Friday, April 28, 2017

California Schemin'

Many years ago, long before marijuana was regarded as anything but an evil weed, I lived in Berkeley, California. Being of sound mind I did not stay long, but while I was there I became friendly with a member of that city's police force. Dan was my landlord and lived in a house right behind another one he owned and rented to me.

Required reading for the Berkeley Police.
One night Dan invited me to dinner with his wife and young daughter. I forget what we ate but I remember well that the adults smoked plenty of pot and that a porno movie projected onto the dining room wall ran throughout the meal. Naturally I was appalled, especially with a child present, but Dan's wife told me to ignore it, explaining that it played "all the time" because "Dan found it relaxing."

Fast-forward to the recent brouhaha involving Conservative pundit Ann Coulter and Berkeley's esteemed college. Seems Ms. Coulter was scheduled to speak on campus but the students, every one of them a liberal clone, went nuts. Demonstrations ensued and Ms. Coulter's appearance was cancelled, or she cancelled it herself, who knows. Suffice it to say that free speech lost that round, as it has countless times at institutions promising higher learning all over America.

Following a suggestion in today's Wall Street Journal, I checked out the Berkeley Police website and found the following instructions regarding protest planning. The last two items on the list are not only noteworthy but cause for alarm:

Event Planning Checklist
The Berkeley Police and City of Berkeley want to facilitate the safe expression of constitutionally protected speech. We want to work in partnership with you to hold a safe and peaceful event. The following items are things that we recommend you do to ensure a safe event.

Contact the Police Department and Provide:

  • Purpose of protest
  • Date(s) and time of event
  • Location(s)
  • Route of march, if planned
  • Estimated attendance
  • Organizing person or group
  • Number of organizers
  • How to identify and contact organizers/monitors at the event (hats, shirts, armbands)
  • What will they be wearing?
  • Will they have mobile phones?
  • Do you want symbolic arrests?
  • If so, where and when?

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