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Birgeneau Now a Laughing Stock

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SoDesuKa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 04:21 AM
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Birgeneau Now a Laughing Stock
U.C. Berkeley Cnancellor Robert Birgeneau has been getting in touch with his inner fascist this past week. With his approval, the cops used force to remove tents on the Berkeley campus. He has since attempted some damage control by issuing a press release to the effect that yes, he approved force, but no, he didn't mean actual violence.

Birgeneau had previously felt so confident that Berkeley's bad old days as a center of campus unrest were behind it that he dedicated Sproul Plaza - site of the 1964 Free Speech Movement - as "Free Speech Plaza." He was even cheeky enough to stood on top of a police car and gave a speech. The stunt has made Birgeneau a figure of ridicule to fellow Californian Alexander Cockburn, editor of Counterpunch Magazine:

Enter Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, who often likes to reminisce about his Freedom Rider days. At the fortieth anniversary of the founding of FSM, they had a mock police car and platform and Chancellor Birgeneau spoke from it, reminiscing warmly about the birth of FSM and the importance of free speech. . . .

"Chancellor Birgeneau seems to be a man changed from the freedom rider of the mid-1960s or even the man perched on the platform in 2004. Last week he emailed the campus, defending the administrations response by saying that it was necessary to remove the encampment for practical considerations of hygiene, safety, space and conflict issues. He remarked: It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience. So Rosa Parks prevented a white person from sitting in the seat reserved for them on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Club her to the ground!"


http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/18/are-drum-circles... /



Birgeneau cheekily re-enacts 1964 FSM atop police car.
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