A Woman Assaulted by the Thugs at Berkeley

“Katrina “(no last name listed) an attractive young woman who seems to be in her twenties, appears in a YouTube video, “I was assaulted at the UC Berkeley Anti-Milo Riot.” She and her husband arrived at the site of the scheduled speech early (around 5:30 for the 8 p.m. event) prepared for violence (both were wearing Kevlar vests) but nothing marked them as Trump or Milo fans—her politics are “more on the left,” she says. The police were already inside the building, behind closed doors, making no apparent effort to maintain order, though they had already given an order for the early arrivers to disperse.

By that time, Katrina says, the protesters had already started fires, one in the middle of the road, another by pulling down the generator that provided light, setting it afire.  If her time frame is correct, it meant that Berkeley police apparently had time to call for reinforcements to control an already ugly scene. As the crowd grew, she and her husband both suffered concussions, she by falling hard trying to climb over two barricades to escape the crowd, he by being beaten with a heavy metal rod while lying helpless on the ground. She says she was separated from him and thought he was dead. He spent the whole next day at a hospital, fearing permanent liver damage but, Katrina says, it was “only” two broken ribs (wielded heavily enough that the Kevlar was apparently not much protection).

After she was pepper sprayed (the video shows another woman in a Trump cap being pepper-sprayed in the face from a distance of about two feet, as she was talking to a TV reporter) Katrina and another woman appealed to the police to let them into the building to wash the spray from their eyes, but the police wouldn’t open the door and wouldn’t come out.

The Berkeley police have a more benign explanation for their behavior. They said some police were on the scene, firing paintballs at violent people to mark them for future arrest. Staying in the closed building, where no violence was going on is harder to explain, but a police spokeswoman said their appearance before the crowd would have escalated things, and that to start arresting people, would have required “up to three” police officers for each arrest. No explanation for why police didn’t bring a paddy wagon—if Katrina and her husband were wearing protective vests, violence could not have come as a total surprise.     Berkeley Chancellor Nichols Dirks should be asked why campus cops or outside security forces weren’t there as well.

Katrina was interviewed in the video by Stefan Molyneux, 50, a Canadian pro-Trump blogger affiliated with Freedomain/freedomainradio.com/I, which appears to be a sort of anarcho-libertarian site, heavy on philosophy and theory.  Molyneux sympathized with Katrina,” venturing the opinion that the violence “reveals a lot about the left.” Katrina said it appeared that maybe 300 people in the crowd were violent, not the estimated 100 or 150.

Other police forces need to gear up a bit better than Berkeley’s did wherever Milo speaks or the hard left makes early threats. (Berkeley too—Milo wants to return to deliver his speech.) The signs accompanying protests are not mild issue-oriented ones anymore. Now they say, “Be Ungovernable,” and “This Is War.”


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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5 thoughts on “A Woman Assaulted by the Thugs at Berkeley

  1. “All in all, I think the Berkeley administration and law enforcement probably handled things about as well as possible, under the unfortunate circumstances.” – Jonathan

    Police, unarmed with a range of weapons – pepper-spray, nightsticks, tear gas, tasers, beanbag shotguns and handguns – are unable to stop a mob assaulting unarmed women in an American city? It’s like Somalia out there!

    “Planning is very difficult”

    That’s their job. If it really is true that the police are incapable of defending us against people armed with pepperspray and flagpoles, California needs to liberalise its concealed carry policy fast. Hopefully, the new administration will introduce a federal gun licence, and make it mandatory for states to respect it.

    Your comment is a pathetic attempt to find excuses for the complicity of the Berkeley city and university authorities in a terrorist attack on innocent civilians.

  2. I wouldn’t second guess the Berkeley campus cops too much, nor the reinforcements (from other campuses, from the city of Berkeley, from Alameda County) that apparently were brought in. Having some experience of these things in Berkeley, it’s very difficult to judge in advance just how serious a situation is going to be. A small disruption that could be handled with a few cops and “a paddy wagon” (!) can quickly escalate into a mob scene with hundreds or thousands of violent protesters and their enablers, leading sometimes to lethal violence or calling in the National Guard. Not that a massive police or Guard presence is any cure-all: it means the entire campus has been brought to a halt, so in a way, it’s already a victory for the mob.

    All in all, I think the Berkeley administration and law enforcement probably handled things about as well as possible, under the unfortunate circumstances. Perhaps the next time, they will have a better plan, though, as I say, planning is very difficult.

    I would ask this question: suppose Chancellor Dirks really has a massive law enforcement presence at the next event. Suppose things nonetheless get out of hand. Will the UC president back him up? Will the Board? How about the Governor of California?

    If you have trouble with the answer to any of these questions, you can imagine how Chancellor Dirks must think about it.

  3. It’s a detail, but the woman who was pepper sprayed was wearing a red cap that said, “Make Bitcoin Great Again.” Snarky and ambiguous. The thugs apparently didn’t actually read it. Or care. Her name is Kiara Robles, and Mr. Molyneux interviewed her as well.

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