I have a connection to the current rioting at U.C Berkeley. A strong connection.
There is nothing new going on here. Berkeley has been a haven for the communist Left my entire life, which began before WWII. When I was a graduate student in economics in 1962 to 1964 the faculty was almost wholly owned by the pro Castro faction.
I was an organizer then, as I have been ever since I was 13. I organized the Graduate Student Association. It had been dead for years. The administration was so desperate to have some political vitality on campus that they gave me anything I demanded. There had been five straight years with no student activity.
I demanded everything I could think of: GSA membership on the bookstore board, the student housing board, the newspaper board. I even got membership on the Hospital board because I had brokered a deal with the administration and an Israeli female who tried to commit suicide in the hospital.
One of my friends who was the treasurer of my GSA was a math grad student, Mario Savio. We had a few beers together. Mario was a quiet guy with a serious demeanor. Nothing else in our relationship. The following mid-winter he became famous for a speech he gave at the beginning of the Free Speech movement.
I had left U.C. by then and had started the marketing research department at the Bank of America. I had also been elected president of the San Francisco Young Republicans. When I visited the campus during that wild heyday I was struck by the vast number of activists. This was the leading edge of the baby boom who had just entered college.
Lefties all. The most common demand I heard was to be free to use the word ‘fuck’ which was on signs and banners everywhere.
That doesn’t make it into Wikipedia.That is Berkeley.
I have been predicting on Facebook that Berkeley is now the scene of the first voluntary civil war as pro-Trump people show up to face off with the black shirt leftists while the police sit in their cars and watch. I could be right.