We can expect more riots like those in Berkeley unless police show unwavering determination to restore order.
On February 1, rioting broke out in Berkeley to prevent a flamboyantly provocative Donald Trump supporter from speaking on the University of California campus. Black-masked anarchists beat and pepper-sprayed supposed attendees of the event and hurled explosive devices at police officers; the vandals ransacked and torched banks, retail businesses, and campus facilities. University and city police did nothing to quell the mayhem.
The Berkeley riot is a wakeup call, representing several converging trends in American culture: the virulent anti-cop hatred spread by the Black Lives Matter movement; police departments’ withdrawal from proactive policing in response to that hatred; academic victim culture; and anti-Trump hysteria. Such political violence is likely to spread if law enforcement does not resolve to suppress it at its first outbreak.