at UC Berkeley about 

social change

Thousands of UC Berkeley students, faculty, occupy protesters and residents from around the Bay Area lined up Friday night to view a dialogue between Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and Cornel West, a politically progressive professor from Princeton University.
The dialogue — which was titled “In the Age of Obama…Police Terror, Incarceration, No Jobs, Mis-education: What Future for Our Youth?” — featured the speakers addressing topics and answering questions
related to social and economic change in front of an audience that
filled Pauley Ballroom to capacity.
“The issues that the occupiers are talking about are the same we’ve
been talking about for 30 years,” West said to The Daily
Californian before the event. “This is a magnificent awakening …
and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
West and Dix agreed that students play a crucial role in any social
movement, if they recognize injustice and make up their minds to
fight back.
During the dialogue, Dix spoke at length about the need for
Communist revolution in America.
“This is an especially good time to be in Berkeley,” Dix said. “I
saw the video of the folks on Sproul and got a real sense of
inspiration for the sentiment people had … to stand up to
West said that while he considers himself a “revolutionary
Christian,” he disagrees with many of Dix’s political ideas.
The two were arrested together in New York in October with
other demonstrators protesting the New York City Police
Department’s “Stop-and-Frisk” policy, which demonstrators
say targets African American and Latino youth.
In a speech peppered with humor and jazz references, West
emphasized the need to look past prejudice and politics to
implement real change for the poor. He addressed issues ranging
from the lack of accountability from Wall Street executives —
who he charged with causing the economic recession — to the
“warped” political priorities of the federal government.
“Young people are tired of lies … and weapons of mass distraction,”
he said. “They’ve been taught to be well-adjusted to injustice.”
The line extending from the Martin Luther King Jr. Student
Union building where the event was held reportedly stretched
to Memorial Glade prior to the event. Overflow rooms were
set up in Dwinelle Hall to accommodate those who could not
fit into the ballroom.
Both overflow rooms were filled, making the estimated number
of attendees close to 2,000, according to UC Berkeley junior
Justin Richmond, one of the coordinators of the event.
“Unfortunately, we had to turn people away,” Richmond said. “It
was great that so many turned out, I just wish we could have known
how many would come. We could have gotten a larger venue if
we had known.”
Ericka Huggins — a former leader in the Black Panther Party —
and author Alice Walker were also in the audience Friday night.
UC Berkeley sophomore Ashley Cooke said she was inspired after
hearing the speakers from opposing political backgrounds put
their views aside to fight for what they see as a greater cause.
Richmond said Dix and West visited the encampment on Sproul
briefly after the event and talked to Occupy Cal protesters there.
“This event came at the right time,” Cooke said. “With the Occupy
movement on the rise and it being visible even on our own campus,
Cornel West and Carl Dix seemed to fuel the spark of passion for
the movement.”