Presented without commentary, some facts about three verrrry different protests that happened at various universities around the country yesterday:
1. In Cambridge: Three hundred people storm Harvard Yard and dozens set up tents as a gesture of solidarity with the larger Occupy Wall Street Movement. Aside from barring non-students from entering campus, university police do little to stamp down the protests, and the tents are allowed to remain indefinitely. Zero arrests.
2. In University Park, Pennsylvania: Thousands of protesters take to the streets in defense of beloved football coach Joe Paterno, who was recently sacked for his (alleged) complicity in a tragic child-rape scandal. They damage private and public property but are subdued with pepper spray by cops in riot gear. Zero arrests.
And 3. In Berkeley: Roughly a thousand Cal students and community members march on Sproul Plaza during what was, by all accounts, a peaceful day of protest; some attempt to set up tents. They are beaten and clubbed with batons by riot cops from at least two agencies. At least 39 arrests.
Clarification, 3:11: After writing this, I came across a great post by Dave Zirin on the Nation’s blog on the same subject and with a near-identical headline. To be clear, all similarities are entirely coincidental — great minds, etc.! (Also, consider this an object lesson on the ubiquity of Dickens and/or bloggers’ overreliance on shopworn headlines?)