November 11, 2011

Occupy UC Berkeley vs. UC Berkeley Riot Police: How to Carefully Fold a Tent


On Wednesday, I did a post describing how the common camping tent has become the signature icon of the Occupy movement. Given the violence that broke out on Wednesday, this almost dainty, but widely distributed photo is as misleading as it is an affront to Cal students who minutes earlier were attacked by campus police.

Berkeley Occupy violence 2

The fact campus riot police (can’t believe I would use such a term) would present themselves to the cameras carefully folding up tents as if they were parents of these students teaching them how to fold hospital corners and making their beds demonstrates, from a propaganda perspective, that violence takes many forms.

What’s really classy, by the way, is that the LAT ran the photo on their Crime blog (currently found in LA Now). Talking about “crimes” in the larger sense (without wading into issues such as the draconian tuition increases and cutbacks to the UC, California state university and community college systems over the past few years), here’s the video. Of course, these photo from the SF Chronicle (which apparently didn’t hit the wires) also provide an interesting counterpoint:

Berkeley Occupy photos 2a

SF Gate Berkeley Occupy violence 1

And then, there’s the real fly-in-the-ointment, which is the (ongoing) challenge of the campus Occupy movement to the University of California‘s “no-encampment” policy.

(photo 1: Karl Mondon / Contra Costa Times caption: Riot police hold back protesters as tents are dismantled during an Occupy Berkeley protest at UC Berkeley. photo 2 : Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle caption: Young Occupy Cal protesters clash with UC Berkeley police officers and Alameda County sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in Berkeley, Calif. photo 3, 4: Paul Chinn / The Chronicle caption: University police officers confiscate a tent from an Occupy Cal protester on the steps of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011. Students are angry over soaring tuition fees.)


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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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