Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Dancing flashmob riot in Berkeley

Last week in Berkeley, California, a flashmob dance party on the University ended up in a riot as students protesting against cuts in education funding took their party off the campus and into the streets.

According to Occupy California: 'In Sproul Plaza of UC Berkeley, hundreds gathered for a dance party that began around 10pm on Thursday, February 25. At the peak of the party (around 12am) the 250 people dancing surrounded the loudspeakers as together they moved farther into campus'.

After temporarily occupying a vacant University building, the mobile party moved off campus and into surrounding streets: 'Some 500 people were present, a combination of observers and protesters. The dance party continued to rage on as more and more people took the intersection, by now at least three hundred. Then without a clear reason, the police began to descend on the people in the streets. Some ran to the sidewalks to observe from a distance, others stood their ground, refusing to move. The police pushed people with their batons, the protesters pushed back and some were caught in the middle. Then an officer grabbed a woman at random and smashed her head to the ground... What had started as a dance party and occupation quickly turned into a direct confrontation with the police, whom had been following the protesters through out the night'. Shop windows were smashed and some bins set alight.

The context is an ongoing movement of student occupations and demonstrations across California prompted by cuts in education funding and increases in tuition fees.

1 comment:

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Flashback Flash Forward [News Poem March 25 2010]
“In the flash mob on Saturday, groups of teenagers were chanting “black boys” and “burn the city,” bystanders said.”
--Ian Urbina, The New York Times, March 24, 2010

“1. Sprint poised to launch first Mobile WiMAX handset… 2. … but rivals hit back with a raft of LTE deals 4. More spectrum, less regulation 5. Mobile healthcare the key market opportunity...”
-John Levett, Juniper Research, Thu, 25 Mar 2010 18:33:56 GMT,1221809.shtml

“Black boys burn the city.”
Smartphones film the riots.
News reprints the ditty:
Headlines call for quiet.

'Bums demand a handout,'
Brownshirts say with rifles.
Teabag goons expand doubt:
Killing foes for trifles.

Bandwidth! Give me rapid
Rates of transfer. Faster
Forms of ever vapid,
Self-induced disaster.