what happened on friday at UC davis is fucking outrageous!! the important part is mostly in the first minute of the video. peaceful protesters who are just sitting on the ground are being pepper-sprayed for no reason at all. this is how UC davis professor nathan brown describes what happened next:
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.
being arrested after pepper-sprayed is especially painful, because you can’t wash the stuff out of your eyes or try to reduce the pain – you’re in handcuffs. i don’t even know if the word agony sufficiently describes that situation.
the council of UC faculty associations condemned the police violence, calling it “unprovoked, disproportional and excessive”. they “are outraged that the administrations of UC campuses are using police brutality to suppress dissent, free speech and peaceful assembly”.
prof. brown’s open letter to the UC davis chancellor linda p.b. katehi calls for her immediate resignation, as the person directly responsible for this course of action. i fully support prof. brown. i’d even go a step further. she should be arrested and tried for this criminal assault (i’m not a lawyer, so i don’t know if this is actually possible. it’s simply an expression of my personal sense of justice).
i wouldn’t stop there. usually i see the police as victims/puppets of those that command them (usually politicians in the executive branch), and not as malignant people. but in this case, all i see is plain cold-hearted brutality. the cop, identified as john pike, doesn’t even try to steal himself away from the scene, like NYC’s tony boloney. this guy seems pretty proud of his actions. he should stand trial as well!
yet again, the i am not moving movie is spot on.
[UPDATE: how awesome is this movement?! they managed to protest the chancellor with their presence in absolute silence as she exited the press conference, turning it into a walk of shame!]