Although another round of violence in Ferguson may well be inevitable, how we understand what happens there is not. It is our responsibility to ask, particularly when things get violent, who it is that has the guns, the tanks, the tear gas, and the batons. Let us not get our history of protest in America wrong one more time.
In Hong Kong, they may be protesting with umbrellas, but in Taiwan earlier this year, it was sunflowers. Hong Kong's protesters know as well as PRC policymakers that Taiwan is still watching very closely, and Beijing's wrong-footed response in Hong Kong today could halt Ma's push for greater Taiwanese cooperation.
While Berkeley is more progressive than many places in the U.S, it is clear that the culture of large-scale student activism has changed. Many claim the youth of today are apathetic. Others say they just engage in different ways. It may also be that exorbitant college fees play a large part in taking the radical edge out of the student population.