Demo City, USA

by Steed Dropout
Nov. 30, 2014

Riot watchers watching Oakland freeway riots last week watched Oakland earn the title, Demo City, USA–where an anti-property-rights-anarchist faction destroyed property and fought with cops, as America watched.

Berkeley photographers, reporters, and news editors were tuned to their police scanners to be ready if Oakland style protesters, who had had their way with cops and property in Oakland…tore up Berkeley.


Revived student activism. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Revived student activism began more than two years ago with Occupy Cal, as UCB outdid the local Occupy, where many local protesters left for more action in Oakland.

That exodus of local activists has continued. That was before Cal spawned a revived student activist movement. Now veteran Berkeley protesters are behind the scenes advisers to the next generation of activists.

In Berkeley’s atmosphere of revived student activism–the new student activists took a turkey break. Student activists deserve their break. They had rallied hundreds on campus, and marched through town with drill-master precision.

They crashed what seemed like a sympathetic associated students’ meeting, and brought their Green message to residents of four dorms.

Bringing the message to the dorms. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Next on the crowded schedule of student protests, was a 250 student fee-hike blow out.

Sather Gate in a familiar meme. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Hate Man and Planet celebrated a small victory in a peaceful protest alongside University Police Headquarters, chiding the police for banning cardboard and tarps in People’s Park.

Hate Man breaking camp outside U.C. police headquarters.
Photo by Ted Friedman.

It seems like more than a decade since Telegraph Avenue took a trashing. The most recent anarchist event closed Teley for a few midnight hours. But the closure was just a fun and games and music event staged by a fun-loving local anarchist collective.

Three months ago, a “Fuck-the-Police” march out of Oakland did some damage near the Berkeley border with Oakland, and there was a moment–when cops cordoned off a half-block at Teley/Bancroft, where the Cal campus loomed.

Berkeley Reporter was caught in the cordon, along with what seemed a gaggle of gangsta wannabes. Cop force for this March was effective, if blunt; the March had been overpowered and controlled by Berkeley police with a little “mutual aid” from CHP.

Superior forces. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Berkeley cops had prevented the once typical Telegraph Ave. spectacle riot.

When the big Oakland free-way riot ended somewhere down in Emeryville, and never made it downtown or to Teley, Berkelyans who had been watching–including cops–heaved a sigh of relief.

Still. Berkeley Reporter would hate to feel that Oakland Demonstrators had crossed Berkeley off its route when students are out of town

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