the face of #ows at UC Davis

Lieutenant John Pike pepper-sprayed UC Davis students point blank on Friday November 18th. It’s appalling and disgusting how Lt. Pike simply walks right up (there is a 15 foot distance he is supposed to keep when deploying the pepper spray) and sprays the students point blank. (No name is given for the second officer who comes up behind them and also sprays them.)


[Audio: not needed]

But that wasn’t all. Another, longer clip below shows how the crowd reacted. It’s just amazing how they simply walk back the group of officers without raising a single hand (well, except to hold up cameras):


[Audio: English; Transcript: below]

From Balloon Juice:

As the students cry “Shame on you!” the police arrest a few students; but as the crowd circles them—non-threateningly, but insistent—the police begin to retreat. Then, amazingly, the students (via People’s mic) offer the retreating police a moment of peace: “We are willing to give you a brief moment of peace so that you may take your weapons and your friends and go. Please do not return.” And the police do. It’s frightening and amazing to watch.

There’s mostly shouting/confusion while the students are being sprayed, a lot of “Shame! Shame!” But then once the line has been broken apart and the students gather around, you can hear this:

Voice: “Mic check!”
Crowd: “Mic check!”

Voice: “We are willing…”
Crowd: “We are willing…”

Voice: “To give you a brief moment…”
Crowd: “To give you a brief moment…”

Voice: “Of peace…”
Crowd: “Of peace…”

Voice: “In order to take your weapons…”
Crowd: “In order to take your weapons…”

Voice: “And your friends…”
Crowd: “And your friends…”

Voice: “And go.”
Crowd: “And go.”

Voice: “Please do not return…”
Crowd: “Please do not return…”

Voice: “We are giving you a moment of peace.”
Crowd: “We are giving you a moment of peace.”

Crowd: “You can go! You can go!”

More coverage here and here.

ETA 11/19:

Chancellor Katehi’s Silver Tongued Bullshit — I especially love this line: Katehi, what do you mean by “serious health and safety concerns”? Be a bit more specific — these are the sorts of generalized claims that get my students C-minuses on their essays.

Other folks at UC Davis really not happy: Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. Excerpt: Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood. I can’t spot this in any of the videos, but the police crowd around several people to the point you can’t tell what’s going on. This is horrible.

Assorted tweets here, here, here

The inimitable Digby: Yes of course pepper spray is a torture device, regarding a previous case of pepperspray & the police and the subsequent trials. I do hope these kids turn around and sue the living daylights out of both the UC Davis police force and the UC Davis Chancellor & the UC Regents.

Pepper Spray Incidents Backfire In California and Oregon; When Is Pepper Spray Excessive Force?. This one expands on the legal aspects of proportionate and reasonable force as used by the police, very interesting reading.

Video from another angle, of the incident at UC Davis:

[Audio: not needed]

No, the UC Davis faculty are NOT happy: DFA Board Calls for Katehi’s Resignation

Nor are other folks on campus: After pepper-spraying incident, UC Davis redesigns website

Press conference flop: Chancellor Katehi’s press conference summary. Raw video footage (no CC, no transcripts) here. (I’m tempted to take bets on how long it will take her to resign — demands for her resignation are not just throughout the UC Campus, but global as well.)

Check this out: series of pictures around press conference (click right arrows to proceed through pictures, each of which has descriptive notes) here.

Spotted here: The Walk of Shame After some initial confusion, UC Chancellor Linda Katehi refused to leave the building, attempting to give the media the impression that the students were somehow holding her hostage. A group of highly organized students formed large gap for the chancellor to leave. They chanted “we are peaceful” and “just walk home,” but nothing changed for several hours. Eventually student representatives convinced the chancellor to leave after telling their fellow students to sit down and lock arms. UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car.

Footage surfaces that backs up claims of pepper spray directed down peoples’ mouths. I can’t (obviously) hear it, but apparently you can hear a police officer say “Open your mouth” in the clip. Plus, watch closely around 27-35 seconds in.

[Audio: jumbled yelling, etc]

ETA 11/20:

Interview with a pepper-sprayed UC Davis student. A must read. He thoroughly describes the events leading up to the spray, being sprayed and what he wants done now. Lots of pictures.

The roots of the UC-Davis pepper-spraying — by Glenn Greenwald.

Why I walked Chancellor Katehi out of Surge II Tonight, by Kristin Stoneking — a Facebook post (reproduced on my G+ stream, since you must be logged into an FB account to view the direct link) giving another eyewitness account of the “Walk of Shame.” The students at UC Davis are simply amazing.

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