Spectacled Dissent

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At least we can sleep sound at night knowing that as much as things change, unsubtle media bias never will…

Protests in New York and Missouri have died down, but angry crowds in one California city famous for activism spent much of the weekend blocking traffic and clashing with police in this ultra-liberal bastion thousands of miles from the where Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed.

Although many activists in other parts of the country have gone home, protests in Berkeley and Oakland are still active, reflecting the area’s long history of protest dating back to the 1960s.

The crowds that came out to protest in Berkeley numbered only a few hundred, but some are not college students or residents so much as full-time demonstrators who protest anything ? war, prison conditions and economic inequality ? and sometimes use demonstrations as a pretext for violence and vandalism, just as they did during the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates said a tiny fraction of protesters are obscuring the wider message calling for reform of policing policies nationwide.

“The people in the Bay Area are sensitive to worldwide issues,” Bates said. “Unfortunately, there is a small element that uses violence at times to make their point.”

Merchants on Monday cleaned up broken glass and took stock of the previous night’s looting from downtown Berkeley stores.

Bates called the violent elements of the demonstration “cowards and thugs who need to take off their masks.”

-Courtesy of the Associated Press via ABC News

EDIT: Here is a livefeed from Berkley, and another, ironically from an ABC affiliate.

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