After days — and tens of thousands of dollars — spent in preparation for mass unrest outside Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro's speech at the University of California Berkeley Thursday evening, Antifa never showed up in force — and student demonstrations were mostly peaceful, if misguided.
Law enforcement showed up in droves, likely anticipating a violent confrontation with Antifa that, thankfully, never materialized. As Ben said this morning, when law enforcement does its job, Antifa is powerless to disrupt.
Ahead of the speech, protests were limited to chalk, chants, and one rather odd banner, hung across the street from the event space.
After Shapiro's speech, Berkeley students marched in protest, through the campus and down Berkeley's main street, apparently in a demonstration against "white supremacy."
Other students conducted a sit-in they termed an "occuption," and then resisted law enforcement efforts to move them along after the YAF and Berkeley College Republican event had concluded. There were, weirdly, more curious onlookers and social media photographers than there were actual "occupiers."
Students who stayed behind in MLK center say they are occupying building. Talking via amplified iPhone pic.twitter.com/UFof8iEFOO— Berkeleyside (@berkeleyside) September 15, 2017
By Any Means Necessary helmed the march, with BAMN founder Yvette Felarca in the lead, shouting "Nazi scum off our streets." Felarca, you may remember, appeared in court just a few weeks ago, for allegedly punching an actual neo-Nazi during a demonstration in Sacramento. She told the court she does not have firm parameters for what she believes constitutes a "Nazi" or a 'fascist," but believes bodily harm is warranted even if they don't attack first.
By the end of the night, only a handful of protesters remained, most focusing their chants not on Shapiro's speech (which they probably found themselves agreeing with) but on the "police state" that surrounded them and led them out of Berkeley proper.
Yvette Felarca and BAMN, clearly afraid the crowd was thinning out and they were no longer the center of attention, began screaming at the cops for being "fascists."
Their efforts went unrewarded. The march fizzled and Berkeley was left much as it had begun the evening: untouched.