California Politicians Ignore Berkeley Riot Violence In Tweets; Blast Trump Instead

Tori Richards Contributor
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California politicians have had nothing to say on social media to the victims of a riot at the University of California-Berkeley that left several people injured, including a man who was beaten in the head with a shovel while he was already a motionless heap in the middle of the street.

Instead, several Democratic leaders blasted Trump on Twitter for threatening to withhold federal funds from the university for not providing a safe place where free speech can be heard.

California Senate Leader Kevin de Leon called Trump a “wannabe dictator who inspires hate” and challenged him to try and remove funding from the “top US institution.”

He went on to say California creates enormous value for the country, but didn’t mention the $100,000 in damage caused by rioters.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, whose district includes Berkeley, also called Trump a dictator, saying “Trump doesn’t have a license to blackmail universities. He’s the president, not a dictator, & his empty threats are an abuse of power.”

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told Trump he was “appalled at your willingness to deprive over 38,000 students access to an education because of the actions of a few.” However, he stopped short of criticizing police for not controlling the situation or offering condolences to victims.

The Feb. 1 melee was set off by leftist protesters who did not want Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at a prearranged event. Metal barriers surrounding a conference hall were dismantled and smashed through glass doors while a nearby Starbucks endured the same fate. A food cart was torched, creating a huge bonfire while rioters continued to find targets for their rage.

One man claimed he was beaten 10 times and his bloody, bloated face in a Twitter video was evident of his injuries. Another woman wearing a red Trump baseball cap was pepper sprayed in the face.

Campus police had retreated, and city police refused to respond, letting the matter play out.

Most of the California electorate was silent on the matter, including Republicans. Gov. Jerry Brown, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra and U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. Feinstein did have time to tweet kudos to the Affordable Care Act and Harris tweeted support for refugees entering the U.S.

California state legislators who are on committees such as education and public safety mentioned nothing about the events.

The only lawmaker to address the violence was Lee, who had called Trump a dictator. She issued this statement, posted on her website:

“Milo Yiannopoulos has made a career of inflaming racist, sexist and nativist sentiments. Berkeley has a proud history of dissent and students were fully within their rights to protest peacefully. However, I am disappointed by the unacceptable acts of violence last night which were counterproductive and dangerous.

“President Donald Trump cannot bully our university into silence. Simply put, President Trump’s empty threat to cut funding from UC Berkeley is an abuse of power. As a senior member of the education funding subcommittee, I will continue to stand up to President Trump’s overreach and defend the rights of our students and faculty.”