Editorial: Alarmists Must Focus Political Reform Efforts

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Yesterday's fire alarm stunt was a sad, content-free substitute for a political statement. The Daily Californian believes disrupting the UC Berkeley campus to protest what those apparently responsible called the "racism, classism and homophobia" of this year's state ballot measures is clearly a misplaced strategy.

Should students, faculty and staff, many of whom voted against these same propositions, have to waste their time and money because a group of activists was dissatisfied with the passage of Propositions 21 and 22?

The answer, of course, is that members of the campus community should not have to suffer at the hands of those who may have been motivated by the right principles, but clearly have the wrong target.

Students, faculty and staff were not the only ones adversely impacted - the community off campus also suffered. Berkeley fire personnel from four different stations arrived on the scene, tying up more than half the city's fire-fighting capabilities. This is a waste of money and city resources.

The Daily Californian, which recommended citizens vote against Propositions 21 and 22, believes the passage of these measures marks a disturbing development in California politics. The overwhelming success of the Knight Initiative and the Juvenile Justice Initiative represents a problematic intolerance on the part of this state's voters.

While outrage at the outcome of Tuesday's vote is a legitimate reaction, the method of protest is not. Pulling fire alarms in several campus buildings does not qualify as political dissent. In a word, it's juvenile. If those responsible really want to encourage people to "rise up," they must first grow up.


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