On October 7th, students participated in a campus-wide walkout in an effort to protest the education budget cuts. As a new student at this school, I had little idea as to what was going or why it was happening. I knew that budget cuts and increased fees were posing a major problem for enrolled students, but because I had not been here previously, I did not feel particularly affected. Therefore, I did not feel the need to participate in the rally. That being said, I understand why students are protesting especially because athletic programs are being cut and some students are being forced to withdraw from school because they cannot afford to attend anymore. However, it was disheartening to hear how unorganized the events were especially considering that Berkeley was where the free speech movement began.
We are taught history so that we can learn from our mistakes and continue to improve our lives. However, it appears that the organizers of the walkout slacked off when it came time to do their reading. In all of the novels we have read this year, we have learned the value of organization and protest. In the case of the prisoners, only those who had well thought-out plans had a decent chance of escaping, as opposed to those who just blindly made a run for it. In the Indians’ case, they suffered from many different fragmented groups all fighting for the same cause. Had they joined together and united under a common leader, their movement for increased Indian rights would have been much more effective.
Unfortunately, the student leaders on out campus did not learn the lessons that history has been teaching us for centuries. Had they studied the Indians’ plight, they would have known that organization would have been key to the success of their protest. While they did indeed gather enough attention for it, there was a general lack of organization. The students could have done a much better job of marketing the event and especially its purpose. Had they done so, they would have garnered the support of students such as myself and the event could have been much more successful.