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The Apocalypse cometh? 

Good news, Cal Poly Party Animals! Under new leadership, the SLO City Council has decided to stop putting the screws to you! Yay! The council, under leadership from new Mayor Heidi Harmon, voted down double fines for the month of March that were designed to squelch St. Fratty’s Day parties. Let the roof collapsing commence! Woop-woop!

Not only were the double fines rejected, a party registration system with law enforcement was suggested instead. If the police receive a noise complaint about a “registered” party, step one will be to telephone party organizers and tell them they have 20 minutes to tone it down, pretty please!

Wow, how civilized. If the noise continues, I guess step two will be to have SNAP (Student Neighborhood Assistance Program) Officers show up and ask the partiers to quiet down, maybe issue a DAC (Disturbance Advisement Card). Still noisy? Here come the Po-Po, except this time around, no double fines in their arsenal.

“Hey everybody! The cops are here! Please throw a dollar in the hat so we can keep partying and pay our measly $350 fines later! Who wants a Jaeger shot?”

SLO City Councilmember Carlyn Christianson wasn’t too impressed with the idea, having spent her tenure backing up former Mayor Jan Marx’s concerted attempts to choke the student population into submission with laws specifically targeting them, punitive fines for violations, and maximum enforcement. Christianson called Harmon “naïve” for trying to de-fang the laws, suggesting that Harmon’s recommended penalty of community service would not keep “these people” in line.

I hate to rain on both sides’ parades, but laws designed to target a specific group are unconstitutional. Remember that whole pesky 14th Amendment thing and its silly equal protection under the law? Yeah, all these noise and unruly gathering ordinances are obviously designed with students, not the general public, in mind. Equal, my kiester.

And a party registration? Really? Why would a bunch of soon-to-be-drunk college kids and their underage buddies want to tell the police where and when they’re going to be playing beer pong, doing keg stands, and committing date rape? Students don’t plan for their parties to go ballistic—they just become an uncontrollable force of nature.

“Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke, you gotta understand, we study hard on weekdays; weekends get out of hand. We’re planning on a party. Our friends will all be there. If it gets loud just phone us, and we’ll pretend we care.”

News flash! College kids party. How about law enforcement protects and serves, makes sure these kids get home safe, and acts as a town and gown liaison? Ha-ha-ha! Just kidding! Now who’s naïve? 

Not the starry-eyed idealists who plan to join a Cal Poly walkout on Jan. 20, to protest President-elect Oompa Loompa’s inauguration, amirite? At noon, a group of Cal Poly Students and anyone who wants to join them will meet on Cal Poly’s Dexter Lawn for an Anti-Trump Rally followed by a march downtown to the SLO County Superior Courthouse.

Organized by the Cal Poly Democrats, Cal Poly Against Donald Trump, SLO Solidarity, the Cal Poly Queer Student Union, and other groups, the event is a way to “stand together against bigotry, hate, and a Trump presidency,” according to the event’s Facebook page. It’s also part of the National Student Walkout Against Bigotry & Hate that’s happening at colleges around the country.

Frankly, I can’t remember this level of acrimony accompanying the installation of a new president. To paraphrase Sally Field, “Donald, they hate you! They really hate you!”

Meanwhile on Jan. 21, SLO Town will have its own Women’s March that coincides with similar marches in Washington, D.C., and other cities around the country. These aren’t billed as protests against Führer t-Rump, but instead are demonstrations of solidarity for women’s rights, human rights, inclusivity, peace, and freedom. Estimates suggest 200,000 to 1 million will march on the nation’s capital, and local organizers estimate 4,000 to 5,000-plus will march locally! Whoa! I can already smell the patchouli!

The local pre-march rally kicks off at 10 a.m. in Mitchell Park and features speakers such as Cal Poly Muslim Student Union President Rubia Siddiqi, SLOPD Chief Deanna Cantrell, and R.A.C.E. Matters SLO County advocate Courtney Haile.

The 10:45 a.m. march will receive a police escort along its 1-mile route, and I have a feeling things could get interesting. I won’t be surprised to see the march co-opted by other groups like anti-choice activists the Abolitionist Society of San Luis Obispo, who snuck into the Templeton Fourth of July Parade last summer. Likewise, I’m sure some bigots and haters will be on hand to heckle. “Support President Orange Jesus,” their signs will say on one side; “Woman are stoopid,” the other side will say.

Let’s face it: The lines of demarcation are being drawn! Where’s it going to stop? The Republican Party of SLO just elected a hardline Tea Party activist named Randall Jordan as its vice chairman. The SLO County Board of Supervisors just used its new conservative majority to bypass liberal-minded 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill from his turn as chairman of the board. And our president-elect promised to release his Flying Monkeys as his first official act. OK, I made that last part up, but so-called “lib-tard snowflakes” are worried for a reason. 

The Shredder marches to the beat of his own drummer … or maybe that’s the thump-thump-thump of a wicked hangover. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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