What do you do when Berkeley (the college) has caused so much trouble, disruption and violence that even Berkeley (the community) is sick of it? That’s the question which local residents are now dealing with. It’s not that there’s been a sudden surge of conservatism around the local watering holes, but the endless battles, fires, looting and general trashing of the place have simply gotten to be too much for some people living nearby. And they’re blaming “outside forces” for turning their once happy home turf into a nationally televised steel cage match. (LA Times)

Many residents are unhappy with what’s happening. And now, this movement is finding its voice.

“We don’t need you to come to our community to be violent,” said Dan Robinson, 55, a 20-year Berkeley resident and full-time student who with like-minded residents banded together to form a group called Respect Berkeley.

By the April 27 demonstrations, it had more than 100 members and reflected a larger sentiment expressed by local elected officials as well as merchants who grappled with shutdowns and vandalism during the unrest.

“What we think is going on here is we’re being used politically by much larger forces to become a punching bag,” Robinson said.

I’d like to have more sympathy but it’s really rather difficult. The culture on the Berkeley campus is one thing and it’s been that way since people were being warned not to take the brown acid. (I get the feeling that a lot of the locals missed that advice.) But the community fully embraced that entire culture. That was reflected steadily over the years in the elected leaders who were chosen to oversee the care and feeding of the community. As long as everything was all peace, love and flowers that worked out well enough, but the liberal movement in the country has taken a dark and dangerous turn. Entitled brats who don’t get their way have accepted the idea that actual peaceful protests are nowhere near as effective as rioting, looting, assault and arson. And the media rewards their behavior with wall to wall coverage, which is precisely what they’re looking for.

If the locals around Berkeley were really worried about being turning into “Fight Club” they should have spoken up from the beginning. Rather than keeping elected leaders who seem to direct their police to “stand down” when leftist rioters begin attacking anyone with a differing opinion, they should have demanded actual justice and law enforcement as is their right. If enough of them spoke out the municipality would have listened and called in the cavalry. But they didn’t. And now they’re paying the price for that.

Dear Berkeley: If you want to stop the riots you can. But you’re going to have to offend some aggrieved snowflakes in the process. It’s your choice.