Somehow the title to this post is a bit too hitched with irony. The question: when is Berkeley not up in flames? It's called the People's Republic of Bizzerkeley for a reason, and this weekend put that reason on full display. This isn't to hate on Berkeley, as it's a sign that its agitatingly activistic nature is about to return to fight an old battle, racism (more specifically racial oppression, discrimination, segregation & persecution). Then again, this has come in a much different than when Jim Crow was still in force.
In Berkeley, riots on both Saturday and Sunday literally destroyed the downtown along Shattuck Avenue. I feel for the merchants who are victims through property damage, just like I'm 100% behind the cause of the protesters in bringing some form of judiciary reform. However, rioting won't do anything except give rogue cops the excuse they need to justify using excessive force. My advice to the protesters is: don't fall for their trap by going completely conquers! I can say that I was amazed at how disruptive, but not destructive, the protests were last night. I feel bad for the commuters who were stuck in traffic on I-80 or idling +Amtrak trains on the Capitol Corridor line, due to protesters blocking either the freeway or the tracks. It's just a matter of keeping an eye out for the Police response in Berkeley, and hope that Berkeley police won't employ the same tactics they did on Saturday. At the same time, hopefully the protesters will be more watchful for opportunistic anarchists looking to hijack their cause.