The Editor's Back Fence

Making a Mess Even Messier: Evicting Occupy Berkeley

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday December 21, 2011 - 02:12:00 PM

Merry Xmas, Baby, from Aunt and Uncle Scrooge in Berkeley! If we believe the flyer distributed last night at the Occupy Berkeley encampment by Berkeley police, tonight’s the night for the big bust.

Let’s stipulate, for starters, that the site’s turned into an awful mess. No one I talk to would deny that anymore, even the most loyal supporters of the occupy concept. Something should certainly be done about it, and Councilmember Jesse Arreguin’s suggestions would be a good place to start. stupid is it that the city’s hired guns, the city manager and the police chief, don’t seem to have made the most desultory attempt to get buy-in from Berkeley citizens or the elected officials who have spent the most time working with the protesters?

Maybe someone, somewhere, in Berkeley’s city bureaucracy (oops, almost wrote autocracy) should have a chat with Robert Birgenau or Jean Quan before giving the police carte blanche to go full steam ahead.

There are many opportunities for things to go wrong tonight. Even though we’ve all got better things to do, it might be a good idea for anyone who is concerned with civic peace and civil liberties to observe whatever proceedings materialize at 10.