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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Occupy Cal time-travels back to the ’60s

November 16th, 2011 - 10:05 am

The privileged Occupy kiddies of U.C. Berkeley were back in action again yesterday, play-acting at revolution to entertain their professors.


The purported thesis of this particular Occupation is “more money for secondary education,” but that’s just a veneer (a very very thin veneer, as the above photo shows) for a more radical agenda.


The Occupiers very self-consciously posed under various campus landmarks to echo the protests of their 1960s predecessors.


They took a supervised field trip off-campus and marched around town under a Che banner. Just like Grandma and Grandpa did! So cute.


In case there was any doubt that the Berkeley version of this whole “Occupation” thing is just an opportunity for this generation of kids to re-enact Berkeley’s 1960s “Free Speech Movement” halcyon days, some of the march leaders carried a sign reading “FREE SPEECH – Then and Now.” The other sign in the photo, with the mystifying message “Oops didn’t see the broken ribs – I was in Tokyo,” is more typical of contemporary thought disorders, whereby kids are taught that repeating some anecdote about themselves earns them respect and lends gravitas to their opinions. This being Berkeley, of course, she also blends it with subtle bragging about her exotic travels.


Only in Berkeley is Angela Davis is still considered a cutting-edge philosopher worth quoting.


One of the marchers was even carrying — no, could it be…?


Yes, as I feared: Looking at the sign right-side up, I see that it is a 1968 Eldridge Cleaver for President poster.

It is 2011, people. What relevance could a 43-year-old Black Panther Party campaign poster possibly have?


(In case you’re curious: The poster design really is from 1968. Here’s a clear picture of what the original looked like.)


Speaking of 1960s presidential campaigns…Back then, the students were protesting against President Johnson (for sending troops to Vietnam); but these days, the protesters emulate Johnson’s infamous “this little girl will get killed by an atomic bomb if you don’t vote for me” ad, now updated to “this little girl will get decapitated by a guillotine unless you give us more money.”


And yes, even some of those crusty old original 1960s protesters themselves were on hand. Why re-live your youth vicariously when you can do it for real yourself?


Some of those 1960s kids have now become professors (see lower left of the photo), and they joined in the march too. I can only laugh about the calls to get rid of Proposition 13 (California’s landmark voter rebellion scaling back astronomical property tax rates).


One of the original sparks that ignited Berkeley’s radical transformation in the 1960s was an (ultimately successful) drive to get rid of the University’s “loyalty oath,” in which professors had to declare loyalty to the United States and non-membership in any communist group. Now that the oath is gone, this is the result: U.C. Berkeley now has its own on-campus Communist Party (named in Spanish here, for extra PC points).


Anyway, back to the present. We marched through the streets of town, reveling in the piquant joy of blocking traffic. (BTW, I agree with the sign “Police brutality, pathetic fallacy,” though perhaps not in the way its owner intended.)


As we passed City Hall, workers came outside and gave black power salutes, and leaned out windows giving the “thumbs up” sign. It kind of makes it hard to feel revolutionary when the establishment is on your side. Sigh.


More fists in the air as we passed the small and rather uneventful municipal Occupy camp of the city of Berkeley (as opposed to the much larger U.C. Berkeley campus Occupation).

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A clique of privileged U.C. Berkeley students, upset that they’re the top 1% of elite students in the state and thus disqualified from participating in the Occupy movement, could no longer contain their frustration on Wednesday and threw an Occutantrum, attempting to “occupy” a few square yards of the 1,200-acre campus. The police dutifully played their roles in the street theater performance, showing up in riot gear and looking scary so the privileged students could shout at them and feel properly revolutionary, as instructed by their professors. Following the script, the police repeatedly removed the handful of occupation tents so that the students could feel sufficiently wronged by authority figures and thereby earn their “Berkeley protest stripes,” which have been a requirement for graduation since 1964.

The group tantrum also gave the students a chance to test their fluency in Occupese, a new language which they have all been studying since the semester began on September 17.

The students, comprising the top 1% of high school graduates in the state (the top 12.5% are guaranteed admittance to the University of California’s 11 campuses statewide; of those, U.C. Berkeley is the most sought-after and thus the most selective) twice tried to set up tents in front of Sproul Hall on Wednesday, and twice the U.C. police moved in to dismantle them, as they had announced they would do:

Dozens of police in riot gear descended on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza on Wednesday in two violent confrontations with student protesters that prevented them from building an Occupy encampment on the campus.

Campus police arrested seven protesters during an afternoon altercation at the plaza after protesters set up three tents, which police promptly tore down.

By evening, protesters had once again erected tents – this time there were seven. Students joined arms and chanted “hold the line” and “the whole world is watching” while police approached with batons and bean-bag guns. After a brief scuffle, police broke through their line and pulled down the tents. Then officers formed a perimeter on the steps of Sproul Hall.

Our first video shows the U.C. cops dismantling the tents as the students jeer in feigned outrage:

Our second video shows the climactic highlight of the “violence” as cops jab their nightsticks into the encroaching “human chain” of protesters trying to stop the dismantlement of the tents, in direct violation of the cops’ commands to keep back and not interfere:

Since the whole purpose of a protest is to elicit a vigorous response from the police, so the agitators can then scream “Police brutality!”, the whole affair worked out splendidly for both sides; the cops got the tents removed, and the privileged students got some bruises they can show off as proof of their radical bona fides.


I swung by campus a short time afterward, missing the big confrontation, but just in time to witness their very first “General Assembly,” where the fledgling Occupiers could test out their fluency in “Occupese,” the newly emerged language of the Occupy movement that is part vocalization, part sign language, and part bodily gestures and other idioms. It was a satisfying moment for many of them, as until today they had only studied the language online and never had an opportunity to use it in a real-life setting.


Fresh tents had already been re-erected a third time, just one hour after the cops had torn down and removed two previous generations of tents.


Among the tents, two students majoring in Gender Ambivalence demonstrated the prototypical Berkeley experience: publicly combining love and politics, in this case hugging while simultaneously reading revolutionary political tracts.


Another student leader, majoring in “How to Try Dressing Up Like Lenin But Only Succeed in Looking Like an Asshole,” gave an interview to a local radical radio station.


Fashion alert! A new trend was spotted at Occupy UC: Combining the “Black Bloc” anarchist look with the “V for Vendetta” Anonymous look. It’s simple: Just spray-paint your Guy Fawkes mask black, to go with your all-black clothing and ski mask, and unused gas mask. If “Wannanymous” (wannabe Anonymous) is a poser in a Guy Fawkes mask, then let’s dub this new fashion statement “Wannanarchist.”


HA ha! Some loser was still using an original un-spray-painted Guy Fawkes mask, oblivious to the fact that he was now tragically unhip. In the foreground, some suburbanite girls had gone shopping at Safeway with Daddy’s debit card, buying supplies for the brave Occupiers planning to spend the night in the tents, away from the comforts of the futon in their nearby apartments.


Up-twinkles, down-twinkles, clarification, block! You know the drill.

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Urban Infidel, the independent New York blogger who made a splash with her earlier Occupy Wall Street coverage, re-visited Zuccotti Park yesterday and with practically no effort captured on video the kind of conversations going on down there that the mainstream media just won’t show you.

The topic? As usual, Jews and Israel. And it wasn’t pretty:

Partial transcription (starting at 0:48):

Jewish man wearing a yarmulke: I work 65 hours a week.
Protester: You probably live in the Hamptons ‘n’ some shit.
Jewish man: I live in the Hamptons? I live in Brooklyn…I work 62 hours a week. Do you work 62 hours?
Protester: You know what’s funny? Your people own schools and fuckin’ government buildings, but your wives are on welfare. I don’t understand that. I don’t understand that. I met a public assistance officer. And they were Jewish, but their husbands own fuckin’ everything.
Jewish man: I work 62 hours a week. How many hours a week do you work?
Protester: I don’t work. How about them apples?
Jewish man: So why don’t you get a job?
Protester: I don’t need a fuckin’ job.
Jewish man: Why not?
Protester: You don’t need paper! We can grow our own fuckin’ food. We can shoot our own fuckin’ animals. We can do all that shit. We can build our own fuckin’ houses.
Jewish man: How do you get the materials?
Protester: We can just take it from the Earth! You come from the Earth. This comes from the Earth. Everything comes from the Earth, you dumb motherfucker! Like seriously. Technology comes from the Earth, protons, neutrons, electrons.
Jewish man: Is this a real conversation? Is this a real conversation?
Other OWS protester: He’s making points. But he’s making points.
Jewish man: What are the points?
Protester: I don’t need a point. It comes from here (indicating the ground). It came from here for free! Why we gotta pay for it? It’s here for free! Why we gotta pay for it? It’s bullshit. This is bullshit.

More disturbing to me than the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories is the complete ignorance of how economics works.

In addition to the “Jews own everything” meme, Urban Infidel also uncovered the “Israel is evil” meme, with one protester praising Palestinian suicide bombers as having the kind of dedication and “righteousness” that the Israelis lack:

Partial transcription (starting at 0:27):

Anti-Israel protester: War — that’s the only thing you understand. Them people in Palestine, you killing ‘em so bad that they gotta strap themselves up with bombs, and go take buses into Israel and blow themselves up and die. Ain’t a Israeli person going into Palestine, strapping themselves up with a bomb, and killed one Palestinian person. They gonna shoot them with guns, they gonna shoot them with [fire]. They ain’t got no heart, because they don’t have no righteousness. There’s no love for that. You got to really be about what you’re saying to sacrifice your life. C’mon, don’t tell me that they’re about that. C’mon, man, don’t talk to me about that, Israel. When you said that, I got to stop you, because what you’re saying is the lies. Actual lie. They’re not about peace. Israel is doing the same thing to the Palestinians that the Germans did to the Jews. Bottom line. They’re doing the same thing to the Palestinians that the Germans did to them.
Anti-Israel protester #2 (pointing to pro-Israel protester): You don’t want to hear the truth. You don’t like the truth! Ha ha!
Anti-Israel protester: You think we about lies? You think I came out here on my day off to just hear some lies? I came out here to bear witness to the truth. You can’t be talking lies in front of the people. C’mon, man. Talking about ‘Israel is about peace.’ It ain’t about peace. They’re about destroying people. If they had ovens, they’d put the Palestinians in ovens. And you know it.
Anti-Israel protester #2: That’s why the Jews come into existence.
Pro-Israel protester: Ain’t nothing about peace when you come to Israel. Israel is totally about war and destruction. And you know it. …
Arabic-speaking man: Can she ask you a question? She’s a journalist from the Middle East, and we cover these stories here.
Middle-Eastern journalist woman: [Asks question in Arabic.]
Arabic-speaking man: [Translating her question] Has there [been] anyone that has responded to what you’re calling for?
Anti-Israel protester: Everybody agrees with what I said. Every word I said, everybody agrees with it.

…and then his interview with the Middle Eastern journalists continues. As Urban Infidel recounts,

All the spewing about Israel caught the attention of an Arab media camera crew, don’t know which one. They, along with their translator took great interest in interviewing this angry man. So one could reasonably assume that this will be broadcast all over the Islamic world.

Don’t miss the full report at Urban Infidel’s blog:

Occupy Wall Street: Zucotti Square Day 41 & Counting – The Crazy Has Set In

This is the side of Occupy Wall Street that they don’t want you to see.

UPDATE:

And thanks to Israellycool for drawing our attention to this jaw-dropping bonus video from OccupyDC with an unapologetically anti-Semitic DC Occupier:

UPDATE II:

And Ringo down in Los Angeles snapped photos of some disturbing signs at a recent Occupy LA march:


This picture looks innocent enough — until you zoom in on the ties of Lieberman and Obama:


Star of David.


Star of David.

Oh, those sneaky Jews!


And a little girl was holding up a classic “American flag with Stars of David” sign, a design I’ve seen several times at earlier anti-Israel rallies. The not-so-subtle message is “The Jews control America.”

See these photos (and so much more) in context in Ringo’s truly eye-popping report:

The Occupation of Los Angeles – Part 6