Between 40 and 75 people protested at the home of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgenaeu on Dec. 11, resulting in property damage and eight arrests.
Two UC Berkeley students, along with two UC Davis students, were arrested in the aftermath of an attack that was an apparent protest on the mishandling of budget shortfalls in the UC system. It may also relate to the arrest of 66 students at Wheeler Hall earlier that day.
Whatever the explanation for the act, the fact of the matter is that this only sets back the movement for which these students claim to be working. Violence doesn’t fit with the principles of education and administration. It’s an inappropriate method for protesting a budgetary issue.
While it may be argued that this form of protest is no different than the incidents at Mrak Hall in November, this is actually not the case.
The difference in this circumstance is that students used violence in their demonstration. Violence and hostility are not ways to accomplish goals and take away from the original message of the protest: peacefulness.
Not only do such acts misrepresent student intentions, there is a chance that occurrences like these could escalate, more attacks could ensue, and could endanger the protestors’ lives.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement that the attacks were a “type of terrorism.” Although terrorism is too strong of a word, the fact is they should know better.
Peaceful protests are welcomed, but a proper alternative needs to be found for those considering violent actions.