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Do you remember hearing last year about the special door for the Berkeley university chancellor’s office that was built to protect him and his staff from potentially dangerous protestors? You probably didn’t. But the Wall Street Journal “outed” them last week. According to the WSJ,
In a proposal requesting funding for the $9,000 security door, the chancellor’s office detailed the risk of ‘vandalism & malicious mischief’ and a ‘high . . . level of probability of future loss or injury if [the] condition is not addressed.’ The proposal noted that protesters had ‘rushed the building and attempted to occupy’ the chancellor’s office in April 2015. ‘Staff people pushed to close the office doors while protestors pushed them open.’
I read this piece and just shook my head. The ineffectual administrators and professors, instead of dealing with the violence head-on, will be cowering behind a security door when the violent protestors pay them a visit.
By the way, the university also installed a $700,000 security fence around the home of Chancellor Nicolas Dirks.
It’s too bad that the administration didn’t take notes when Ronald Reagan spoke out against campus violence when he ran for governor in 1964. The Federalist quoted Reagan:
[D]o we no longer think it necessary to teach self-respect, self-discipline, and respect for law and order? Will we allow a great university to be brought to its knees by a noisy dissident minority? Will we meet their neurotic vulgarities with vacillation and weakness? Or will we tell those entrusted with administering the university we expect them to enforce a code based on decency, common sense, and dedication to the high and noble purpose of that university?
In 1969, Ronald Reagan was governor. A plot of land was being used for Vietnam War protests at Berkeley. The university wanted to develop the land and tried to put up a fence around the plot. A protest rally was called, and a riot ensued. Reagan called in the Berkeley police and the California Highway Patrol. Again, The Federalist—
A campus publication tells what happened next: ‘[T]hree students suffered punctured lungs, another a shattered leg, 13 people were hospitalized with shotgun wounds, and one police officer was stabbed. James Rector, who was watching the riot from a rooftop, was shot by police gunfire; he died four days later.’
As a result, Reagan called a state of emergency and brought in 2,200 National Guard troops, restoring order. When Reagan was criticized for not negotiating, he responded:
‘Negotiate? What is to negotiate? All of it began the first time some of you who know better and are old enough to know better let young people think that they have the right to choose the laws they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.’ To underscore the point, Reagan got up and walked out of the room.
It seems that Berkeley did not learn from Reagan’s example. Instead of facing future violence with resolve, they are now cowering behind fences and doors. The lessons from Berkeley have been reinforced by the disaster in Charlottesville. We need to stop pointing fingers, making up excuses and wringing our hands. It’s time to step up and follow Reagan’s example in every city in America, since any of them are subject to the anarchy and violence of the Left and their cohorts, as well as those who purport to be on the Right:
- Citizens, students, out-of-town anarchists all need to be told that violence will not be tolerated by anyone at any time.
- All demonstrators will be informed by their organizers that they are all responsible for their participation; if they are caught up in a violent protest, they should immediately leave the area.
- Anyone who violates the law will be subject to police action and arrest, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
- All cities of a certain size will be responsible for requiring training of law enforcement to handle large crowds and potential violence.
- Any city, county or state official who orders a police or sheriff’s department to stand down will be subject to civil and/or criminal lawsuits.
I don’t know how we enforce this policy. I don’t care how the President condemns these acts after the fact. I don’t care which groups participated, Left or Right. I don’t care what these groups stand for. It’s time to hold to the rule of law and hold people accountable.