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Protesting Peace (for a Price) at Berkeley

by DAN BROOK

Conservatives rallied on the historically liberal UC Berkeley campus today in what was their largest showing in Berkeley’s history. Two of the participants expressed surprise that a third protester had shown up. “This is unprecedented”, one of the protesters exclaimed. “Yes, sir, it is”, the other replied, while wondering if they could get extra credit from the Haas School of Business for selling the rights to the event.

Their neatly painted signs read: “Rush Limbaugh is NOT a big fat idiot” and “Corporate Exploitation is Good for Us!”. On another sign, where one could see a faint “I’d rather be golfing” that had been whited out, it read: “Free Markets for Thee, Not for Me”. Trying to elaborate on his message, he explained that “We demand a Billionaire’s Bill of Rights”, continuing that “billionaires are people too”, though he quietly added that “we’re not altogether sure about that geeky Bill Gates guy.” Asked what he would do if his demand wasn’t met, he dismissively declared that he’d just “buy a damn Bill of Rights”.

In a moment of fear, it could have turned into a melee when four liberals walked near the conservative protesters. The liberal students, however, were merely supporting their fellow students’ rights to free speech. Soon realizing that they were embarrassing, but “not intimidating”, the conservative protesters as one of the protesters squeakily put it, by accidentally outnumbering them, the liberal students went back to their game of hackey sack.

“It’s made of organic hemp”, they assured me.

“I’m shocked”, said one of the few onlookers who actually noticed the three protesters.

“I’ve never seen so many conservatives in Berkeley either not selling something or trying to exploit someone. It’s really weird!” A professor of political science, who asked to remain anonymous, applauded the ideological diversity on campus, but also wondered if the protesters were all really students, or rather paid agents. We later discovered, after contents of a contract were leaked to the press, that they were indeed both.

After rallying for almost ten whole minutes, the protesters, now back down to two, decided to do something more productive and instead went for a tax-deductible lunch of meat and potatoes at a nearby expensive restaurant.

They vowed to be back on campus again. For the right price.

DAN BROOK is a part-time instructor in UC Berkeley’s sociology department and can be reached at Brook@california.com. His ThinkLinks can be found at www.brook.com/cyberbrook.

 

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