In a scene that could be straight out of the documentary “Berkeley in the Sixties,” thousands of uproarious Berkeley students flooded Bancroft and Telegraph avenues yesterday night just minutes after news broke that Obama will be our new master-in-chief. It seemed that Obama-supporters, not knowing what to do with themselves after hearing the exciting news, took to wandering the streets of Berkeley with rally cries of “O-BAM-A!!” “YES WE CAN!!” and “DOWN WITH BUSH!!”

Eventually students began to congregate and chant in front of Eshleman Hall, with a boy climbing to the top of a stop light carrying an American flag (of the 13 original colonies) and cheering on the crowd. Following his lead, others climbed atop street signs with Obama posters and some climbed atop buses and beat on the cars stranded amidst the masses.

At one point the po-po tried ineffectively to break up the growing crowd by driving through them but were greeted with the pounding fists of celebrators and swiftly drove away. As more people started to gather, the group turned from crowd to mob and began to roam the streets, marching down Telegraph and Haste and finally following College Ave. back to campus. During this procession other students were also storming campus, rallying in front of the Campanille and rushing down into the Main Stacks.

The group finally stopped migrating and chose the intersection of and fireworksTelegraph and Durant avenues as its final place of congregation. Some students were staked out in trees and on top of street signs, others with loudspeakers or banging on pans to the beat of “YES WE CAN.”

Around 11:30 p.m. the jubilation started verging on riot as a fire was lit in the dumpster outside of Naan ‘N Curry, beer bottles were thrown into the mob and fireworks erupted. It was inspiring to witness such a huge group of students band together over a political issue, but we just wish we could see this same kind of energy and passion for an issue we actually want to protest against.

Image Source: brainchildvn under Creative Commons, Ruby Lee and Joshua Cella

hannah friedman said:
Nov 6, 2008 at 12:02 am

My humble musical letter to President Obama:

Hannah Friedman