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In a scene eerily similar to the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s, Bay Area protesters stood their ground over the weekend, as they voiced anger in the wake of no charges being brought against the two officers responsible for the deaths of Eric Garner and unarmed teen Michael Brown.

While our nation proudly touts the amount of progress made in the years since items as simple as water fountains were used as a division between races; in reality, for many minorities the glass ceiling is still firmly in place, as the war to claim an equal seat at the table rages on.

For many it’s a matter of perspective, as those not directly affected by bouts of injustice or racial disparity often pretend that it doesn’t exist. For those who have experienced it firsthand however, there is a festering frustration over having to explain that the racial divide in America is an ongoing challenge within our nation.

With the recent string of police violence against individuals of color, the bar for justice has been lowered with each case. Many have lost faith that a justice system with a history of systematic oppression has truly been reformed enough to provide the “Justice for all” that this nation was founded upon.

It seems as if nothing is enough.
Victims have been turned into villains as even witnesses, autopsy reports, ballistics and video footage is not enough for justice to prevail. Causing many to wonder whether justice is blind or if it’s just turning a blind eye to those on the lower rungs of America’s totem pole.

Known for diving right into social issues, the Bay Area is no stranger to political activism. As Oscar Grant’s name still brings bitter memories of a broken judicial system.

As protests erupted across the nation, I stood in front of the mouth of UC Berkeley as a small group came together to protest the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

In a crowd largely composed of Whites and students, as we came together to remind others that “Black Lives Matter.”

  • I witnessed a woman beaten with a baton for not being able to move quickly enough, as the Berkeley Police swarmed into a crowd of students, firing rubber bullets and tear gas into the masses.
  • I walked past White men in masks, unconnected to the actual protest, smash in windows and loot a local Trader Joe’s, though I doubt you will see that on your television. I doubt you will hear them referred to as “animals” or “thugs.”
  • I ran in fear, as officers sworn to “Protect and Serve” brutally assaulted those marching against that very brutality.
  • It seems as if the dogs and water hoses of the past have been traded in for assault rifles and military grade equipment; causing many of us to wonder, how can you advise us to be peaceful when you are the aggressor?