In Berkeley, the Party's Over

Becky O'Malley
Sunday September 24, 2017 - 01:26:00 PM

Well, whiny little Milo came to Sproul Plaza, kvetched to a couple of hundred people, not all of whom were his fans, and now he's gone.

The heavens did not open. Zeus with his thunderbolts did not strike Milo down. The sky did not fall, Chicken Little, sorry to disappoint you.

Outside the campus, an eager assemblage of those who came looking for a fight seem not to have found one, at least as of this writing.

The main crowd of protestors Milo suckered into showing up, as reported by Berkeleyside.com, seem to have been the Bob Avakian puppies currently sailing under the flag of RefuseFaschism.com, whose principal prop, a REALLY LOUD sound system, was reported to have been confiscated by the police under the noise ordinance.

By Any Means Necessary, the longtime bane of the existence of several African-American friends of mine who have kids at UC, did show up, and they have loud voices without amplification. They didn't get struck down either.

I didn't go. I'll be trying to skip all of these faux-right provocations from now on. My media colleagues at berkeleyside.com nobly live-blogged what seems to have been a non-event, and our partners at Bay City News have produced the kind of sober, factual report which I appreciate. I'm happy to have missed it.

At this writing it's only about 2 pm, so there's still time for someone to start a riot, but don't let it distract you from actually useful political action, like, say, phone-banking to Maine to defeat Graham-Kennedy. I think it's highly possible that the sky will go on not falling.

Once again, Berkeley has survived free speech. Can we learn anything from that, or is it more fun to be scared? Me, I'd rather not.