Berkeley campus police finally arrested the man who (allegedly) attacked a conservative on campus last week. From Berkeleyside:
The University of California Police Department announced the arrest by email at 2:10 p.m. Friday. Police said UCPD arrested Zachary Greenberg on a warrant involving a Feb. 19 assault on Sproul Plaza…
“UCPD will formally present the case to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of the filing of criminal charges,” UCPD wrote in the prepared statement. “Once the matter is presented and reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office, additional information will be made available regarding a charging decision.”
Police announced last Friday that they had identified a suspect but didn’t release a name until yesterday after the arrest was made. Zachary Greenberg’s bail was set at $30,000 and Campus Reform reports he was released on bail Saturday. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday. Hayden Williams, the man who was punched while tabling for the group Turning Point USA on Berkeley’s campus, gave a statement on the arrest to Campus Reform:
I am grateful to the University of California Berkeley Police Department for its dedication to identifying and arresting the man who attacked me. But while this is a moment for celebration, I remain disappointed by the UC Berkeley Administration, which allowed a culture of intolerance and violence toward conservatives to grow. I hope UC Berkeley’s leadership will seize on this moment-in-time to take deliberate steps to establish a zero tolerance policy when it comes to violence, and restore Berkeley’s legacy as ‘Home of the Free Speech Movement.’
There’s no doubt that Berkeley is at the center of a certain strain of anti-conservative thought (if you can even call it that) in the United States. We don’t know exactly how Zachary Greenberg fits into that yet. He is not currently a student at the school. Still, recent events have demonstrated there are lots of people in the area who don’t see a problem with no-platforming (and if necessary punching) people they disagree with.
To its credit, Berkeley has put out some messaging which states the heckler’s veto is not acceptable. I wrote about it here. For instance, their FAQ on free speech issues poses this question: “Can people who oppose a speaker’s message use their own freedom of speech to drown out the offending words?” Berkeley’s answer is no:
No, freedom of speech does not give someone the right to drown out the words and speech of others; freedom of speech would mean little if the audience was able to silence anyone with whom they disagreed. Once a society starts down the path of condoning such de facto censorship, it creates the culture and conditions in which anyone’s rights of speech can be compromised.
That’s good. It shows the school has made some effort to address the problem. But Hayden Williams’ experience last week is proof Berkeley hasn’t done enough. There are still some goons roaming the campus who don’t get it so the school should renew its efforts. A good start would be coming out against the Antifa crowd which populates the area and much of the northwest. Again, we don’t know what motivated Zachary Greenberg’s actions yet, but we do know Antifa is a problem for any organization that believes in free speech.