The University of California, Berkeley would rather incur tens of thousands of dollars in property damage by protesters to the liberal campus than endure expensive lawsuits by arrested or detained students, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle notes that UC Berkeley was left with $100,000 in damage to the campus following dangerous riots carried out by protesters and “Black bloc” anarchists against an appearance by Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos on Wednesday.
Berkeley was supposed to be Milo’s last stop on his “Dangerous Faggot” college tour after UCLA rescinded its invitation.
UC police reportedly stood by idly as demonstrators hurled smoke bombs, broke windows, sparked a massive bonfire and fired bottle rockets. The Chronicle noted the UC Berkeley Police’s inaction was partly the result of the controversy over a 2011 protest at UC Davis, where police officer shot pepper spray into the faces of peaceful, seated demonstrators on the campus quad. That led to a public relations disaster and $1 million lawsuit settlement. To avoid the same fate, Berkeley has established a “mandate that officers use the minimum amount of force needed to ensure the maximum safety for everyone involved.”
On Wednesday, rioters reportedly attacked and injured at least six people whom they believed were attending and supporting Yiannopoulos’s talk. One of the organizers of the talk, a Berkeley College Republican, was reportedly splashed with red paint.
The anarchists were also armed with firecrackers and baseball bats. A gay conservative Trump supporter, Kiara Roblis, was pepper sprayed by one of them.
Left-wing comedian Arthur Chu celebrated the violence against Roblis:
Breitbart News previously reported that among those assaulted by the “anti-fascist” rioters was a reporter for the Tab. They tried to steal his phone. Rioters reportedly assaulted a BuzzFeed reporter after threatening him and claiming that filming “puts people in danger.”
The “anti-fascist” protesters also shouted “F*ck Starbucks! F*cking Zionists!” as others smashed up and looted a Starbucks.
Yvette Felarca, one of the organizers of the violent protests, told TV station KTVU she has “no regrets” about the violence and that she believes that millions more should engage in militant leftist protest.
However, UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told the Chronicle that the brazen nature of the targeted attacks carried out by these black bloc anarchists was “a real game changer.”
Mogulof reportedly defended the university police department’s approach: “There would have been confrontations that involved innocent bystanders, and we would have had far more than the six injuries we had.”
It is unclear whether the school will adjust its policies following Wednesday’s violence.
President Donald Trump threatened to cut off funding for the UC Berkeley if it “does not allow free speech and practices violence on people with different views.”
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