Berkeley still has rent control, but it hasn’t stopped Milo Yiannapoulos from living rent-free in the heads of the left. So in another triumph for his ironic performance art, a mini-riot has forced the cancelation of his speech here tonight. I turned up for the beginning of the protest at 5 pm, and it was pretty silly sounding and unimpressive. But I noticed there were TV helicopters circling around above the university, and then I started noticing the professional rioters starting to infiltrate. They were obvious for wearing black apparel, having their faces covered in bandanas or something, and carrying backpacks that one might well suspect carried home made ordnance or bricks. There were a lot of people on the periphery talking on their cell phones in what looked like a purposeful way—not the way students appear when they do so. So I thought the better part of valor was to withdraw from the scene.
I’ll add one more observation: I thought the police presence on Sproul Plaza was entirely inadequate for the estimated threat. Anyway, here’s some early photos and commuiques from the university telling everyone to “shelter in place.”
UPDATE: I had to swing back near downtown, where the protest has spread down to Shattuck Avenue, and more of the black clad thugs, strangely equipped with sledgehammers (don’t all campus hangers-on carry sledgehammers with them?) smashing bank ATM machines. Hence this second message from the university in my email: