from protected free speech to incitement, harassment and defamation once they publicly target individuals in his audience or on campus, creating conditions for concrete harm and actually harming students through defamatory and harassing actions. Such actions are protected neither by free speech nor by academic freedom."What a shameful and embarrassing interpretation of free speech at the university whose name once meant FREE SPEECH!