Summary: Was Louise Rosealma an innocent victim or a thug throwing bottles? Was Nathan Damigo a white knight defender or a right-wing thug? See the truth about stories of the Berkeley riot. See how Left and Right twist the evidence and dream up narratives to justify the actions of “their” thugs. If not suppressed, increasing political violence will put America on the fast track to serious trouble.
Partisans of both Left and Right quickly responded to the Berkeley riot by concocting stories. The most common was that “their” thugs went to the Patriot’s Day meeting site — often heavily armed — to “defend” their side from the evil others. Any policeman can explain how vigilante violence works, as those who enjoy violence participate — with violence escalating over time, and police hampered by useful idiots of both sides protesting the arrest and prosecution of “their” thugs.
A variant of this is don’t treat thugs of both sides equally because “our” thugs are virtuous. They defend people who wear sap gloves and throw bottles and M-80s into crowds. This nicely demonstrates the thinking of people who lead their nations into chaos, and the increasingly dysfunctional nature of our political system.
Two brief videos came to represent the dynamics of the Berkeley riot. Both sides fabricated tales to cast their tribe as the righteous ones. My first post examined the longer of the two. This post puts them together, contrasted with claims made about them.
A white nationalist punches an innocent girl
A young woman (model, porn star) of many names — best known as Louise Rosealma — said she traveled to Berkeley “determined to bring back 100 Nazi scalps.” She wore one glove on her right hand; it looks like a sap glove (weighted knuckles, illegal in California if metal). Photos show her carrying a bottle, like those thrown into the crowd by rioters.
Journalists describe her as Snow White, an innocent victimized (another chink eroded from their credibility). She gave an interview to CBS in which no tough questions were asked about her Facebook post, her mask, her odd glove, or any bottle-throwing (see below). She said was “on the sideline taking pictures” until repeated attacked by a gang of men who “were trying to crack my skull” and “were trying to hurt her as much as they could”. Oddly, she walked away without a scratch.
The White Knights defend free speech against a women rioter
The Right had a more difficult task: explaining why Nathan Damigo sucker punched a young woman — charging at her, then punching her head. Their imaginations were equal to the task. First, they explained that she also hit him – so they were equally culpable. That’s absurd, of course. Americans have a strong right to self-defense. She would have been within her rights to have broken a bottle over his head and sent him to the hospital.
Second, they make big claims about her actions at the riot. She was throwing bottles! Damigo intervened to defend other people. There is little evidence for these claims, but they’re made with confidence of people reciting tribal lore.
Update: Here is an account of the Berkeley riot as seen from the Right: “Proud Boys Declare Victory in Berkeley” by Gavin McInnes at Taki’s Magazine.
Examine the evidence
Here’s the story shown by the two videos. See the the first eleven seconds of the following video. It shows a group of fighting people. We see a person wearing a two-color mask, a glove, and a hat — waving a bottle held by the neck (a sensible precaution). Nathan Damigo approaches and throws a punch. The victim appears unaware of this (and makes no defensive moves). Damigo’s fist hits. We don’t see what happens afterwards. I believe the video has been edited.
The below photo shows Damigo’s fist (red circle) moving towards the victim. Click to enlarge.
Below is a photo at the Berkeley riot taken by photographer Stephen Lam, published by Reuters (click to enlarge). It might be taken at the end of the fight we see begun in the above video. It clearly shows the bottle, held to use as a striking weapon (unused, unfortunately).
Compare it with the better-known and clearer video (below) in which Damigo attacks Louise Rosealma. She wears a mask, glove, and clothes similar to those of the above victim. Both have dreadlocks. The fight scenes are very different from start to end, showing that this is a different incident. Either Rosealma had two fights with Damigo (which she does not mention in the CBS interview), or the first video shows a different victim (which seems unlikely).
I believe this shows with reasonable certainty that Louise Rosealma had a bottle. This is weak circumstantial evidence that she intended to throw bottles.
Update from Snopes
Snopes found a video showing both of these incidents. Nathan hit Louise twice, 8 seconds apart. The first time she held the bottle and wore a hat. Other than that, their analysis is identical to that in this post (both were published the same day). See Snope’s report here.
All this is trivia, significant only to show the development of tribal truths in America — preventing any common dialog. The important aspects of this are lost amidst the bickering. During the past year the level of political violence has slowly increased. Leftists (e.g., Antifa) attack pro-Trump events. Inevitably right-wing organizations mobilize to defend them — vigilantism. People who enjoy violence gather under both flags, escalating the violence.
Political violence strikes at the heart of the functioning of a Republic. Instead of condemning the violence, Left and Right condemn the thugs on the other side. It’s a pattern that made the Weimar Republic famous and helped turn Latin America into a dystopia.
The solution is simple. Condemn political violence no matter who started it, no matter who does it, no matter what the excuse. Let the police maintain public safety at legitimate political events. Demand that they maintain order if they — or their political superiors — refuse to do so. Gas then arrest violent protesters. This and social media records allow easier identification of the criminals among them, who should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Or we could let political violence grow. We are vulnerable. Low public confidence in the Republic’s institutions. Widespread ownership of guns. Cheers from Left and Right for “their” thugs. Already strong right-wing gangs (“militia”), about which intel agencies warned in 2009. Years of apocalyptic warnings from Left and Right create the sense of imminent doom that motivates people to take to the street. Commies! Nazis! Gonna take your guns! Gonna put you in camps! These fears are powered by America’s growing economic and social stress, plus our loss of social cohesion. The tinder is there for a fire which will prove difficult to extinguish, or even control.
Like so many of our problems, this is not difficult to solve. We lack only the wisdom and the will to keep America functioning.
Other posts about the Berkeley riot
- The “sucker punch” at the Berkeley riot reveals the rot in our politics.
- Fear the rise of political violence in America. We can still stop it.
- Stories of the Left & Right about the Berkeley riot reveal much about us.
- Is the Berkeley riot the start of an uprising of America’s young men?
For More Information
If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about protests, about fake news, about information and disinformation, about Reforming America: steps to new politics, and especially these …
- Describing the problem: Politics in modern America: A users’ guide for journalists and reformers.
- We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today.
- American politics is a fun parade of lies, for which we pay dearly.
- Ways to deal with those guilty of causing the fake news epidemic.
- The secret source of fake news. Its discovery will change America.
- A new year’s gift: two tools to help discover truth in the news.