"There’s rumors that they actually were right-wingers. They were a part of a kind of group that was organized and ready to create the kind of tumult and danger you saw that forced the police to cancel the event. So Donald Trump, when he says Berkeley doesn’t respect free speech rights, that’s a complete distortion of the truth.”Yes, they did look "almost paramilitary." Here's a description:
“You think it’s a strategy by [Milo Yiannopoulos] or right-wingers?” asked host Don Lemon.
“I wouldn’t bet against it,” Reich said. “I saw these people. They all looked very– almost paramilitary. They were not from the campus. I don’t want to say factually, but I’ve heard there was some relationship here between these people and the right-wing movement that is affiliated with Breitbart News.”
Black-clad protesters wearing masks threw commercial-grade fireworks and rocks at police. Some even hurled Molotov cocktails that ignited fires. They also smashed windows of the student union center on the Berkeley campus where the Yiannopoulos event was to be held.They wore masks. It's ludicrous to say "I have never seen them before" when you are talking about people who hid their faces with masks.
How can you say they were from the "outside" and "not from the campus" when you can't see who they are? Even if you could see the faces, how could you know if you were looking at students? Reich may be a Berkeley professor, but there are over 38,000 students at Berkeley. He can't recognize them all.
Is he relying on some sort of stereotype of what Berkeley students look like?
That's a microaggression against students who don't look like the stereotype.
Although Reich went to Yale Law School — he's currently a professor not of law but public policy — he does not use weaseling language to say something without saying anything. That makes it easier to cry "fake news" on him as he wafts his theory.
But that doesn't mean his theory is wrong. It might be true. It's interesting to hear a person of the left say "outside agitators."
"Outside agitators" was a classic phrase used against civil rights workers. Here it is in a classic context from 1963:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely."...
I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in."...The last time I looked Berkeley was inside the United States.
But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here....
Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.