BERKELEY, CA — This was the swath of destruction caused by suspected anarchists in the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, before the scheduled appearance of right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos on Wednesday.
Masked protesters dressed in black — and believed to be outsiders — threw rocks and Molotov bombs that ignited fires.
Others used metal barriers to destroy windows of the student center.
“I was here. I knew in general that students here on campus,” said Berkely student Daryl Keith Cristobal, “…were protesting peacefully, and there were just a group of men and women wearing black, probably 150 or so of them, and they were just wreaking violence here on campus.”
The school, estimates the damage to reach 100-thousand dollars.
In a statement, UC Berkeley said the violence was instigated by about 150 masked agitators.
In a tweet, US president Donald Trump threatened to cut federal funding, blaming UC Berkeley for the violence.
A Fil-Am student of the university had a mouthful to say in reaction to Trump’s tweet.
“For someone who hates fake news, he sure does a good job of perpetuating it and spreading it,” said student Rayanne Piana. “I think there are larger implications that we can’t look past: a president threatening the American public educational system has a lot of repercussions.”
“Not only has he spent the last few days of his administration targeting marginalized communities, but now he’s threatening the educational system too…and I hink that’s unacceptable.”
They insist their protest was not about curtailing one’s free speech, but resisting hateful rhetoric from what many of them call white supremacists.
“Free speech isn’t hate speech. And the fact that we invited someone here on campus that is promoting hate speech in a community that is very liberal…” said Cristobal. “It’s kind of disheartening.”
UC Berkeley officials cancelled the event two hours before Yiannopoulos’ speech.
According to UC Berkeley police, at least six people were injured — and the attackers were taken into custody.