Student journalism must not become a tool for police departments

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Isabelle Doerschlag/Staff

Shame on The Daily Californian for its article ”UCPD asks public for help with investigation for Yiannopoulos demonstration.” The Daily Cal posted pictures of people police want to “investigate” and stated that people should come forward and identify them and send police their own pictures of “recognizable persons committing criminal acts on University property.” The fact that a student newspaper is, by uncritically amplifying and spreading a police bulletin, encouraging students to turn others into the police is disgusting, and it runs counter to the interests of the people and what is right. This needs to be criticized and repudiated.

UC Berkeley students were right to shut down Milo Yiannopoulos — now apparently disowned by the “alt right.” His campus speaking tour was a vile package: the normalizing of white supremacy, xenophobia and misogyny, the drumbeat of a culture corresponding to the ugly America that Donald Trump wants to build and rule. 

Has the Daily Cal, which once fought against police repression and became independent in order to fight control by the university,  now become a  helpful tool of police repression and surveillance? Do the editors of this newspaper think it is the role of a student newspaper to aid the police in targeting activists? Should student journalists bow down to the Trump regime by ferreting out “bad hombres” and posting law enforcement pictures of people’s faces, inviting students to identify them and turn them in?

As journalists and major media are being attacked as the “enemy of the American people” for being critical of the repression and fascism of this regime, what will be their answer? Will outlets become police blotters and stenographers for law enforcement and the government by parroting their words, promoting their deeds and lulling the populace into complicity? Well, that did happen in Nazi Germany. And U.S. news agencies such as the Associated Press cooperated with Hitler’s regime quite extensively and signed on the “Schriftleitergesetz,” or Editors Law, promising not to publish anything that might “weaken the strength of the Reich.”

While functioning as the UCPD’s crime blotter in pursuing activists might seem to be a small matter, this too is part of normalizing a police state. In a time when the Trump administration is shredding civil rights, gearing up the machinery to round up immigrants and cracking down on dissent and when the executive is attacking other branches of the government, such as judges and lawyers, and greatly beefing up its military and all repressive apparatus, student newspapers could be a part of the resistance to these new norms. At a time when reality itself is being supplanted with official “alternative facts,” the Daily Cal should be on the frontline of finding out what is true and fighting for that.

As the Call to Action from Refuse Fascism states: “Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.”

Further, this call states: “Don’t Normalize…Don’t Accommodate…Don’t Conciliate…Don’t Collaborate… .”

UC Berkeley is famous because of its history of protest and rebellion since the 1960s. And many students are still drawn to attend it because of this history. There are big challenges to humanity and students have a key role. All students need to be clear and reject collaborating with fascism. And millions need to come out in determined resistance not stopping until the Trump/Pence regime is driven out.

Reiko Redmonde is the manager of Revolution Books in Berkeley. Contact the opinion desk at opinion@dailycal.org or follow us on Twitter @dailycalopinion.

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  • Douglas Bonham

    There is no cure for you except totally shutting down the University except for STEM. Also totally shutting down all government guaranteed student loans. Most of you, including faculty and most administration, will be on the street, but that’s where you belong.

  • Peter Lee

    Very well written. Thank you for sharing.

  • Man with Axe

    Did you hear what happened today? You anti-fascists have a funny way of acting exactly like fascists.

  • ESPM360

    I wonder if Reiko would feel the same way if Revolution Books was trashed the evening when free speech was shut down in Berkeley?

  • jim hoch

    “UC Berkeley is famous because of its history of protest and rebellion since the 1960s. And many students are still drawn to attend it because of this history.” Exactly, MY is counter to the prevailing political view and therefore entitled to pick up this mantle. Unlike “Revolution Books” which is completely aligned with the CA ruling party.

    • StanFromSomewhere

      Funny how lefties in California think they are a bunch of brave revolutionaries speaking truth to power, when the exact opposite is in effect.

  • edavis0780

    Reiko seems to be unaware of the irony that violent oppression of other people’s rights to speak was a tool used by the Nazis in the Weimar Republic. Guess they don’t teach history in Stupid.

  • Jack Spencer

    If a campus newspaper does not seek justice for the students it represents, than that newspaper is not fit to be printed on any campus.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Resist we much?

  • StanFromSomewhere

    Name one example of alleged “fascism” from the Trump administration – and no, enforcing our borders and our immigration laws isn’t fascism, merely common sense. This is merely another example of how the nutcase demographic has taken over in Berkeley.

    • Reiko Redmonde

      What is fascism? Read this definition from Webster’s Dictionary and reflect on the first six weeks of the Trump administration and what Trump, Pence, Bannon, Sessions, Miller, Spicer have said, done and promised
      fas·cism ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm

      “A political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”

      For those truly interested in learning from history I recommend these books on the rise of the Nazis in Germany: Why Did The Heavens Not Darken? by Arno Mayer; The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz; Defying Hitler by Sebastian Haffner and In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson.

      • StanFromSomewhere

        How come you don’t suggest reading about other totalitarian movements, such as communism under Stalin,Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, and the like? Or would that be hitting too close to home for you?

  • TheGingerbreadMan22

    What a stupid article by an entitled wacko. The police want info on the people who beat several people senseless with shovels and poles. They want to find the people who pepper sprayed an innocent man sitting in his car after mistaking his identity for someone who drove through the crowd. These are the people we need to out, as these weren’t students. Our school has taken fire for the actions perpetuated by this outside group and in order to reduce the focus on the school, we need to identify those responsible and demonstrate that they are indeed outsiders. It’s a too bad that we can’t switch the author with the innocent people who are still receiving medical attention, seeing as she doesn’t think there is any importance on them being apprehended. Maybe that would change her self-indulgent tone.

    In addition, every english professor this lady has had over her academic career should be ashamed. It’s incredible to me that someone could think paragraph after paragraph of nothing but rhetorical questions is decent writing. I feel like I’m listening to a self-absorbed high school-er. That a bookstore owner could construct such atrocious run-on sentences is mind-boggling. Pick up one of your own damn books and learn a thing or two.

    Shame on Reiko for writing such an article. I’m ashamed that you are a part of this community.

    • Matthew Karoly

      What a stupid comment by an entitled wacko. Go jerk yourself off in /pol/ or Stormfront or wherever it is you Nazis hang out these days.

      • TheGingerbreadMan22

        You’re a sad, strange little man. I’m not a republican, but I’m also not an out of touch utopist who is fine with people getting hurt and a bad name being put on innocent people. I’m also able to come up with my own comments, unlike you. You aren’t clever, you aren’t funny. Go sit in the corner.

        Maybe next time, Revolution Books will have a window smashed. I guarantee you she’ll change her stance very quickly.

      • StanFromSomewhere

        This may come as a shock to someone like you, but not everyone who supports the police enforcing our laws is some type of Nazi. You really, REALLY need to grow up.

      • John John

        Are you a Stalinist, by any chance?

  • lspanker

    Thanks, Reiko, for confirming that you’re a genuine wingnut.

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