Protests arise in response to mock border wall, Donald Trump supporters

Jasmany Flores/Senior Staff

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On Monday, several activists — who were not affiliated with UC Berkeley or the Berkeley College Republicans — built a wall out of cardboard bricks on Sproul Plaza, inciting a protest led by undocumented students.

BCR has been protested in the past, but this year, the club has been targeted for displaying a cut-out of Donald Trump when tabling on Sproul Plaza. Tensions spilled over into Monday’s protest, when activists built a mock wall and were immediately met with backlash.

About 11 a.m., approximately 17 students, led by members of Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education, chanted “Undocumented, unafraid!” and “Not one more!” Joining hands, protesters faced a crowd of approximately 45 that accumulated at Sather Gate, where the unaffiliated activists held up a cut-out of the Republican presidential nominee and chanted, “Build a wall!”

The two people building the cardboard wall were later revealed to be connected with Project Veritas and were not BCR members, according to BCR External Vice President Claire Chiara. Project Veritas was created by James O’Keefe, a conservative activist who was undercover as a UC Berkeley doctoral student supporting Trump during the protest.

UCPD officers present said the protest had been relatively peaceful, with no reports of physical injury.

Pieter Sittler, internal vice president of BCR, said individuals tried to rip the club’s cut-out last Wednesday and successfully ripped it last Thursday. Both times, BCR members called UCPD, who responded and stood near the table for an hour or two. On Friday, one member was “sucker-punched,” according to Sittler.

“I think it’s saddening that people don’t want to accept our views or they feel the need to tear apart our property,” Sittler said. “I think if that’s where civil discourse is going, it’s a little frightening, but I’ll do everything in my power to make sure everyone can speak freely.”

Several students have spoken out about the vandalism. Ismael Chamu, a campus third-year student, responded to BCR’s argument that their freedom of speech was attacked.

“It’s not an attack on freedom of speech, it’s a retaliation to an attack on identity,” Chamu said. “Trump expels toxic rhetoric. BCR needs to acknowledge that there are limits to what kind of rhetoric you support.”

Chamu went on to express concern over the possibility of escalated violence in the future, citing “toxic rhetoric” as the primary factor in increasing violence. He encouraged a productive and constructive discussion between the two groups in order to address the grievances of both sides.

In a Facebook post, ASUC Senator Ian Bullitt stated that he did not support Trump, accusing the candidate of being sexist, racist and ableist. Bullitt also said in his post that alleged “harassment, yelling, destruction of property” and violence against Berkeley College Republicans was “completely unacceptable.”

Bullitt said he made the Facebook posts in a bid for transparency, and to improve what he sees as an increasingly polarized campus climate.

“On the one hand you have students who feel their voices have been silenced because of Donald Trump,” Bullitt said. “But at the same time, I fully support BCR’s right to table peacefully on campus without harassment, without violence.”

Contact Revati Thatte and Anna Sturla at [email protected].

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  • Speechify

    Toxic rhetoric?

    In 1995, then-president Bill Clinton stated the following in his State of the Union speech:
    All Americans … are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers…That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens…We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.” (source: “Ben Carson insists Donald Trump will deport illegal immigrants and harden America’s borders — and cites BILL CLINTON to back him up”, by David Martosko, September 4, 2016, in the Daily Mail) (You can see it on the You Tube video entitled “Bill Clinton 1995 State of the Union immigration comments” posted by a Jesse Finance on August 26, 2016, with 63,502 views; or look at the 45 minute 30 seconds mark of the You Tube video entitled “The 1995 State of the Union (Address to a Joint Session of the Congress)” posted by clintonLibrary42 , posted April 11, 2012, and which has 10,126 views. The “clintonLibrary42” is the official Bill Clinton Presidential Library account.)

    Perhaps that 1995 State of the Union speech inspired Hillary Clinton in a meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2006, where she blamed the Mexican government’s policies for “pushing migration north across OUR BORDER” and then proposed the U.S. needed to “SECURE OUR BORDERS WITH TECHNOLOGY, PERSONNEL, PHYSICAL BARRIERS” and the US needed to deport illegal immigrants who had committed crimes. (Watch for yourself on Y o ut ube video entitled “Hillary Clinton says US need to secure borders, and illegals should be deported” posted June 8, 2016 and has 425,147 views . )

    Ironic isn’t it? Donald Trump says in 2015 and 2016 the exact kinds of things that Hillary Clinton said in 2006 and Bill Clinton said as President in 1995. While both Clintons received applause, Trump gets excoriated and vilified. And in the 21 years since Bill Clinton’s speech, the illegal immigration problem has only gotten worse, and more dangerous with the rise of active Islamic terrorists and drug gangs, and 179, 027 convicted criminal aliens with deportation orders roaming freely in the U.S. The problem of illegal immigration — that both Clintons agreed was a legitimate problem — was not solved by the Clintons. The Clintons do not solve problems; they only create problems.

    A wide variety of people who live at the border — including 70% of Hispanics — currently want Trump’s wall (source: “At the Border, you either want ‘The Wall’ or Know why it’ll never happen”, by John H. Richardson, May 31, 2016, in Esquire Magazine), according to Esquire Magazine’s editor-in-chief Jay Felden, who talked with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC. According to Felden, the people Esquire interviewed “said ‘BUILD THE WALL’. They said two things, whether they were HISPANIC, ANGLO, DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, UNCOMMITTED, CLUELESS — whatever; they said, ‘WE WANT A WALL and yet we want it to be married with some compassion toward the people that we’re trying to keep from jumping over the border.’” Furthermore, Felden stated that most first-generation Hispanics also resented the illegal immigrants “coming across the border on a daily basis“. (Watch for yourself on Yo u Tube “Liberal Journalist Visits Border And Is Surprised By What Residents Want” posted by Western Journalism on June 8, 2016 at Y o u Tub e (88, 262 views); the full interview can be seen on the MSNBC website, entitled “Many residents along border support Trump’s Wall”, June 6, 2016 (Description: “Esquire magazine sent a reporter to the U.S., Mexico border to see how people felt about Donald Trump’s wall. Editor-in-Chief Jay Fielden discusses.”)

    Around the word, border barriers (concrete walls, laser detection systems, and razor-wire fences) are being built for security against uncontrolled migration:

    Austria, in autumn 2015, responded to the European Union immigration crises by constructing several border barriers (some of which are fifteen kilometers long) on its border with Slovenia (source:”CNN gets very confused about Australia in ’embarrassing’ report gaffe”, by Mark Molloy, March 1, 2016, The Daily Telegraph), and is building a border barrier alongside its border to Italy at the Brenner Pass. Austria’s Interior Minister Sobotka statef “We cannot shoulder the whole world’s burden.” (source: “Migrant crises: Austria passes controversial new asylum law”, April 27, 2016, British Broadcasting Corporation), (see also: “Is Austria building a fence on the border with Italy”, by Simon Tomlinson, April 12, 2016, in The Daily Mail)
    Bulgaria is building a 20-mile long wall along its borders with Greece and Turkey. The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borsiov noted “to ensure that Turkey will not allow the free passage of refugees to Bulgaria.” (source: “Bulgaria raises 30 kilometer fence on border with Greece and Turkey” by Phillip Chrysopoulos, August 11, 2016, in the Greek Reporter)
    Greece has built border fences in response to the European Union migrants crises. (source: “5 European Countries have built border fences to keep out refugees”, by Alissa Walker, September 16, 2015, in Gizmodo).
    Hungary completed its Croatia/Serbia border fence in October 2015 (source: “Hungary complete Croatia Border Fence to keep migrants out”, by Margit Feher, October 15, 2015, Wall Street Journal), and its prime minister, Viktor Orban, just proposed more border protection walls along its southern border. “The fences have greatly slowed the flow of people entering Hungary”. (source: “Hungary to build stronger anti-migrant fence, Orban says”, by Pablo Gorondi, August 26, 2016, Associated Press)
    Israel has a massive wall with the Gaza Strip (source: “The Israeli Company that fenced in Gaza eyes Trump’s Mexico Wall”, by Jonahtan Ferziger, August 1, 2016, in Bloomberg)
    India is setting up 45 “laser walls” on its border with Pakistan in the rough terrain in the Punjab (source: “India Installs ‘Laser Walls’ at Border with Pakistan”, by Wajahat S Khan, April 28, 2016, NBC News)
    Kenya, Africa, a 440 mile long concrete wall along its border with Somalia to keep out Somalian Islamic al-Shabaab (source: Kenya erects a wall along border with Somalia to keep out al-Shabaab”, by Aislinn Laing, April 22, 2015, The Daily Telegraph)
    Lativais constructing a border with Russia to keep out unwanted migrants (“A nation bordering Russia is building a fence along a third of its border”, by Jeremy Bender, December 16, 2015, Business Insider)
    Macedonia has built border fences in response to the European Union migrants crises. (source: Alissa Walker, ibid).
    – Slovenia has built a barrier of barbed razor wire on its border with Croatia in response to the European migration problem (source: “Slovenia putting up fence along border with Coratia to control migrant flow”, by Marja Novak, November 11, 2015, from Reuters)
    Turkey has built border fences in response to the European Union migrants crises. (source: Alissa Walker, ibid).
    – the United Kingdom is building a large concrete wall in Calais to prevent migrants from trying to sneak into Britain. Robert Goodwill, the immigration minister, stated “We are going to start building this big new wall very soon. We’ve done the fence, now we are doing a wall.” (source: “Work to begin on bog wall at Calais to block migrants”, by Sophie Jamieson, Sept 7, 2016 in The Daily Telegraph)
    The Vatican is surrounded by massive walls constructed. They have been manned by the famous Swiss Guards since 1506 . The Swiss Guards are armed with swords, pistols, and machine guns.

    • lspanker

      The vast majority of petulant children whining and crying about Trump can’t express any cogent argument refuting his policy positions, all they can do is parrot the same nonsense they hear from others. That’s not to say that Trump isn’t seriously off-base on some of his ideas (although I completely agree with the need to enforce our immigration laws). It’s just an indication of the stunted intellectual growth of the typical collegiate malcontent.

  • lspanker

    “It’s not an attack on freedom of speech, it’s a retaliation to an attack on identity,” Chamu said. “Trump expels toxic rhetoric. BCR needs to acknowledge that there are limits to what kind of rhetoric you support.”

    What a load of self-serving garbage from a bunch of brainwashed hypersensitive children. You don’t have the right to destroy the property of others or limit their right to free speech just because you you’re incapable of dealing with differing viewpoints like a grown adult.

    • imagine the furor if a white supremacist defended his crimes by saying “It’s not an attack on freedom of speech, it’s a retaliation to an attack on identity,”

    • Linus Granderson

      There is a difference between a differing viewpoint and a flat out wrong viewpoint. As Obama said once to me in Kansas City, “that ain’t right. There are some things that aren’t right, and then there are some things that just ain’t right.

  • ah the famous leftist tolerance for dissent and free speech