I walked around downtown Berkeley this morning and took photos of the aftermath of last night’s protests. It had been a predominately peaceful event. Out of 500+ protesters, only 4-5 individuals smashed windows, started fires, and looted local businesses. The ransackers sadly had nothing to do with the message of the protest. Rather, these were opportunists who camouflaged themselves among peaceful protesters to loot and vandalize under the cloak of anonymity granted by a large group.
It was a frustrating distraction away from the protest’s message, and it undermined the peaceful majority. Now the national news is focused on the destruction caused by a small group, instead of discussing the point of the protest. Do not conflate the protesters with the vandals – these were two separate groups out last night for different reasons.