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09/11/2002 Report from Berkeley: The Kids May Be Allright
09/11/2002 | Revolting cat!

Posted on 09/11/2002 3:37:31 PM PDT by Revolting cat!

I drove up to Berkeley from wherever it is I hang my hat (and I really don't care if Registered posts my NC address and voting record.) It is a warm, pleasant day there, with a cool breeze blowing, and before leaving I changed into my American flag T-shirt after having a Duh! moment this morning at a grocery store seeing a woman wearing a rather gaudy, sparkling American flag blouse, the kind that Lucille Ball wore way back when Abbie Hoffman got arrested for wearing a shirt with a similar design. I took that T-shirt abroad against the advice of my loved ones when I travelled in June, and I'm taking it there again this weekend!

I arrived at Sproul Plaza at the southern end of the UC Berkeley campus, where the rally was happening, and where the infamous "Free Speech" demonstrations had taken place back in the 1960s, a few minutes after noon and not too long before the university Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl finished his platitude filled speech about peace, love and understanding. There were several hundred students in attendance, a half dozen big American flags flying in the audience, many smaller flags in people's hands, attached to their backpacks. The crowd was mostly white, Oriental, Indian. In fact, I had the impression that the latter two more often than others carried those little flags.

At several tables, student volunteers were giving out white carnations with long stems and two kinds of red, white and blue ribbons, one with a star spangled banner design, the other ribbon larger, and unintentionally I suspect, identical to the French flag (!) I saw only one student, a white girl, wearing an all white ribbon. Campus police were everywhere but didn't impede anyone's movements, except to the second floor balcony of the Student Union building opposite the rally, where I and another guy tried to climb to take pictures. "Press only", they told us. (I took a few photographs, but they're analog, so you'll have to use your imagination.)

After Berdahl's speech, a student organizer came up to the microphone to announce that we would next hear voices of the student community and urging us to respect the diverse opinions, whatever they turn out to be. I prepared for the worst. First came out a Muslim woman dressed in a mini-burkha to tell us about the sorrows and tragedies and commonalities amongst the peoples of different nations and religions. OK. The third speaker was a student Republican activist, and predictably, he was the one among all speakers of the day who was down to earth and spoke memorably with honesty and simple passion. He told us about crying the morning of 9/11/2001 like he had cried before when his grandfather died, and he finished by quoting from Alan Jackson.

I decided to walk around in the crowd. A handful of protesters, most likely ousiders, i.e. non-students, held up big signs of protest against war, for peace, etc. A television cameraman was interviewing them, to give us a "balanced view" later on the evening newscast, so that those who weren't there can get the impression that 50% were for and 50% against, whatever it was they were supposed to be for and against!

Another lone outsider, and thin man in his thirties, all in white, looking a bit like Leon Trotsky, held up a printed anti-war in Iraq sign which also stated that the 911 hijackers were CIA agents. As an afterthought apparently, (or as a result of a late breaking transmission to his tinfoil hat) he improved the sign by adding in pencil "/Mossad".

In the meantime, two Western looking, elegantly dressed male Muslim students were introduced and one of them intoned in a singalong voice a verse from the Quran, the other translating it from Arabic afterwards. No, nothing about killing the infidels, only about Allah creating the humanity and ending on something a bit too close to the truth, I thought, about the righteous ones. Afterwards, the translator came up to Berdahl standing on the side and excahnged a few words.

Next, a dark skinned Arabic or Hindu looking activist from the Socialist International speaking with a perfect American accent. A fiery speech about imperialism, politicization of 9/11 ("No, he is not the one doing the politicization! It's George Dublyu Bush who's doing it!") TODAY WE COMMEMORATE, BUT TOMORROW IMPERIALIST WAR! Whereas everyone else spoke for a minute or two, quietly, in a dignified manner, the little Fidel, shouted, waved, turned red, proving to this listener at least, that it may be the Left who is the mortal domestic enemy in this conflict. The Socialist got the loudest applause of all, but only, I suspect, because of his appeal to emotions and not because of the contents of the speech. Or may be as a reward for finishing the speech!

Finally, I decided to leave when a woman from the Bahai movement drone on using three four syllable words in one sentence. I proceeded to Telegraph Avenue, where the only sidewalk merchants who set up stands today (there are dozens of them on weekends) were two grim faced midget size sellers of Leftist, humourless agitprop bumperstickers, one of them displaying a large Palestinian flag and a handmade sign stating that the true axis of evil is Sharon, Blair and Bush. The black panhandler whose profitable shtick is to offer free, often politically incorrect jokes, was sitting in his usual spot on top of a milk box in front of the Chicago pizza joint. Another one, a crippled panhandler in a wheelchair was getting off an Oakland ADA city bus as I was walking by.

I stepped into Tower Records to pick up a free issue of the New York Times Review of Books - they didn't have any recent ones, then on to Rasputin Records and Amoeba Records looking for used or promo copies of the latest Peter Wolf, Alvin Youngblood Hart and maybe some Tango Nuevo. I didn't find anything.

Back to the car across the campus trying to beat one of those mean spirited and punctual Berkeley meter maids. The rally on Sproul had finished, there were on the sidewalk in front of the Administration Building, where the rally had taken place, sheets of poster board with hand written signs. I only read a couple of overtly political signs about Iraq, before rushing off. I managed to beat the meter maids to the car, and cheat the City of Berkeley of approximately 15 minutes of parking time! Woo hoo!


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: 911commemorations; academia; berkeley; students

1 posted on 09/11/2002 3:37:31 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: Revolting cat!
Thanks for the Berkeley report.

Sounds like you had a great day, too.
2 posted on 09/11/2002 3:47:23 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Revolting cat!
The Kids May Be Allright

Some Berkeley grads are solid citizens. I worked with one young Berkeley grad that we used to kid about his -- somehow -- having a clearance.

3 posted on 09/11/2002 3:49:15 PM PDT by thinktwice
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To: thinktwice
I went there reluctantly, and prepared to walk past it to avoid aggravation, but unexpectedly, and except as noted, it turned out to be a dignified, solemn affair.
4 posted on 09/11/2002 3:57:48 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: Revolting cat!; hellinahandcart; KLT
and before leaving I changed into my American flag T-shirt after having a Duh! moment this morning at a grocery store seeing a woman wearing a rather gaudy, sparkling American flag blouse, the kind that Lucille Ball wore way back when Abbie Hoffman got arrested for wearing a shirt with a similar design. I took that T-shirt abroad against the advice of my loved ones when I travelled in June, and I'm taking it there again this weekend!

You are obviously aware that, while it is not illegal, it is considered anti-American to use the flag in any other than it's intended purpose.

You also mention going 'abroad', so I can only hope you get taken into custody by people that you only think.... think like you!!

You'll see!! HA HA!

5 posted on 09/11/2002 4:02:13 PM PDT by Nitro
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To: Nitro
Abbie Hoffman, you might say, suffered and died for our sins! (No blasphemy intended.)
6 posted on 09/11/2002 4:08:17 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: thinktwice
Yes, indeed. I went to Berkeley and turned out to be a FReeper.
7 posted on 09/11/2002 4:11:14 PM PDT by Bahbah
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To: Revolting cat!; hellinahandcart; KLT
If you had said Emmit Grogan, I might have respected you...

everyone knows Abbie and he is all hype, he took the fame while others played the game!!


8 posted on 09/11/2002 4:16:33 PM PDT by Nitro
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To: Nitro
If you had said Emmit Grogan

WOW! The only other person left alive who read Ringolevio.

9 posted on 09/11/2002 6:33:00 PM PDT by reformed_democrat
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To: reformed_democrat
It has been years and many qb's of weed, but yeah I read it!!

I had to, I was a minor friend in bunch that claimed cousin to Emmit!

10 posted on 09/11/2002 6:40:04 PM PDT by Nitro
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To: reformed_democrat
Did I mention it was crap....

then I was young and smoking excellent cheap weed... in the day I/we used to get 15 nice joints from a nickel of Mexican...

now I am saddled with bills and reality has crushed a childish dream!!

11 posted on 09/11/2002 6:49:30 PM PDT by Nitro
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To: Nitro
Wow, like man, there are three of us FReepers who have read Ringolevio. Didn't he write a second book which was disappointing and which I recall trying or starting to read? Man, I've got to locate Ringolevio in the garage and re-read it. (It's probably buried somewhere there among the issues of SUPER-8 FILMMAKER Magazine!)
12 posted on 09/11/2002 6:50:02 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: SamAdams76; BluesDuke
Two to Tango Nuevo?
13 posted on 09/11/2002 6:58:30 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: Nitro
everyone knows Abbie and he is all hype

The late Abbie (not meaning "the dead Abbie") yes, but the early Abbie was an anarchist, performance artist and author of interesting, subversive books. We could use one like him in the conservative movement today fighting what's become a leftist establishment. I like to fantasize, probably incorrectly, that today, Abbie Hoffman would be a rightist anarchist.

14 posted on 09/11/2002 7:03:55 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: Revolting cat!
Man, I've got to locate Ringolevio in the garage and re-read it.

Here ya go!

RINGOLEVIO

15 posted on 09/11/2002 7:12:51 PM PDT by henbane
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To: Revolting cat!
You must be young and relatively poor...

only such a person would aspire to Anarchy...

Anarchy is just a Democracy that hasn't asked for anything, yet!!

Besides, we happen to live in a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy as your mob often yells, very loud!!

16 posted on 09/11/2002 7:57:15 PM PDT by Nitro
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To: henbane
Let me save you some trouble....

if you read the book...

you still end up a loser!!!

Trust me I tried it!!

17 posted on 09/11/2002 8:02:05 PM PDT by Nitro
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To: Nitro
Did I mention it was crap....

Well . . . it was marginally better than Steal This Book (which I was too chicken to do, so I bought it).

then I was young and smoking excellent cheap weed... in the day I/we used to get 15 nice joints from a nickel of Mexican...

Good Grief! I think I went to school with you!

now I am saddled with bills and reality has crushed a childish dream!!

That's why we're alive to talk about it :)

The last of my aging hippie friends who followed his dream keeled over in 1983 from liver failure. Everyone else has either entered a treatment center and failed to come out, or cut his hair and listens to Rush.

When "people who knew me when" comment that I've made a huge position shift, I explain that I finally leaned so far to the left, I tripped over the line and landed on the far right.

18 posted on 09/12/2002 9:44:29 AM PDT by reformed_democrat
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To: reformed_democrat
The last of my aging hippie friends who followed his dream keeled over in 1983 from liver failure. Everyone else has either entered a treatment center and failed to come out, or cut his hair and listens to Rush. When "people who knew me when" comment that I've made a huge position shift, I explain that I finally leaned so far to the left, I tripped over the line and landed on the far right.

Ohmygod! You sound like me!

But what does 2112 have to with The Right?

Oops, wrong Rush! LOL

19 posted on 09/12/2002 12:28:44 PM PDT by gracie1
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To: Nitro
now I am saddled with bills and reality has crushed a childish dream!!

Oh, how true that statement is!

20 posted on 09/12/2002 12:30:58 PM PDT by gracie1
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To: Revolting cat!
A handful of protesters, most likely ousiders, i.e. non-students,

In the college community, we refer to them as "Clingons" because they cling to the university.

21 posted on 09/12/2002 12:33:58 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: AppyPappy
I suspect the Socialist International hothead was one of the "Clingons', he seemed older than the other speakers. Otherwise, the outsiders are easily recognizeable, as they dress poorer than the students, often sporting funny haircuts and tattoos. In fact, I have occasionally seen in Berkeley some black street toughs, who most likely commuted from the Oakland ghettoes, but who were smart enough to attempt to fit in by dressing somewhat like UC Berkeley students (and to a careful observer they still stood out though!)
22 posted on 09/12/2002 2:58:18 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: gracie1
Oops, wrong Rush!

Ya know, after I posted this I thought I should have specified the guy, not the band.

23 posted on 09/12/2002 10:23:37 PM PDT by reformed_democrat
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To: thinktwice
My husband and I both went to Berkeley and survived whole. He actually graduated, while I earned my PHT (putting hubby through). We are as conservative as they come and were appalled to see the campus slip into its radical phase, starting in 1963-4 with Mario Savio. We used to send money to the Conservative Students' organization, even before we had any money to spare (1968).
24 posted on 09/13/2002 9:29:35 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Revolting cat!
I like to fantasize, probably incorrectly, that today, Abbie Hoffman would be a rightist anarchist.

That would be a far fetched fantasy. I was in Berkeley when Abbie, Jerry Rubin, Marion Savio, et al ruined it for normal people. They were like kindergartners who stormed a playroom and broke all the toys.

25 posted on 09/13/2002 9:35:24 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Nitro
... it is considered anti-American to use the flag in any other than it's intended purpose.

I hope you realize that there is a difference between a flag and fabric, or articles of clothing, decorated with a flag motif! Articles of clothing decorated with a flag motif are NOT unAmerican. Only the mis-use of a real flag is unAmerican.

26 posted on 09/13/2002 9:38:25 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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