February 3rd, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos, Berkeley, free speech, riots, and Trump

Riots in Berkeley, California resulted in the university’s decision to cancel a scheduled speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, and the incident has been characterized as a blow against freedom of speech and/or First Amendment rights. In a very technical sense it wasn’t, because the First Amendment isn’t really involved here [emphasis mine]:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In other words, “freedom of speech” does not guarantee a person the right to address a group as official speaker in a particular venue such as Berkeley. But Berkeley itself has a commitment to what we might instead call free speech—the presentation of speakers with a diversity of viewpoints, even controversial ones. But it is a mark of where universities are these days, ideologically speaking, that allowing someone with the viewpoints of Yiannopoulos to speak on the campus as an official speaker (he was invited there by the Berkeley College Republicans, a student group) represents a show of (relative) courage by the administration.

What happened next was the problem:

The event began as a peaceful protest. Some students reported on Facebook that things turned violent when masked individuals not affiliated with the school turned up, though the details of what happened are still unverified. Images on Twitter depicted violent protests with damage to local business.

So apparently there was some sort of peaceful protest by students, who were exercising their free speech rights to protest. There’s an inherent and ironic paradox there, of course, because they (at least, to the best of my knowledge) were advocating the banning of Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus, not just protesting his policies or the content of his speech. In this manner, they were in line with recent trends displayed by students on many campuses all around the country to attempt shut down or ban speech they don’t like rather than merely argue with it on the merits. But at least they were doing this in a peaceful way initially, and the Berkeley administration seems to have intended to let Yiannopoulos speak.

Enter the “outside agitators.” They were certainly “agitators”; it’s not clear if they all were really “outside” or whether many were Berkeley students. Clearly, however, they meant to cause exactly the result that ensued: the cancellation of the Yiannopoulos talk at the university. Whether they were mainly leftists, anarchists, or some combination of the two, if one is inclined to throw around epithets such as “Nazis,” the “outside agitators” were the ones who fit the term the best of all the players in this incident.

Who was most at fault? The police (or rather, whoever gave them their orders), for not controlling the riot and violence with greater force and more arrests? To me, that is the answer. Why should law-breaking thugs get their way? I’m not the only one asking that question:

Police officers came prepared in riot gear and about 100 outside agitators aimed at causing chaos came armed with sticks and rocks. Some set off fireworks in the middle of Sproul Plaza. Others threw objects at UC police.

And as the violence escalated, officers pulled back.

Susan Walsh was stuck on the second floor of UC Berkeley’s student union building where she was waiting to hear Yiannopolous speak when protests outside turned violent.

“It was a riot. It felt like a war zone,” said Walsh. “Absolutely felt like a war zone.”

Police gathered on the balcony demanding that the crowd disperse, but made no moves against the protesters.

“They were equipped to shoot rubber bullets or what have you, and they really didn’t do anything. And, I thought, ‘We are sitting ducks,’” said Walsh.

When asked why police didn’t move in and stop the rioters, UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof replied, “Police tactics are driven on a campus by need, the non-negotiable need to protect our students and ensure their well being.”

University officials said police decided to stay back to prevent injuring innocent protesters and bystanders who could have been hurt if officers waded into the crowd.

And what about who could have gotten hurt if they didn’t wade into the crowd? What about the danger of letting rioters have their way? What sort of message of weakness and chaos does that deliver?

Despite the destruction and violence, there was only one arrest by university police. City of Berkeley police, who monitored the demonstration once it left the university, said they made no arrests.

University police said that some members of the crowd were attacked by protesters and then rescued by police. UC police said there were six reports of minor injuries.

Berkeley police said once the protest moved into city streets, rioters vandalized 15 buildings. Again, police did not move to take the vandals into custody.

The article does not make it clear whether most of the policing was done by university or by city police, and who set the policy. Is this sort of thing standard operating procedure for policing riots in Berkeley? That wouldn’t be surprising, considering the politics of the city.

And then there was the reaction of President Trump, who tweeted:

If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?

Well, Trump did write “if.” But U.C. Berkeley doesn’t seem to have done that. A few Berkeley students may have; we don’t even know whether students were involved in the violence (we would have known more if the police had made more arrests, but they didn’t). The university administration was planning to allow “free speech”. The talk by Yiannopolis was scheduled to go forward until safety issues arose, and that’s when the prospective speaker was ushered out of there—for his own safety and for the safety of students, not because the university wasn’t giving him a platform. Nor did the university “practice violence on innocent people with a different point of view.” So Trump’s threat is most likely mere theater, but if he really did cut off Berkeley’s funds for this particular incident (I don’t think he will) he would be abusing his power.

However, there is also no question that Berkeley (university and town) has one of the most extreme and unrelievedly leftist atmospheres of any college campus, and that’s saying something. University leftists these days are often advocates of shutting down speakers with whom they disagree, particularly speakers on the right. This is one of the many ways in which discourse in this country has degenerated in recent years.

The police let these riots get out of control, but the Berkeley administration wasn’t exactly a profile in courage, either. I don’t have enough information to say whether or not they really needed to cancel the talk or whether they caved prematurely. But I do know that their capitulation was in line with a process that’s been going on at universities for at least fifty years, and which Allan Bloom discussed in his book The Closing of the American Mind, published in 1987.

I’ve written a great many posts on the subject of the universities’ cowardly responses to pressures of the mob (and about its devotion to PC thought), but I’ll just highlight this post right now, which I hope you’ll read. Again, what happened at Berkeley regarding Yiannopoulos was not the same, but it sends a similar message of university weakness and lack to resolve, a message received by thugs who would dearly love—and who definitely intend—to exploit those weaknesses to their own advantage.

Here’s a quote from my older post:

…Bloom describes the moral collapse of the faculty and administration of so many universities during the 60s, their abject and craven failure to defend their own principles, and their eager willingness to cave to threats and intimidation.

The Cornell incident that Bloom describes in the book was quite different in its details than what happened at Berkeley; it involved the administration’s capitulation to students’ threats of violence. But both incidents and others show that university administrators have become unable to defend their own supposed principles against the pressures of the mob.

58 Responses to “Milo Yiannopoulos, Berkeley, free speech, riots, and Trump”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    IMO, it is not a case of University administrators being unable to defend the principles they give lip service to, demonstrated by reports that there were close to a hundred swat team members on campus, who were reportedly told to stand down and not respond to the violence.

    Rather it is a case of University administrators supporting faculty that have created the current campus social-intellectual environment. Both administrators and faculty not only share the viewpoint of the mob, they’ve created the mob.

    Any efforts to deal with the mob that ignore the source of the mob will ultimately prove to be ineffective.

  2. physicsguy Says:

    “In other words, “freedom of speech” does not guarantee a person the right to address a group as official speaker in a particular venue such as Berkeley.”

    A small quibble here, or need for clarification, Neo. I’m not sure what you mean by an “official speaker”? It’s been quite clear, as FIRE always mentions, that as a state university Berkeley is bound by the 1st Amendment to insure that all viewpoints are protected. Certainly the school doesn’t have to invite a conservative speaker “officially”, but if a conservative wants to address people outside the student union, the university is obligated as a representative of the state to allow that person to do such.

    Private colleges are a different animal in that they fall under the freedom of association, where they can set their own internal rules and limit speech however they want. Not so for Berkeley. I think Trump’s threat might have some teeth in it, but I’ve already seen some disagreement on that also.

  3. j e Says:

    Blame must also be assigned to the worthless and highly overcompensated Janet Napolitano, idiotic professors such as Robert Reich peddling conspiracy theories, and countless apologists in the media who, in the tradition of Marcuse, applaud what they perceive as intolerance for “hate speech.”

  4. huxley Says:

    I just received a weird one-line email from an old friend in San Francisco to that effect he has become polarized by Trump and the emergence of right-wing fascist America.

    My friend can be sarcastic but my guess is he is serious. Which is a shame.

    Speaking for myself, I tend to rate people, who respond to speech they dislike by trying to shut it down, shout it down, and by using organized violence against people and property, highly on the Fascist scale.

  5. Montage Says:

    Thanks for the rather balanced article. Few right leaning sites are doing that. One question though. You write: “But I do know that their capitulation was in line with a process that’s been going on at universities for at least fifty years.”

    Are you saying to some degree that if the speaker had been a leftist speaker the university would not have cancelled the event or waited a while longer before cancelling? From my perspective safety comes first and they would have cancelled any event that had agitators and rioters of this nature. Berkeley as you know is in CA. CA is a rather litigious state. Letting students into an auditorium that could potentially lead to violence or death could lead to a serious lawsuit. They would be seen as negligent in the face of violence. The university did the right thing if not for the students then also from a legal perspective.

  6. OM Says:

    The rioter’s veto.

  7. Ray Says:

    I was in college in the early 1960s and we used to joke that there was nothing more cowardly, craven and hypocritical that a college president. Nothing has changed in 50 years.

  8. neo-neocon Says:


    I am saying that universities have been caving more and more to pressure, both from students and from violence.

    But virtually all the pressure has, so far as I know, been exerted by the left or by anarchists (often on the left). I cannot offhand think of a case where the pressure came from the right.

    My guess is that the universities would be somewhat more inclined to withstand such pressure if indeed it did come from the right. But as I said, I can’t think of an example. The pressure and the numbers at and around universities are overwhelmingly from the left.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    If the speaker had been a leftist there would have been no violence whatsoever and perhaps no protests at all. And, if the speaker were radical enough, the University administrators and faculty would have wanted to have a parade in their honor.

  10. y81 Says:

    Like physicsguy, I question neo’s legal analysis. The University of California is the state, and therefore may impose non-discriminatory “time, place and manner” restrictions on speech, but generally may not prohibit speakers based on the content of their speech.

  11. neo-neocon Says:


    By “official speaker” I meant that Yiannapoulos was not just setting up shop on a street corner on the Berkeley campus, he had official status as an invitee of a campus group, and I believe unless I’m mistaken that that meant that the university had agreed to his speaking in that capacity.

    The First Amendment guarantees that you mention have to do with a state university trying to stifle freedom of speech of professors and/or students, by firing the former (for example) or by banning certain student associations for the latter (for example). It has nothing to do with whether that university has the right to cancel a scheduled speech for safety reasons. In this case, the university was already allowing Yiannapoulos (as an invitee of a campus student group) to speak and the cancellation was only in response to the violence that was occurring. It did not stifle the students’ freedom of speech (it’s the students’ First Amendment freedom of speech that is what the university is supposed to guarantee, not Yiannapoulos’, as far as I can tell from the law).

    See this:

    Central Connecticut State College’s president had denied official status to a left-wing student group associated with violence on other campuses. The president said the group’s philosophy was “antithetical to the school’s policies,” its independence from the national organization was “doubtful,” and it “would be a disruptive influence at the college.” Without official status, the group could not announce its activities in the campus newspaper, post notices on college bulletin boards or use campus facilities for meetings. In this decision, the Court first affirmed public college students’ First Amendment rights of free speech and association, saying those constitutional protections apply with the same force on a state university campus as in the larger community.

    The Republican group at Berkeley has not had its official status taken away. That would be a First Amendment violation.

    I wrote that the First Amendment does not “guarantee a person the right to address a group as official speaker in a particular venue such as Berkeley.” However, if a speaker has been invited by an official student group at Berkeley (as Yiannapoulos was), then he/she does have that right, although bona fide concerns for public safety can override that right in a specific instance. That seems to have been the situation here.

  12. Alan F Says:

    I think a very positive outcome of this is the podium that resulted for Yiannopoulos. Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of him, despite my regular attention to conservative media. On Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, he was interviewed the same evening and then on the next night had a lengthy studio interview. He is brilliant in articulating contradictions in liberal orthodoxies, especially in pointing out that Islam is oppressive to many of liberalism’s favorite identity groups. I suspect that Yiannopoulos is pleased with how his appearance in Berkeley played out.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    Alan F:

    Yes, his non-appearance was a much greater success than his appearance would have been.

  14. Yankee Says:

    On a related note, the mainstream news is not helpful when describing what happened. Last night, NBC News with Lester Holt used the phrase “violence erupted”, telling the narrative of events in the passive voice, as if to suggest that these things will just happen if a controversial person like Milo Y. is invited to the campus.

    Instead, better reporting would come from using the active voice, and thus letting viewers know that left-wing protesters, radicals, agitators, anarchists (take your pick, and all of them were masked, by the way) smashed windows, damaged property, beat other people with improvised clubs, and in one case sprayed a woman in the face with mace who was wearing a MAGA cap, right after she was speaking to a reporter. (Many of those violent incidents are on YouTube.)

    Using the passive voice leaves out agency, and confuses who is responsible for what.

  15. Artfldgr Says:

    They probably dont realize it but sans the wrong labels they are the most like brownshirts we have seen since the 1930s and the union riots.

    Berkely Brownshirts (Sturmabteilung)

    lets give a bit of a lesson here.. there was a man who came from another country, who wanted to lead after the war.

    he joined the workers party, and moved up, and eventualy changed it from the DAP (like Dems), to the NSDAP… much like the dems now, they decided to remove all other groups and went mccarthy on the russians as hillary did again here.

    when there were speeches the groups would meet but the SA would insure that only their arguments anf fake news and scapegoating and such would matter. outside the halls, they courted the woman, like the catechism said, and they voted for such things more than men, just as they do in the US, UK, etc… its why the left went after them, they are willing to vote in what the men are often not.

    (one has to do a very good research thing to get around the usage of percentages in the books and feminist apologetics. but i am hoping that given the fact that tons of stuff is wrong once left touches it, that the persons that say this isnt so, go back and really dig… its the difference between reading sanger wiki, and not knoing about ernst rudin and her ties, or reading about hayes tilden and not one mention of the dems murdering and mutliating blacks or the draft riots and the attacks on blacks in a example of the black version of crystal nacht!! all you have to do to figure it out is to understand the population numbers post WWI where most of the males of voting age were dead – remember, germany lost… )

    anyway… the berkeley brownshirts are doing the EXACT same thing for the sociaslit dems that they did for the socilaist germans.

    and like much of that, you have people in the crowds changingt the nature of the protests, they even wear the same clothing from the 1930s (hoods, masks, etc, but not suits).

    The precursor to the SA had acted informally and on an ad hoc basis for some time

    there was a speech to be given at a beer hall
    as many meetings started at the Hofbräuhaus over time, the crowds grew, and if hitler was speaking the crowd would drown out others and beat them up (as the left tried to say was happening at the trump things but actually was at their things. their is a vidio of them chasing a person down and beating them unconcious at berkley)

    other groups that wanted to talk were supressed, the ONLY one that could talk was the SA protected groups much like the only ones that could be heard now, is the dem left groups…

    the group that would protect their own and attack the other groups like the berkely brownshirts were Saalschutzabteilung. There was little organization or structure to this group. The group was also called the Ordnertruppen around this time

    The future SA developed by organizing and formalizing the groups of ex-soldiers and beer hall brawlers who were to protect gatherings of the Nazi Party from disruptions from Social Democrats (SPD) and Communists (KPD) and to disrupt meetings of the other political parties

    SAME AS berkely brownshirts are doing.

    to get the “kids” into it more
    The Jugendbund der NSDAP was a group similar to the Hitler Youth, and was indeed its predecessor. It was effectively the youth section of the Sturmabteilung (SA, or Storm Troopers) and it existed between 1922

    Jungmannschaften: boys aged 14 to 16 years
    Jungsturm Adolf Hitler: 16 to 18 years old
    There was also a group for young German girls

    there were a lot of yong with out fathers (from the war)
    in the US
    there were a lot of young without fathers (from feminism and the left)

    see them re-creating the period in time by other means?

    Members of the SA were, throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s, often involved in street fights called Zusammenstöße (collisions)

    sound familair?
    i even said this was what was coming and quoted ex germans and latvians and such describing what they saw in the US and the simialr manipulations of the left.

    the young doing this are twisted backwards,
    they fight for a dictatorship thnking its more free
    they hate the freedom, thinking its a dictatorship

    (cause they dont get things easy)

    hows this?
    growing to thousands of members. In the early period, the left expanded from an extremist fringe group to the largest political party in America

    the original
    growing to thousands of members. In the early 1930s, the Nazis expanded from an extremist fringe group to the largest political party in Germany

    Many of these stormtroopers believed in the socialist promise of National Socialism and expected the Nazi regime to take more radical economic action, such as breaking up the vast landed estates of the aristocracy once they obtained national power

    sound familiar?

    once Hitler had achieved supreme power, the SA was no longer needed. An organization that could inflict more subtle terror and get total obedience was needed, and the SA (born out of street violence and beer hall brawls) was simply not capable of doing so..

    and as with all revolutions the people used are taken away once the power is there. you think the dems if they won their military coup would let those protestors stay and be experienced and when they didnt like it, would be at the front of the counter revolution? no, like scaffolding they are removed so that glieschaltung prevents moving back

  16. Montage Says:

    Geoffrey Britain

    The question is, was the cancellation of the event contingent, in some part, on the speaker’s political views or only because of the violence?

    For instance, is it possible that the college president had a quick meeting with university officials and said, “Well, I disagree with this Milo guy so this violence is a great excuse to cancel the event and squelch free speech!”
    As opposed to:
    “Well, I really agree with this [Marxist] guy so I refuse to cancel this event and squelch free speech! Let’s just wait a little longer.”
    Or the more probable:
    “We need to cancel this event because of violence.”

    I’m saying I believe they cancelled the event due only to violence. It was regardless of the fact that Milo was speaking. The pattern of Berkeley [or whomever] not inviting conservatives to speak is not, IMO, the same as cancelling an event because of violence. After all, Milo was invited to speak in their largest auditorium.

  17. Artfldgr Says:

    Van der Lubb was exactly like one of these young guys setting fires in berkely to stop fascism and save socialsm/comunism!!!

    too bad there are wrong histories
    we think hitler started the reichstag fire
    but he didnt
    he took advantage of the actions of a crazy communist

    the odd thing is that if you read, you will find that the crazy communist truth was made into propaganda not to be believed as the doing saved communism from the death it might have had being associated with its own actions and associations and pacts… [this is why people believed oswald was working with russia, they had a habit of using crazies to do things as it was easier to deny things when the person wasnt competent]

    holocaust history

    On February 27, 1933, the German parliament (Reichstag) building burned down due to arson. The government falsely portrayed the fire as part of a Communist effort to overthrow the state.
    Though the origins of the fire are still unclear, in a propaganda maneuver, the coalition government (Nazis and the German Nationalist People’s Party) blamed the Communists. They exploited the Reichstag fire to secure President von Hindenburg’s approval for an emergency decree, the Decree for the Protection of the People and the State of February 28.


    It occurred on the night of the 27th February 1933 and the perpetrator was not hard to identify. Van der Lubbe, a supposed Communist and an unemployed bricklayer, clearly mentally disturbed (though the assumption that he was actually mentally defective comes from his obviously drugged state during the trial and a great deal of Communist propaganda), was found inside the building
    The following day the recently elected Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, went to see the President, Hindenburg, who signed an order that closed down all non-Nazi parties and banned the Communist one.

    the holocaust says its hard to figure out, but they caught the guy, there was a big trial, and more.. (he was drugged at the trial).

    The FBI files demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that Zinn — author of A People’s History of the United States, widely used as a textbook or supplement in many of our nation’s high schools and universities — was a card-carrying Communist at a time when the Soviet Union was America’s most dreaded enemy.

    File No. 100-360217 was begun in March 1949 in response to an order from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to Edward Scheidt, special agent in charge of the Bureau’s New York office. Zinn’s name had previously surfaced in connection with other FBI investigations of Communist Party activities, but a new report from an unnamed agent marked Zinn as a subject of special interest.

    In 1948, an FBI confidential informant had spoken to Zinn at a protest in front of the White House and reported that, during the course of their conversation, “Zinn indicated that he is a member of the Communist Party and that he attends Party meetings five nights a week in Brooklyn.” Zinn, who was then a 26-year-old Army Air Force veteran attending New York University, expressed to the informant his support for Henry Wallace’s third-party “Progressive” presidential campaign, “indicating that the Communist Party was 100% behind this Movement,” according to the FBI file.

    the rest is here:

    [edited for length by n-n]

  18. Artfldgr Says:

    anarchits and communists always were together in revolution

    so this isnt suprising at all, at least if your history is this history of the past, its all very familiiar

    Homemade Explosive Thrown Into Crowded Pasadena Cheesecake Factory
    “People were jumping over one another, fighting to get over bar stools,” a witness said

  19. neo-neocon Says:


    The idea that the Nazis started the Reichstag fire is very common, I think, but everything I’ve read in recent years on the topic indicates that they did not set it, they merely exploited it.

  20. parker Says:


    Ok, they cancelled due to the violence of leftist thugs. Did you read GB’s response at 3:56 pm to your first comment on this thread? Can you really be so obtuse that you fail to recognize this is so very typical of the left at universities from sea to shining see?

    I applaud UCB for sanctioning the event, but it should be a given that a public university welcomes lawful freedom of expression. UCB gets a thumb down for failing to maintain the public order that would have allowed the event to take place. Just as it was in Baltimore and Ferguson, someone gave the order to let them riot.

    The more unhinged and violent the left becomes the more they herd people to the center/right. Keep it up!

  21. Trimegistus Says:

    I guess conservatives need to start hiring some “outside agitators” to break heads in response. Can’t hold them responsible for what “outsiders” do, after all, can you?

  22. Cornhead Says:

    Anyone wearing a mask should have been arrested immediately. If they would have worn white hoods and robes, they would have.

    I guess black is a protected color.

  23. parker Says:


    The fingerprints of Soros and other leftist’ big money supporters are on BLM, moveon, etc. These thugs are being paid to ‘protest’. The run of the mill college students are merely brainwashed numb skulls.

  24. OldTexan Says:

    I think there is a genuine fear on the part of police that if there is true defense and a melee combat then heads will be split and brains will leak out in front of the cameras. These rent-a-mob mercenaries seem to be organized, funded and not spontaneous grass roots protesters, young fast moving people who are anxious to create chaos and wreck havoc.

    This seems to harken back to feudal times when law was local and decided by war lords who had control of armed men. Those who were strong enough and brazen enough could carry the day/evening just as this band did in Berkley.

    It will be a sad day when they go too far or pop up in the wrong environment, like Texas and try to beat up people where armed folks are present and willing to defend themselves. Up to this point they have chosen rather safe environments in blue states but perhaps the day will come when some of them will try to become martyrs.

    So, having said that I think they are playing a dangerous game, people are becoming injured due to their actions and I would go out of my way to not be in their presence and have to defend myself but if I were still a business owner as I was for a number of years I don’t think I could stand by while they torched my business.

    Maybe they will be smart enough to not cross the line and continue to riot in safe states and only break and burn up businesses that are part of large corporations and in time they will tire and take up other hobbies.

  25. OM Says:


    Perspective from Oathkeepers on progressives, communists, and anarchists.

    Some are brainwashed useful idiots.


  26. OM Says:

    It is interesting that in the progressive, tolerant, blue metro areas (Portland, Seattle, Bay Area) thought crimes are sorted out by the mob, through violence against the unarmed, anarchy. Burn it all down…..

  27. neo-neocon Says:


    Indeed, police are afraid of a 1968 Chicago Democratic convention “whole world is watching” scenario. That was the goal of some of the demonstrators back in 1968—to provoke violence from the police and create a great photo-op—and it is still one of the goals today.

    But police tactics have changed since then, and they need to control violence better than they did in Berkeley.

  28. DNW Says:

    If a man in a mask assaults you, threatening probable battery or committing it and quite possibly additional mayhem, maiming or even death, the mask itself appears to raises it to an aggravated assault; which is I would guess, justification enough in many localities for a victim to respond with lethal force; especially if any kind of battery is actually initiated.

    It likely will not be long – and I take no joy in saying it – before one of these bandit-masked worshipers of violence, runs into the wrong guy, and finds himself on the road to hell, in the blink of a proverbial eye.

    “A person who commits an assault while concealing his identity does so by wearing an article of clothing that covers the body, head, or face, or by wearing some type of disguise. Common examples of this are wearing a mask, wig, or sunglasses.” Ill

    “New Mexico statute defines the following acts as aggravated assault:

    threatening or attempting to strike or otherwise injure someone with a deadly weapon
    threatening or attempting to strike or injure another while concealing one’s identity
    Willfully and intentionally threatening or attempting to strike or apply physical force to another with the intent of committing a felony.

    (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-3-2.)

    While aggravated assault generally is a fourth degree felony, committing an aggravated assault on a school employee, a sports official (such as a referee at a public sporting event), or health care worker (such as a doctor, nurse, or paramedic) while the employee, worker or official is carrying out his duties can constitute a third degree felony and result in greater penalties than those normally imposed for aggravated assault.

    (N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 30-3-9, 30-3-9.1, 30-3-9.2.)
    Assault while concealing identity

    A person who commits an assault while concealing his identity does so by wearing an article of clothing that covers the body, head, or face, or by wearing some type of disguise. Common examples of this are wearing a mask, wig, or sunglasses.”

  29. Cornhead Says:

    We give the police guns and handcuffs. Seems to me they should have used overwhelming force and arrest the masked men immediately.

  30. OM Says:

    Those aren’t guys in masks, they are gender fluid in hajibs.

    See fixed it for you. Nothing to see, move along.

  31. parker Says:


    Thanks for the link. I am old enough to have watched. over decades, as the left seeks not just my destruction, but the destruction of all that I hope my grandchildren should inherent. Fools, they never think of unintended consequences.

    Block board game party night. Back later.

  32. Montage Says:

    4 Things:

    1) Yes I was responding to GB’s comment.
    2) I am not denying that Berkeley and other left leaning universities deny a right leaning pov. But I do not believe the cancelling of the event was due in any way to that fact.
    3) What do you mean by ‘someone gave them the order to riot?’ Are you claiming the university had a part in the riot? Note that unless a city goes into complete lock-down it’s tough to prevent agitators from rioting. Sometimes there is a fine line between a peaceful protest and a violent one because there are so many people in one place. And things can turn on a dime.
    4) You’re right about people frowning on leftist agitation but, again, peaceful protest should not be equated with violent protest. A lot on the left [or Democrats – not the same thing] have been practicing peaceful protest lately but the media, naturally, focuses on the violent ones when they happen. But it doesn’t and shouldn’t define all protests.

  33. Ann Says:

    Some excerpts from UC Berkeley administration’s statement on the cancellation:

    Amid an apparently organized violent attack and destruction of property at UC Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, the UC Police Department (UCPD) determined it was necessary to evacuate controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos from campus and to cancel his scheduled 8 p.m. event. …

    The violence was instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest.

    The decision to cancel the event was made at about 6 p.m., and officers read several dispersal announcements to a crowd of more than 1,500 protesters who had gathered outside the student union, where Yiannopoulos was to speak. He immediately was escorted from the building and left campus.

    Of paramount importance was the campus’s commitment to ensure the safety and security of those attending the event, the speaker, those who came to engage in lawful protest and members of the public and the Berkeley campus community. …

    UC Berkeley officials and UCPD went to extraordinary lengths to plan for this event, working closely with the Berkeley College Republicans and putting the appropriate resources in place to maintain security. Officials were in contact with other university campuses where Yiannopoulos had been asked to speak, and they paid close attention to lessons learned. Dozens of additional police officers were on duty for Wednesday’s scheduled event, and multiple methods of crowd control were in place. Ultimately, and unfortunately, however, it was impossible to maintain order given the level of threat, disruption and organized violence.

    Campus officials added that they regret that the threats and unlawful actions of a few have interfered with the exercise of First Amendment rights on a campus that is proud of its history and legacy as the home of the Free Speech Movement.

    In an earlier message to the Berkeley campus community, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks made it clear that while Yiannopoulos’ views, tactics and rhetoric are profoundly contrary to those of the campus, UC Berkeley is bound by the Constitution, the law and the university’s values and Principles of Community, which include the enabling of free expression across the full spectrum of opinion and perspective.

    The full statement is here.

  34. Frog Says:

    Tweets are brief by their nature.
    Trump’s “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” is a necessarily brief reference to all the people of the university, not just Berkeley’s administration.

    The university and the police clearly did not “allow” freedom of speech; the thugs were not suppressed, dispersed, arrested or shot, though arson was committed and individuals were assaulted. Trump raised a question that could be extended to Berkeley the sanctuary city and to its police force.

  35. miklos000rosza Says:

    Those here who are advocating lethal force are missing the crucial point that the side which has telegenic martyrs is the side that wins.

  36. parker Says:


    3rd thingy…. Someone gave an order to the UCB police and someone else gave an order to the Berkley police to not exercise procedures to curtail and then end the violence. So in flyover country your 3rd thingy will earn you a big DUH! Yes, you are far away from flyover country, and for that I am thankful.

    4th thingy… Exactly who equated peaceful protest with violent protest? It certainly was not me. You need to read the definition of prevaricate before a mirror. DUH,

  37. parker Says:


    I forgot, after my victory playing Settlers of Catan, that we agree on your 2nd thingy. However, you should flyover and never land here because you will foam at the mouth if you should ever walk down Main Street in my ignorant, backwater, bitter clinger, troglodyte corner of the home of the brave and the free.

  38. AesopFan Says:

    As most of you following this have realized, the Berkely Black Bloc mob has raised Milo’s profile considerably.
    Way to go, guys: “instead of addressing 500 people he now has an audience of 4 million” — more or less paraphrase of one comment.

    Will this encourage people to support UCB?
    Not this guy.

    “Here’s the best article you are likely to read about the absurdity of calling ANY American president Hitler. This is the sort of persuasion (sprinkled with facts) that can dissolve some of the post-election cognitive dissonance that hangs like a dark cloud over the country. Share it liberally, so to speak. You might save lives.

    Speaking of Hitler, I’m ending my support of UC Berkeley, where I got my MBA years ago. I have been a big supporter lately, with both my time and money, but that ends today. I wish them well, but I wouldn’t feel safe or welcome on the campus. A Berkeley professor made that clear to me recently. He seems smart, so I’ll take his word for it.

    I’ve decided to side with the Jewish gay immigrant who has an African-American boyfriend, not the hypnotized zombie-boys in black masks who were clubbing people who hold different points of view. I feel that’s reasonable, but I know many will disagree, and possibly try to club me to death if I walk on campus. ”

    Was it spontaneous? Probably as much as these were:

    “News reports and TV broadcasts about the week’s protests described the events as ‘spontaneous protests’ mounted in response to the Trump administration’s travel and immigration executive order,” author Asawin Suebsaeng writes at the liberal leaning Daily Beast. “But to Make the Road New York, and the groups like it across the country, there was nothing ‘spontaneous’ about it.”

    Suebsaeng notes that “professional organizers had been waiting and planning for this type of mass, direct action — ready-made to go viral on social media — even since, well Nov. 9.” These professional organizers, he says have been “anticipating and mapping out their battle plans for Trump’s orders on deportations, bans, and detention.”

    The executive director of the Arab American Action Network told Suebsaeng that “we had been laying the groundwork for this for a long, long time.”

    Since Trump had made clear that he planned — on day one, in fact — to issue a temporary ban on visas and refugees from terror prone countries, all these groups had to do was wait until he made good on that pledge to spring into action.

    What’s amazing isn’t the planning or the execution of these protests, but the fact that the media acted as though it was all happening without any planning or coordination at all.
    * * *
    But there’s no bias in the media, nope, none at all.
    /sarc off

  39. AesopFan Says:

    Just saw this one – absolutely spontaneous riots, just like in Benghazi.


    For many, the protests at UC Berekely came out of the blue. The Socialist Alternative Bay Area, an organization of left-wing activists in the San Francisco Bay area, and the Berkeley Socialist Students had posted an innocuous Facebook “event,” inviting protesters to the campus Student Union to “unite against oppression” and “racists, Islamophobes and misogynists” who are “emboldened” by the “election of Donald Trump.”

    “We have to shut them down,” the invitation read, ominously.

    A Facebook user then shared the details with the hashtag #ShutDownMilo.

    But, underscoring how social media is used not only by terrorists but by “social justice warriors” as well, the violent protests were long ago predicted.

    Eric Feinberg, founder of GiPEC, a New York-based cyber intelligence company, tracked a first use of #ShutDownMilo to two months ago from the Twitter handle for a self-described “revolutionary anarchist news website,” ItsGoingDown.org, or IGD. The site says it seeks to “uplift and build capacity for a wide range of social struggles, movements, and revolutionary groups”; of course, it “accepts monetary donation via the anonymous digital currency bitcoin and … through regular Credit or Debit Card / PayPal.”

    Says Feinberg: “This is the American intifada,” an Arabic word for an uprising. “Just like ISIS and Hamas have found the use of unique hashtags on social media to recruit and radicalize, unique hashtags are now being used by groups here in the U.S. that call for violence, protest, resistance and anarchy. By the use of these unique hashtags with a call to action to a specified group and location, the online mob becomes a real world-mob that can cause damage, disruption and violence, like we just witnessed in Berkeley.”

    We are facing a cyber jihad, the Arabic word for “struggle,” in America, with the Internet used to mobilize mobs.

    It’s time that the people of our country — including Democratic leadership — refuse the dangerous rhetoric of #TheResistance, advocate with civility for the policies we seek and live with a higher value in our hearts: #peace.

    (and please not the author:)

    Asra Q. Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal reporter and the author of “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam” (HarperOne). She is a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement and a former professor of journalism at Georgetown University. She can be reached at asra@asranomani.com and @asranomani.

  40. AesopFan Says:

    This is tangential, but not unrelated to the “spontanenous” nature of the protests against the Right.


    Says Politico:

    “Whether inside the Environmental Protection Agency, within the Foreign Service, on the edges of the Labor Department or beyond, employees are using new technology as well as more old-fashioned approaches — such as private face-to-face meetings — to organize letters, talk strategy, or contact media outlets and other groups to express their dissent.

    The goal is to get their message across while not violating any rules covering workplace communications, which can be monitored by the government and could potentially get them fired.”

    So let’s be clear here. Let’s make it crystal clear so no one will miss it. It’ll put it in bold, just in case.

    What these federal employees are doing is against the law and would justifiably get them fired. So they’re hiding it by using encrypted communications.

    They want to remain on the taxpayers’ payroll, doing jobs it is the voters’ privilege to define for them. But they feel entitled to ignore what the taxpaying voters actually want – which the voters have signaled by handing the House, the Senate, and the White House to the Republicans.

    Politico’s writers naturally depict whatever these employees might object to as “misconduct” by the Trump administration, as if it is misconduct for a new president to change the discretionary direction of his agencies’ work priorities. (“Misconduct” is, rather, what the federal employees are engaged in.)

    This, of course, is just one of many ways in which the media are misusing language to prejudice the public’s view of the Trump administration.

    Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that the messaging-encryption apps alluded to in the post (e.g., Signal, which can be used on iOS and Android phones), were referred to by David Cameron in 2015 as “a safe space for terrorists.” Obama called them, in that regard, “a problem.”

  41. The Other Chuck Says:

    Calling Vanderleun. It seems the more things change the more they remain the same at Beserkley. Setting buildings on fire is nothing new, Wheeler Hall back when and now the student union building. Ho hum.

  42. parker Says:

    Perhaps we should refer to this supposedly institution of higher learning as besekerly.


    You are forthright and brave. More power to you.

  43. AesopFan Says:

    Trimegistus Says:
    February 3rd, 2017 at 5:01 pm
    I guess conservatives need to start hiring some “outside agitators” to break heads in response. Can’t hold them responsible for what “outsiders” do, after all, can you?
    * * *
    Trismegistus is making a joke here, I presume.

    Reich isn’t joking.


    On CNN Thursday night, Reich disappointed far-left Antifa radicals everywhere by hypothesizing that the violent protest at Berkeley this week, mounted against the scheduled appearance of gay right-winger Milo Yiannopoulos, was a con job by right-wing plotters. The purpose, in Reich’s view, was to “delegitimize liberals.”
    * * *
    Except that the protestors (aka violent mob) were clearly on the side they purported to be on.

    Reich’s reaction reminds me of some (now old) cartoons where ISIS members are debating how they can get Obama to give them the credit for their terrorist actions.


  44. AesopFan Says:

    parker Says:
    February 4th, 2017 at 12:34 am
    Perhaps we should refer to this supposedly institution of higher learning as besekerly.


    You are forthright and brave. More power to you.

    * * *
    The viking berserkers were indeed scary people.
    UCB is scary all right.
    Me, I just type up blog comments, but thanks anyway.



  45. parker Says:


    Its not just thanks anyway. There is no need here for a chip (or log on the shoulder). Speaking personally,y, which is all I can do, I care not what may be your sexual preference. Its not my business. Your business between consentiing adults is nobodies business.what counts, from my POV, is which side are you (or anyone) on. The loony left or the more level headed right.

    That is the question,

  46. MollyG Says:

    Trust me, those “black bloc” freaks are widely reviled here in Oakland/Berkeley. No one here would see them as “telegenic martyrs.” Folks around here would be overjoyed that they finally got their nihilistic asses kicked. Of course that’s not to say that useful idiots elsewhere in the country wouldn’t turn these sickos into heroes. But people here, from left to right, hate these “anarchist” transplants from Eugene, Oregon, who came for Occupy and never left.

  47. Michael Adams Says:

    Cornhead is right. People wearing masks should be arrested. Gov MA Ferguson was said by the old-timers in my young years, to have “outlawed the Klan.” That’s a legal impossibility, of course. What she did was simply to get the Legislature to outlaw masking the face in public. Secrecy was their greatest weapon. They disappeared from Texas decades before they were eliminated from Indiana, Illinois, and other, less clever states. We hear about some bit of Klan activity in some remote corner, but it never comes to much. This may be, in part, that a very large percentage of their membership is made up of Texas Ranger and FBI informants.

    In those long-ago times, even racists did not like the Klan, a secret organization that made other crime possible, wherever they were dominant.

    As for avoiding a ‘Chicago 1968’ scenario, there are tactics that work quite well to prevent that, usually involving breaking off a small chunk of the crowd, cuffing them and hustling them into the paddy wagons, and then on to the next small batch. After all, if these punks knew anything about anything, they would not be punks. Their actual knowledge about climate, banking, etc, would make them laugh at the screaming generalities coming from the people herders, AKA “community organizers.”They strut and talk big, but they are not so useful in a fight.

  48. Sonny Wayze Says:

    parker says:
    “February 4th, 2017 at 12:34 am
    Perhaps we should refer to this supposedly institution of higher learning as besekerly.”

    Well, there is the old joke about Berkeley inventing both UNIX and LSD, and perhaps those two things are connected…

  49. huxley Says:

    Berkeley has been called, often with affection, “Berserkeley” for a long time.

  50. miklos000rosza Says:


    You went right past what I meant by “telegenic martyrs.” Not for a microsecond would a Black Bloc masked ninja fit the role. No, what they’d like is someone young, attractive, preferably female, blood streaming down from being hit by a “night-stick wielding” cop in a plexigas mask.

    Similar in effect to the “innocent children” displayed again and again by Hezbollah and Hamas vs the Israelis. Reuters and AP go for that every time.

    The MSM will collaborate. They will only give wide coverage to a telegenic martyr hurt by leftist thugs if they are forced, if some image goes viral and cannot be effectively denied.

  51. OldTexan Says:

    I said this years ago when Obama was elected and I was dejected. Let’s fight this at the polling places and we did. I am a long time NRA member and we turn out and we vote. We don’t fight in the streets and we support those who will represent us in their offices.

    Nobody ever wants to see any bloodshed or real civil war and I was in a shooting competition today where there were a number of us who can shot very fast and hit exactly where we are aiming and we practice and shoot every week.

    There are millions of us and we only want to work through the ballot box and have every legal voter show up and vote. I am also one of millions of Vets who long ago were taught to use weapons for legal lawful means and defend the constitution of the United States.

    Please don’t mess with us and support out President Trump who we elected in the manner we have elected our leaders over the past two hundred and forty one years.

    That will be all.

  52. AesopFan Says:

    parker Says:
    February 4th, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Its not just thanks anyway.
    * *
    I was acknowledging your presumed compliment with what I intended as a modest “aw shucks, it ‘twern’t all that much” — not sure what the rest of your comment applies to.

    Have a nice day.

  53. huxley Says:

    If you haven’t seen/listened to Milo Y., he’s worth checking out. Here’s the Youtube for his Tucker Carlson appearance.


    I started listening to him a year ago. He’s got a fast, sparkling intellect and he’s quite funny.

    He says the reason he is hated so much is because he is effective at changing people’s minds. I suspect he’s right.

  54. Liberty Wolf Says:

    I was really upset by this riot, which is what the otherwise peaceful protest became. I watched it livestream and saw the black bloc anarchists or antifa (“anti-fascists” – how ironic) breaking nearly every bank window of every bank on Shattuck Ave. I used to walk on those streets regularly not long ago to get coffee or a beer or to see friends. I recognized the area and some of the banks. They also broke into Starbucks, wrecked it and broke other windows and broke ATMS (they may have looted them too, not sure). It was horrific. They set fires in buildings but thank god those were put out. They beat people. All was on livestream. All because they did not want Milo to speak. Insane.

    What was really distressing were the FB conversations I had the next day with many on the left who were in agreement not only with the protest — but with the violence. Anarchists like black bloc don’t consider vandalism, even extreme vandalism like fire setting in a building or smashing windows of businesses, to be “violence”. They only consider violence against persons to be violent. Of course, this is just crazy though I am happy that at least they didn’t kill anyone or maim anyone for life. Not this time. To be fair… Some leftists on my page did draw the line at hurting people and some were against the violence period. However many, many (!) were saying that Milo was spreading “hate speech” and that this was not “free speech”.

    At least two professors seemed to be ambivalent in their support of free speech and one basically said she did not support it. Free speech was a “liberal” idea and she actually put “free speech” in quotes. She went to say that speech can’t be free because of inequality. That basically because some people have more “privilege” their words have more power and therefore free speech was an illusion, there were too many contradictions. I said these were not contradictions but difficulties and that freedom was never easy but I preferred that to the alternative — which is that only some people get to speak based on their real or perceived advantages or disadvantages. I think we know where this leads.

    We are in trouble. But we’ve been in trouble for awhile. The support for the idea that free speech is very important, even when it is someone you disagree with, was not popular with my scattering of folks. But then, I tend to have a lot of these radicals or radical leaning folks on my FB page. (I am trying not to spend as much time there since it is too stressful these days! – I think I will be here more!)

    Also, they were painting Milo as a “neo Nazi” and a “white supremacist”. All rubbish of course. I did finally say he was neither of these. I don’t support every thing he says and I would not say some of these things in the way he does – yet, he certainly has a right to speak if invited. I also do agree with at least some of his opinions and he is funny but — that is not even the point.

    Milo is also a stand-in for Trump. The left has lost its minds minds over Trump. The left does not respect free speech. I guess we all knew this but it was horrible to see it play out like this.

  55. neo-neocon Says:

    Liberty Wolf:

    The left pretends to be for free speech until it isn’t. When push comes to shove (literally), those who follow the dictates of the left (some of them are merely liberal rather than leftists) divide into camps, with some clinging to free speech support and some abandoning it if they are told to do so.

    It is indeed frightening.

    And some people committing the violence are just doing it because it’s an excuse to break things, and breaking things is fun. I well remember the days when bank buildings in some college towns had to brick up their front windows and create an unbreakable facade in order to stop the constant destruction of their property.

    Did you ever read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism? If not, I recommend it.

  56. AesopFan Says:

    neo, thanks for mentioning Jonah’s book; it is indeed eye-opening, and explains why the Left is so fixated on lying about the real fascists circa WW2 – it’s always been noticeable between-the-lines, but now they are blatant


  57. AesopFan Says:

    A legal note from Instapundit

  58. AesopFan Says:

    While following the Milo threads through the Intermaze, I encountered a blogger I think you would enjoy reading (her day job is teaching Medeivalism at a university):

    “The tenor is smug self-righteousness, the absolute certainty of being on the Right Side of History. Even some liberals are starting to find it a bit hard to take, the way in which their family and friends talk about Those People. The Deplorables. The Racists. The Misogynists. The Xenophobes. The People With the Wrong Opinions about Immigration, the Relation Between the Sexes, the Welfare State, and Islam. You know. The ones who read Breitbart, vote for Donald Trump, and listen to Milo.

    It can get a bit wearing, even at a distance. It takes real stamina to be able to meet it head on, as Milo has done this past semester over the course of his Dangerous Faggot Tour. Quite frankly, I don’t know how he does it. I get weary just watching the protests. The name-calling. The unwillingness to listen to what he actually says. On the other hand, the tactics rarely change, which makes them possible to list. And if we can list them, we can prepare for them. These are the weapons that our opponents will try to use against us if we are conservatives. As the Boy Scouts say: “Be prepared!”

    Here based on my observations of their responses to Milo’s talks are the primary tactics the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) use: …”

    “One of you over on the Facebook thread had a good question about my previous post: “Lots of people died for freedom of speech before USA existed. Then [an]…argumentum ad Adam and Eve..?” I agree, I needed to give you more links between Milton and the First Amendment. That was the original plan for the post, but then Milton took over, and as often happens when you actually read the primary sources, I found myself in places I had not intended to go but discovered (much to my delight) were far more compelling than the argument I had thought I wanted to make. (Seriously, the tension between freedom and compulsory virtue goes back to our first parents and their relationship with God? How’s that for the importance of culture?!)

    This happens–a lot–when you take the time to settle in with the texts, which is what makes being an historian so much fun, even better than being in a Dan Brown thriller, because the clues you are following are really out there, but there is no mastermind behind them, only your own ability to piece them together and make sense of them based on your own inevitably imperfect knowledge about the bigger picture that they supposedly fit into but which itself may change based on new evidence. This is very much where I am now, needing to piece together the bits of the story about freedom of speech that I know–basically, it goes from John Milton to J.S. Mill–with the hints that I have from the scholarship about where to look further, specifically in the history of the relations between the English and the Dutch.”


    “Let’s face it, Milo can at times be downright vulgar (L: vulgus, the crowd, mob, rabble, populace). He does not cultivate a particularly refined speaking style–quite the reverse. He gleefully encourages his audiences to be roused to emotions of patriotism and laughter. He likes startling them with provocative images and performing in costume. And he is a master at plunging them, by way of jokes and memes, into the midst of the difficult subjects on which he chooses to speak. Tuttle might prefer for Milo to be more refined in his speech, less flamboyant in his presentations, more aristocratic in his diction. But the audiences to which Milo is speaking are American–and Americans, being democratic, love a good show.”

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