Radicals almost burned alive UC official faulted for Occupy response

by Chris Reed | May 19, 2014 6:00 am

birgenauAs the left’s thoughtcrime offensive gears up, the latest victim[1] is former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgenau, who backed out of a speaking role at Haverford University graduation ceremonies after campus “progressives” demanded it. They’re upset over Birgenau’s response to Occupy protests on his campus in late 2011, which Birgenau abjectly apologized for soon afterward[2].

But here’s a little context no one has provided so far: Birgenau and his wife could easily have been killed by a mob of anarchists in 2009 — and he and a lot of other authority figures subsequently didn’t seek their tough punishment. Here’s what I wrote on Dec. 23, 2009[3]:

“On the night of Dec. 11, a mob of up to 70 people infuriated by budget cuts and tuition hikes assaulted the on-campus residence of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgenau. Campus police reported that the thugs attempted to break into the home and to light it on fire, and said that when police responded, the mob tried to light officers’ cars on fire.

“Police arrested eight people on suspicion of rioting, threatening an educational official, attempted burglary, attempted arson, felony vandalism and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.

“Birgenau said he and his wife were afraid for their lives. The governor likened the attack to terrorism and said the terrorists should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“But 10 days after the assault, the Alameda County DA announced that no charges had been filed and that it was unlikely that any charges ever would be filed because of a lack of strong evidence.

“Huh? UC campuses are loaded with surveillance cameras. Given that in 1992, an ‘activist’ was killed trying to break into Berkeley chancellor’s residence, of course it is similarly protected. Beyond that, the thugs almost certainly left behind plenty of physical evidence.”

Karma of a kind

So while of course what happened at Haverford is a pathetic reminder of the Stalinist impulse[4] in hard-left politics, it’s also kind of karma for Birgenau’s slippery, slick actions in 2009, when he turned the other cheek rather than go after people who nearly killed him.

Given that these homicidal lunatics are probably still on the street, Birgenau’s decision shouldn’t just be judged as an attempt to tamp down campus controversy or as naked appeasement. It was dangerous. Birgenau and all those who downplayed the worst recent example of California terrorism should be held accountable.

The rough treatment Birgenau has faced the past week from the hard left doesn’t compare to what he faced from a violent wing of the same bunch on the night of Dec. 11, 2009.

  1. latest victim: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/education/in-season-of-protest-haverford-speaker-is-latest-to-bow-out.html?_r=0
  2. afterward: http://www.dailycal.org/2011/11/22/birgeneau-apologizes-for-police-response-to-occupy-cal/
  3. Dec. 23, 2009: http://m.utsandiego.com/news/2009/dec/23/berkeley-terrorism-goes-unpunished-huh/
  4. Stalinist impulse: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-05-15/dear-class-of-2014-thanks-for-not-disinviting-me

Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2014/05/19/uc-official-faulted-for-occupy-response-nearly-killed-by-radicals-in-2009/