Peaceful protest and using our words are the ideal. I think a lot of people are feeling disillusioned with discourse, though. I’m an alum of UC Berkeley, I’m proud of those who peacefully protested there, and I wish it hadn’t become violent. But I don’t want to vilify the masked individuals who escalated the situation. A lot of people live in fear now because their rights and liberties are being directly and painfully attacked. The political climate is tense, and it can be hard to talk sometimes… some people are instead flexing their muscles and testing the boundaries as a reaction to Trump’s fascism.
For those who say violence wasn’t necessary here: I agree that if violence is not necessary, it should not be used. But that means there may be times when it is necessary. So, when? How bad do things have to get? Who has the authority to decide? One thing I can say for certain is, the government is attacking its people, and things are really bad right now.
Looking at the history of our country, peaceful acts as well as violent acts produced the gains of the civil rights movement. Today, those rights are being taken away by our government. I guess I just wanna say, I get it if some people are feeling the need to get disruptive as a response to an oppressive situation. This shouldn’t stop us from striving always to use our words, but ultimately, when a fascist regime is in power, there will be varying forms of pushback. I think what happened at UC Berkeley does not undermine the movement against Trump’s policies, I think it’s a part of it.
EDIT: Someone brought up the idea that the masked individuals could have been supporters of the alt-right who knew that turning a peaceful protest violent would lessen the credibility of those peacefully protesting. Because they were masked, we cannot know for sure.