The University of California, Berkley was the site of a major protest this week, though this is hardly the first time the school witnessed a political demonstration. More than 40 years before students protested a speech from Milo Yiannopoulos, they challenged Ronald Reagan while he was the governor of California.
In 1969, UC Berkeley students protested over city plans for the use of a small community park (People’s Park) near the college. Reagan ordered the California Highway Patrol and Berkeley Police to the school, and he instructed them to use “whatever methods they choose” to crack down on the situation.
In the confrontation that was referred to as “Bloody Thursday,” one student was killed and dozens more were hospitalized when law enforcement used buckshot and tear gas against the protesters. That night, Reagan declared a state of emergency where he sent the National Guard to Berkeley and banned public assembly for two weeks after the protest.
Reagan defended his actions during later a press conference, but when asked if he considered negotiating with the protesters, he asked “what is to negotiate?”
“All of it began the first time some of you who know better…let young people think that they had the right to choose the laws they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.”
[Image via screengrab]
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