1,500 Demonstrators gathered for the third night in a row in Berkeley, California, to protest the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. So far there have been scant reports of looting and property damage, unlike the previous nights that saw the first violent protests Berkeley has witnessed in decades. This time however, trouble didn’t come from the police or the looters.
Now the protesters themselves are in the hot seat for some of the tactics they relied on last night. 150 demonstrators were arrested by Berkeley police, after attempting to disrupt several transportation networks around the city.
…by Tuesday morning, Union Pacific employees had fixed the railroad arms at the Amtrak station in Emeryville after authorities said vandals cut cables there late Monday night.
Angry crowds in the Bay Area city famous for activism have spent much of the last few days blocking traffic and clashing with police, thousands of miles from the places where Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed, and the white police officers who shot them faced no criminal consequences.
Monday night, demonstrators made their way through Berkeley, briefly shutting down traffic at Channing and Shattuck on their way toward police headquarters. The march forced the temporary closure of the Downtown Berkeley BART station at about 6:30 p.m. At times, the CHP said in an alert, the crowds on Monday night swelled to 1,500 people.
Protesters also marched onto the freeway and blocked lanes on Interstate 80 near University Avenue.
At about 8:45 p.m., protesters were seen walking on eastbound and westbound lanes of the freeway near University Avenue bringing cars to a halt.
Demonstrators were also seen walking on a pedestrian overcrossing above the freeway south of University Avenue and were blocked by police.
It appears that the protesters are using the same tactics employed by the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong, by attempting to block the main thoroughfares running through the city. While some may applaud the protester’s willingness to stand their ground in the face of angry commuters and police batons, by stopping traffic on the freeway they inadvertently caused a dangerous situation for drivers attempting to get through.
BERKELEY (CBS SF) — A woman went into labor while stuck in the traffic jam created by protesters blocking Interstate 80 in Berkeley Monday night.
The woman was stuck on I-80 near the Ashby Avenue exit around 9:30 Monday as protests erupted in Berkeley for a third straight night.
“I have a female stuck in traffic, she’s going to be in a beige Tahoe,” said an emergency dispatcher.
Fire crews were able to locate the woman get her safely to the hospital hospital.
While many of us are sympathetic towards the anger these protesters are feeling, we should ask ourselves if these are acceptable tactics. When we look at the actions taken by our police and military, we often question whether the collateral damage that is inflicted by them is acceptable. If we want to maintain the moral high ground, we have to apply the same standard of ethics towards these protesters as we do towards the government.
As of now, I’m sure many of the protesters are not concerned about what happened. After all, their actions have not caused any deaths or injuries as far as we know. But what if they had? What if that woman had suffered complications from her pregnancy because she couldn’t get to the hospital? What if her or her baby died because these people thought that blocking traffic would bolster their cause? Is collateral damage ever acceptable?
I would argue that no, it isn’t. Our world is filled with people who think they’re doing the right thing. They think in terms of “the greater good” and think nothing of trampling bystanders if it will help them build a “better world”. As they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, and frankly, I want nothing to do with any cause that disrupts the lives of innocent bystanders in their pursuits.
It should come as no surprise that the protests have been led by an organization called BAMN, which stands for “By Any Means Necessary”. If you ever hear someone tell you that they want to accomplish something by any means necessary, you should run. That phrase is nothing short of a rallying cry for the “well intentioned” and the “greater good”.
In the long run, involving yourself in such an approach will make you complicit with unspeakable deeds. When you meet your maker, do you really think he’ll let you off scot-free because you trampled over other people’s lives in pursuit of the greater good? Think again.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .