Protesters who take part in this Thursday’s statewide “Day of Action” demonstration will severely damage their cause if they follow in the footsteps of rioters near UC Berkeley late last week. The rioters damaged businesses along Telegraph Avenue that have absolutely nothing to do with the major student fee hikes in the state’s higher education system. Indeed, last week’s Berkeley demonstrators likely turned off large segments of the population who might otherwise be sympathetic to their plight.
And if rioting occurs in college towns throughout California on March 4, the protest may be remembered as a time when angry students ruined any chance they had at changing people’s minds. It also doesn’t help things that Thursday’s planned protest, itself, is already misdirected. Instead of demonstrating against colleges and universities, the protesters should be targeting those who are truly responsible for the fee hikes — the governor and the state Legislature.