Responses to the riots on Saturday have played out on social media in a hive mind collective consciousness of disbelief and confusion, of blame and shame. Of course, it’s the out-of-towners who are at fault right? Or maybe the SBCC students who invited them? Perhaps it’s Deltopia in general which, like Halloween, has spun way outside of our community’s control?
I, like many of my UCSB peers, journeyed out onto the streets on Saturday, drinking early and well into the afternoon, napping to rally for the evening ahead. Around 3 p.m. I took a seemingly boring and drunkenly angled photo of a Sheriff Rescue Lenco BearCat armored vehicle parked next to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol station. I didn’t think much of it until I saw that same armored vehicle barricading the corner of Del Playa Drive and Camino del Sur at 9:45 p.m., only a few houses down from where I live.
And we all know what happened next — or do we? Everyone seems to have an opinion about the riots yet most weren’t even there. I sat on my balcony facing the 66 block of DP from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (Adderall is a strange drug) and people-watched. From my perspective, those walking up and down the street didn’t seem that out of control; I’ve seen the same sketchy fuckfaces our community loathes on normal weekend nights acting way more disrespectful. I didn’t see a single fight during Deltopia. I don’t doubt there were a few, but as someone who goes out three or more nights a week I’m fairly used to drunken aggressive idiots getting into it. So it seemed pretty unusual to walk from party to party during the day and early evening and not come across any — during Deltopia, no less.
The point being that, leading up to the riot, the crowd on DP was not some mob causing problems. The daytime tens-of-thousands had thinned out, and the amount was pretty normal sized for a Saturday night. Why were there officers dressed in riot gear and armored vehicles in I.V. all day? What did the police think would happen when they decided to charge down DP at 10 p.m., clashing with people who had been drinking all day?
If you search “Deltopia 2014” on YouTube, my three-minute video documenting the riot is one of the first to pop up. And you know what it shows? The riot started AFTER the cops lined up with shields and an armored vehicle. It shows a select few individuals (read: fucking dipshits) throwing bottles, yelling “Fuck the police” and inciting more to join. And above all it shows that with tear gas and fear, the cops chose to abruptly stop Deltopia exactly when they wanted to do so. By blockading DP right where the 66 and 67 blocks meet, police ensured that anyone and everyone walking in that direction would have run into it. It was only a matter of time before some sketchy fools would react.
In all likelihood, the police and County of Santa Barbara had planned to break up Deltopia at the first sign of trouble. The armored vehicle and riot police were positioned in I.V. all day; it’s not like a riot broke out and THEN the cops called in for backup from SWATT. They planned to use a show of force to clear Del Playa at a signal of enough-is-enough (we now know it was when a cop was struck in the head at the beginning of the 67 block of DP with a bottle-filled backpack.)
A showdown occurred Saturday between police trying to stop the festivities and young adults not willing to end their night early. But this wasn’t some chaotic riot that burst open on its own. We allowed out-of-towners into our city — shit, some of you might’ve invited them — and the county and police restricted parties by twisting another ordinance to fit their agenda; they then chose to end the night on their terms by any means necessary. By using violence themselves they made retaliating violence essentially inevitable, especially considering the amount of non-students who poured in for the weekend. It’s true there was a riot on Saturday, but I think it’s incredibly important to understand who started it.
This cops vs. students battle royale bullshit narrative that the media has spun to condescend our community is utter fucking nonsense. I know a few people who are conspiratards, looking for conflicting information when there isn’t any, and hoping to uncover cracks in the story we’re told. I don’t consider myself one of them, but I can’t sit back and watch an unfair portrayal of what happened become the only account of Saturday’s events. Riot police and armored vehicles were positioned in I.V. BEFORE any “rioting” occurred. Isn’t it possible that there was a plan to break up the party at a particular time? Do you really think the county isn’t thrilled at what the response was, that they now have the force of the national media decrying a party scene they themselves have tried to eliminate so far with no avail? I hate to sound so jaded … but what happened Saturday isn’t so black and white.
Sean Carroll is a fourth-year political science major.
Your story, filled with partial remembrances and intoxicated notions does nothing more than prove that you know little more than most others do. It is a fact that a police officer was assaulted initially, and that 3 officers sent to assist were then also assaulted. Perhaps you missed the dispatch calls for backup from as far as UC Irvine (anyone with internet or a CB radio can listen to the dispatch frequencies). You say this is a story that isn’t so black and white yet you’ve just argued for the other side of a the coin, not somewhere in the… Read more »
In following this story closely, even prior to Deltopia, whenever someone suggests the police played a role in the resulting riot, people jump to the conclusion that the police are being blamed. I don’t see it this way. I think most of us can agree that the police act very forcefully when one of their own is in peril. In fact, they react much more forcefully than when it is a civilian who has been attacked. I am not drawing judgment but stating a well known fact. Just look at the LAPD cops that opened fire on two pickup trucks… Read more »
Btw, I agree with the crux of what alum wrote, especially the part about the surveillance cameras! Brotha from another motha!
Lots to be learned from this experience, and it’s certainly not a black and white issue with a black and white solution.
This reads a little bit like: “Trust me I was drinking heavily all day and on drugs! It’s not black and white, it’s all their fault! Why was law enforcement, enforcing the law anyway?”
Two people were stabbed and multiple cops were put into the hospital BEFORE any of the riot gear or unlawful assembly calls came out.
First of all, is it really necessary in a newspaper to use the expletive deleteds? Secondly, this seems to be the theme of the UCSB reaction to the riot. It was the cops’ fault. It was outsiders. The second theme reminds me of Vice Chancellor Young’s reaction to the incident involving one of your professors a couple of weeks back. Blame everybody but the perps. There seems to be something very wrong at UCSB. When I was on your campus last week, this same paper had a full-page article on how to give oral sex. Wow. Not to be a… Read more »
You are clearly not the target audience of the paper. It’s not surprising that you hail from Nerdvine and conservative Orange County. UCI is also a commuter school without a concentrated student population right next to it. Different cultures, my man. Maybe it’s best not to project your sense of acceptable on a culture that is foreign to you. The Nexus has been pushing boundaries since I was a student 20+ years ago. It ain’t the LA Times. If you’re offended, don’t read it.
Over 90% of the arrests and citation were non UCSB students. Based on the twit-pics and riot selfies and all that junk circulating the interweb a portion of that 90+% was, in fact, UCI students. I’m not saying that UCI was a large percentage or the instigators or anything like that. I’m just saying you don’t have to “imagine UCI students engaging in what happened at Isla Vista,” you can just look at their facebook/instagram/twitter accounts and see the pictures.
BTW, you must have read the paper on a Wednesday. Wednesday is always the hump day edition. It’s not my particular cup of tea, but it’s tradition. Princeton Review ranked UCSB’s Daily Nexus in the top 10 (9th to be exact) of all campus newspapers. Where did UCI’s student paper rate, I don’t see it on the list?
Nerdvine? I am not offended by the Nexus because I try to cut slack for college age writers. I have much less tolerance for the LA Times. Maybe I am older than I thought (68) but it does seem improper to have that kind of subject matter in a campus paper which is read by the entire student body. If you want to put it in a Free Press, go ahead. As for Irvine, you are correct that is a commuter type school, but there are dorms and lots of nighttime activities going on here. I am unaware of any… Read more »
Uh… in 1970 the Bank of America was burned to the ground at Irvine. Yes, Irvine, the Irvine BofA was burned about 6 months after the Isla Vista BofA was burned.
And some how, some way, I (& many other readers) am supposed to believe an adderall addict? You’re a DOUCHETARD! Fuck douchetopia, it’s a done deal.
“In all likelihood, the police and County of Santa Barbara had planned to break up Deltopia at the first sign of trouble.” There was not one single sentence that I read from your article that made me agree in anyway. That sentence I quoted from your article makes no sense. Of course the police wanted to break up Deltopia at the first sign of trouble. What did you expect them to do? Wait until IV gets taken over by thousands of drunk idiots? They weren’t going to sit around and wait for something to strike up. We already had stabbings,… Read more »