Skip to comments.California Republicans 'shock and awe' Berkeley [California College Republican Convention]
Posted on 04/28/2003 9:24:48 PM PDT by RonDog
'shock and awe' Berkeley
Stars and stripes fly over People's ParkBy Steve Sexton
Photos by Ashley Rudmann
3:47 PM, 4/27/2003
On the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Peoples Park riots, a new generation of activists took over the hotly contested plot of land, yesterday. The slumbering homeless who call the park home were awakened from their midday naps by a crowd of flag waving, U-S-A-chanting Republicans in town for the first Berkeley-hosted California College Republicans Convention.
The more than two-hundred republican college students from across the state marched down Telegraph Avenue, on the sidewalks mind you, hoisting dozens of American flags and pro-America signs in the air.
Marching past a few dissenters and many more passersby, standing still in stunned disbelief, they reached the spot in Berkeley considered to be as much a symbol of liberal 1970s activism as Sproul Plaza where they rallied before spontaneously taking to the streets.
The parade of Republicans, which included the immediate past chairman of the state party, Shawn Steel, and other dignitaries, shouted the virtues of freedom and democracy on streets that hadnt seen such a conservative presence since Gov. Ronald Reagan sent in the National Guard to quash the 1969 park riots, which left one killed and a dozen injured.
At Peoples Park, the Republicans encountered some resistance from locals, but were undeterred as they sang the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America. There was aggressive shouting between the two sides but no physical violence and no arrests, setting the rally apart from liberal Bay Area protests of late.
I never thought I would live to see this day, said Steel, who rallied the crowd on UC Berkeleys Sproul Plaza before the impromptu march began. I cant believe were doing this in Berkeley.
After claiming to liberate Peoples Park, they turned back to the relative safety of campus in a stream of red, white and blue that extended for blocks. As they chanted, U-S-A, U-S-A, one bystander inserted, sucks, in time with the chant. Others signal their disagreement in varying degrees of civility, but many cheered them on. Car horns on Telegraph Ave. blared in a show of support as the marchers passed. Others hung out their apartment windows, mouths gaping open.
For an hour and a half, they rallied in south Berkeley, before dispersing.
It was liberating to take our republican message-to take our fight into the belly of the beast, said Jessica Ochoa, a college Republican from California State University at Long Beach. Like the Marines rolled into Baghdad a few weeks ago to liberate the city, we rolled into Berkeley ready for a fight.
This years convention theme is Behind Enemy Lines, and leading state Republicans speaking to the students throughout the first two days of events repeatedly praised the bravery of the students who converged on the liberal bastion.
From State Senate Majority Leader Jim Brulte to Congressmen Doug Ose and George Radanovich, the republican legislators also impressed upon the young activists the importance of the role they will play in re-electing President Bush and sending (California Senator) Barbara Boxer back to Marin in 2004. California Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim told the students that the days of massive television ad campaigning are over and that grassroots activists making phone calls and door-to-door visits will be the key to carrying the state for President Bush.
The convention, which continues today, is being heralded by its director, Michael Davidson, and hosts, the Berkeley College Republicans, as a sign that the campus complexion is shifting away from the radical liberal one that characterized it three decades ago. The Berkeley College Republicans boast more than 500 members, which they say places them as one of the largest student groups on campus, second only to an asian-American student group.
A recent study of Americans of all ages conducted by UC Berkeley and University of Alabama professors shows that this current crop of college students is more conservative than their parents on some key issues of the day, like school prayer, abortion, and public funding of church groups.
But as a state party leader from Berkeley noted in an address to the students, Berkeley still votes nine-to-one Democratic and on many of the nations campuses, Republicans are still in the minority.
The march did pale in comparison to the size of recent anti-war marches, which draw activists from across the Bay Area, including many of the same faces that protested Peoples Park in 1969.
Davidson says he takes solace in knowing this years convention attendance doubled and that the California College Republicans has grown from just 16 chartered groups on campuses to over 50, with 25 campuses represented at the convention.
I think Berkeley, itself, was an attraction, Davidson said.
As the convention continues today, the young conservatives leave open the possibility of returning to Peoples Park to confront the liberals they blame for the university-owned land remaining undeveloped.
It was supposed to be a student dorm, says Kelso Barnett, a Berkeley College Republican. Even our current chancellor wanted the lot turned into housing, but then they got him to back down.
How about calling it the Ronald Reagan Student Housing Center, Barnett quipped, adding, thats not too likely.
College Republicans descend on Berkeley, rally and march
San Jose Mercury News/Associated Press ^ | 27 April 2003
Posted on 04/27/2003 7:21 PM PDT by CounterCounterCultureBERKELEY, Calif. -Some 285 college Republicans from all over California descended on the famously liberal campus of the University of California, Berkeley, for a state College Republican convention. About 25 campuses throughout the state were represented.
A boisterous band of 200 attendees staged a rally in support of President Bush and the recent U.S. military action in Iraq.
The group marched down Telegraph Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in downtown Berkeley, waving flags, chanting "Bush! Bush! Bush!" and singing "America the Beautiful."
The young Republicans even staged a rally on the steps of Sproul Hall, where many of the famous anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s took place. Speakers praised President Bush and the war effort in Iraq, as students waved American flags and carried placards with messages like "Give War a Chance" and "Bomb France."
In recent years, the Berkeley college Republican chapter has grown and thrived. Once only a few dozen in number, the chapter now boasts more than 500 members and is one of the biggest student organizations on campus...
HAHAHAHAHAHA!! I LOVE this. The new radicals!
It was liberating to take our republican message-to take our fight into the belly of the beast, said Jessica Ochoa, a college Republican from California State University at Long Beach. Like the Marines rolled into Baghdad a few weeks ago to liberate the city, we rolled into Berkeley ready for a fight.What a GREAT idea, taking the fight to THEM!!!
This years convention theme is Behind Enemy Lines...
Let's all help the College Republicans TAKE BACK California in 2004!ping!
I think I saw a pig fly by today. I wondered why. Now I know.:)
No doubt! LOL!
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