Police officer pepper-sprays seated, non-violent students at UC Davis

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334 Responses to “Police officer pepper-sprays seated, non-violent students at UC Davis”

  1. talknukes says:

    wait– they now walk around with paintball guns, too? what is this a FPS game?

  2. talknukes says:

    peace wins at 7:05 !! awesome! let this be a lesson on the power of peace and nonviolent resistance  “we’re giving you a moment of peace” works 

    • ZikZak says:

      Funny how we can watch the same film, and where I see police mercilessly pepper spraying and arresting people, you see a victory for “the power of peace and nonviolent resistance”.

      A bunch of human beings got tortured and beaten.  They got dragged away to cages, where they will be held for hours with nothing but the burning pain of pepper spray to occupy them.  It may easily be one of the most painful and scary experiences those people have ever had.  They may experience lasting psychological trauma.

      Nobody did anything to stop the police from doing this.  Nobody did anything because they believe in the power of peace and nonviolent resistance.  Maybe there is some power in nonviolent resistance, but I didn’t see it here.  The only power I saw was in the hands of the police.

      • Marja Erwin says:

        Word. Some of the survivors are going to be struggling with PTSD for years to come, and are going to be triggered by interactions with police and courts, among other things. Some of the survivors are going to have trouble speaking about their experiences, face victim-blaming if they do, and face these memories eating them away fro inside if they don’t. If we are going to create a nonviolent alternative – and I believe we all need a nonviolent alternative – one of the first things we need is to help the survivors of the violence here.

      • Mark Lee McDonald says:

        While there’s any respect for the rule of law, non-violent resistance is the ONLY effective option. In situations like this the aggressor is starkly apparent, and that has impact. Violent resistance would have played right into the Police narrative and allowed them to respond with both greater force and greater impunity. A doubly losing proposition.

      • completely disagree with ZikZak. This was a wonderful display of successful nonviolent resistance. Did you see the cops turn tail and run at the end?

        I guess people can start calling for violent revolution now, uh, if they want… but please just be upfront about it, don’t concern troll nonviolence.

      • Itsumishi says:

        I’d say the only reason more people weren’t sprayed was the hundreds of cameras and people chanting “shame on you” as the cops backed away and left. If the crowd had become violent this footage would be examined alongside plenty of other footage of cops getting punched, people being violent the crowd “rioting”. 

        Then the entire case about who has done the wrong becomes a whole lot murkier. This way everyone that views that video knows the cop is the wrong, they know the crowd wasn’t violent, and as others have pointed out that department will probably get sued, or at the very least someone’s head will role. Almost certainly that cop and not his supervisor that told him to do it, but that’s another matter again.

      • The point is to make it obvious that the motivations and tactics of the police are wrong, and make sure as many people see it as possible. If there were ten cameras amongst 120 actual target protestors, it’s relatively easy to shut down those ten cameras, and therefore dominate the PR battle. This isn’t about making sure as many people suffer as possible. It’s really about marshalling the last possible vestiges of respect and belief in the rule of law, as opposed to random whims of power, used to intimidate citizens.

      • Guest says:

        Who, in that film, died a little inside? Protestor or Punisher?

        We know who is winning. Sorry we can’t wrap it up in a 1/2 hour sitcom style ending that resolves everything in time for a short attention span.

      • Guest says:

        So Gandhi was a loser, then?

  3. This had me shaking. So disgusted. I hope that every one of those kids gets recognition for their bravery.

  4. sagodjur says:

    There needs to be a more well established rule for the use of pepper spray against crowds. If the crowd is non-violent and not actively fighting you, pepper spray is cruel punishment without due process. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem all that unusual. It’s the cops punishing protesters for exercising free speech.

    • geekandwife says:

      There are rules in most police departments about it.  There is also rules about baton use and striking with a closed fist.. but as you have seen, a rule doesn’t do much good when those who enforce it are those who are in violation of it…

      • sagodjur says:

        I know there are rules for each law enforcement agency. I should have phrased it better. There needs to be federal laws in place that protect protesters from police brutality and unjust punishment such as this without due process that is actively enforced by the FBI, which is actually mandated to curb police misconduct. The FBI is just too busy looking for copyright infringers for Big Media to worry about police brutality.

        • Cowicide says:

          “The right of the people peaceably to assemble for the purpose of petitioning Congress for a redress of grievances, or for anything else connected with the powers or duties of the National Government, is an attribute of national citizenship, and, as such, under protection of, and guaranteed by, the United States.”

          Wouldn’t it be amazing if Obama had the guts to send the National Guard into areas where the police en masse are squashing freedom of assembly?

          The National Guard could use brown-note weapons against dirty cops to make them evacuate their bowels.

          Ok, I think I’m channeling Frank Miller’s nemesis here….

    • Guest says:

      Take it to the courts, that’s the only way things will get changed.

    • evolmechanica says:

      Well put.

  5. capnmarrrrk says:

    I think we as a nation are starting to see way too much of “Just Following Orders” appearing in “Peace Officer” behavior. It’s goddamned  Milgram all the way down: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

  6. mulveyr says:

    One of the things I try to do every night before I go to bed is ask myself, “Did I make the world a little better today?  Or at least did have I done no harm?”

    I wonder how the pepper-spraying cop would answer that question.  Or if it even occurs to him to ask it of himself.

  7. Bill de Iturromdo says:

    I know they are just doing their duty so I can’t blame the cops.

    But it just seems so harsh. If I were there…
    I would suggest that the demonstrations work in shifts.
    10 students sit down. 10 students get sprayed and taken away.
    15 sit down to replace them. Then 20 replace those. then 30 replace those. 
    Violence is not the answer, but resolve is.

    • capnmarrrrk says:

      “I know they are just doing their duty so I can’t blame the cops.”
      Yes, Yes you can. 

      You can blame the cops for working a jobs that require them to spray harmless kids in the face with pepper spray.

      You can blame the commanders for ordering their officers to spray harmless kids with pepper spray.

      You can blame a culture that thinks it’s ok to spray harmless kids with pepper spray.

      • Frank Kliegel says:

        The Students were warned of the consequences of their actions. If the police did not go through with their threats then we would not be here discussing the merits or demerits of their actions. It was their decision to continue to resist and to that end take the punishment they felt was worthwhile. Only time will tell if their actions for this cause are relevent.

        • Frank, you ignorant slut. It is not the role of the police to punish. People are innocent until proven guilty in this country. Police would be punishing people who ALLEGEDLY are committing a crime.  A judge and jury decide guilt and punishment.

          • Frank Kliegel says:

            I was only making the observation that if not for the pepper spraying we would not be discussing the issues at hand. The students made the decision resist and does that not make there point stronger?

          • Frank Kliegel says:

            By the way, my wife’s name is Jane, and she hates that line.

          • Sorry for using classic Saturday Night Live name calling on you Frank.  Just lost my temper for a minute there.

          • glassartists says:

            I think you should take a look at the UC Davis video again, I dont think I heard a word of anger or name calling from the totally peaceful and calm protesters. Can I suggest that getting annoyed with some one who expresses an opinion, neither serves yourself or the cause of the protesters. 
            I agree we all find things  and comments annoying at times, but to engage with the language that you used is possibly verging on becoming like them………..and that just gives them the justification for the escalation of violence that they may be seeking.

          • ffij says:

            Regarding your comment, “I don’t think I heard a word of anger or name calling from the … protesters.”  Listen at about 4:14, and it really sounds like the same voice that was chanting “shame on you” just before says something like “…you shit-swine…”
             
            All I’m trying to say here is please don’t give either side a clean slate without having all of the evidence.  Even if you were there, you couldn’t guarantee that a protester didn’t have some choice words about the spraying officer’s mother when you were distracted for a second.
             
            I’m not here to start an argument; I’m not here to raise judgement.  I’m just hoping that those folks who call the police blameless and those folks who call the protesters saints can both take a step back and admit that maybe the side they were cheering for has made a couple mistakes.  That’s where progress comes from.
            (Everybody else, please stop encouraging the trolls.  I came here for your thoughts, not your frivolous arguments.)

          • glassartists says:

            I revisited the video, and do you know I did on close observation, notice that same single person saying  words along the line that you describe. although I heard “…you shit lying..” ..but there you go. I suppose if some one were to do a technical analysis of the sounds at the scene we could have clarified what was said, and probably by whom.

            I suppose you may well be right, some one could say those words to a police officer, I must admit that under the circumstances that person would have to be stark raving mad and probably very nervous..or very cold calculating and with little regard for the well being of others………..indeed not the sort of person one would want in front of one.

            But do you know looking very closely at the police officers at the start of the video, they are very calm and casual..to such a degree that several of them including the “Piker” have their face shields raised.

            I am sure that you would agree that if you and I were those officers and we heard that a seated protester was going to pepper spray one of our mothers…that we would certainly immediately lower those protective face guards as a sensible precaution.
            We would be acting in a cavalier manner if we did not. 

            But officer Pike clearly has his visor raised as he does several passes with the pepper spray on the seated immobile protesters who seem to be silent at that point, and he does apparently do so with a cold calculating manner.

            You know, I was brought up with the old addage of 

            “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.”

            I am afraid that I must admit pride in the moral lesson that that little phrase has taught me throughout my life.

            I must tell you that I saw little morality or good judgement on the part of Officer Pike, his actions may well have led to many injuries to both police offiicers ( who were after all only doing their jobs and had been called in on a health and safety issue) and peaceful protesters. 

            It only takes one instance to spark the maddnes of crowds, his could have been that act……however the crowd acted with dignity and did not it would seem react with violence.

            But for the Principle of a University to call in police in riot gear, to apparently sort out a Health and safety issue..well one must really question the judgement of that, as I now believe many on the campus staff and student population are now doing.

            It is my belief that the police backed away from a situation that had become in fact immoral as a result of the heavy handed  and frankly cavalier action of Officer Pike.
            He is after all trained to act in a manner befitting the situation and apply due force in a neutral manner and with a level of force only neccessary to contain a situation.

            Even if your scenario about his mother had happened, he would have had no right  to act in the manner he did. I really dont think your pepper spray is mom holds any water at all.

            In fact if you watch the video closely, the police are relatively relaxed enough for many of them to have visors raised,  no helmets on and in a few cases interact quietly with protesters.

            That leads me to believe, on this observation, that the crowd remained calm, the police officers did not feel duly under threat and retreated rather graciously and in good order.

            That is after one of their officers, officer Pike, carried out the pepper spraying incident, which I believe has ill served the vast number of police officers in the United States who are decent, moral and law abiding citizens. 

            I am sure that many people here and on the various protests will agree with my summing up of your police forces..but it takes only one bad apple………………….sadly….!!!!

          • ffij says:

            I offer a friendly point of clarification, and then I retire back into my shadows.  I am always upset when the response to an incident like this is some troll screaming “pepper spray that cop’s family!!”  That is the worst reaction, and I wholeheartedly condemn it. 

            I cannot be wordy without being equally clumsy, and my previous comment is worded awkwardly.  What I meant with the comment about the cop’s mother was more of an off-hand “Your mother is so ___ that she _____.”  In certain circles (especially around the age of most of the people in that video), these statements are the least strong and the least enthusiastic of all possible insults, and that is the direction I was headed in my mind, though unfortunately not so eloquently with my keyboard.  I would never suggest that a protester should threaten an officer or his family, or that any of the protesters did so.

            Instead, I was trying to gently point out that it is possible that the protesters are not entirely without fault (I’m going to throw my previous neutrality out and say they were without blame in this particular incident, but certainly not without fault, even if that fault was no more than some angry dude yelling something inappropriate at the retreating officers in the video (and yes, I’m not 100% sure of what he said either)).  Your earlier comment made it sound like you viewed the protesters as perfect and without blame, which they may very well be in this specific incident.  Unfortunately, we weren’t there, and even if we were, our understanding of the scene would be far from complete.

            I guess I should also attempt to broaden my earlier statement to the movement as a whole.  Over the past couple months, both sides have made stupid decisions.  Some media (boingboing, etc) focus entirely on perceived police mistakes, other media (faux news, etc) focus only on perceived protester mistakes.
            I’m of the opinion that both sides have screwed up at various times with varying degrees, and we’ll get a lot more done when those with strong opinions either way stop treating their side as saints and start honestly thinking (and talking) about what got us into this mess in the first place.

          • glassartists says:

            In relation, to the protesters as portrayed in the video before and after the pepper spray incident, I must agree with you, yes they were on the whole well mannered and peaceful under the circumstances. 

            But I think that a clear and definite clarity must be made between peaceful protesters, which the vast majority of OWS seem to be  and quite frankly agitators who are quite frankly just out to make mischief and cause madness and mayhem.

            I left the USA in the early 1960`s just before the Civil rights Movement really gained momentum, and grew up in Scotland watching it gather a dignified pace, and I really have to say that the true OWS protesters are acting in a very similar fashion in the face of, it would seem intolerable pressure being put on their inherent Civil Rights as determined under the Constitution of the United States of America.

            I think it is fairly obvious that the roots  of these protests have have come about over a number of years, but have really come to a head as a result of the absolute greed and cavalier extreem capitalistic greed of large Corporations and individuals world wide, but with their economic power base firmly esconsed in places like Wall Street and the financial heart of London.
            In the past 20 years wealth has polarized to such a degree, that there are now really only 2 classes ….the super rich and the rest, and this is a global situation..not just american.

            When people hear that their elected Representatives, in both the Senate and Congress are legally entitled to carry out “insider trading” ( one example  of many ) then its no wonder that they feel disenfranchised with no one to listen to the dire circumstances that many Americans were thrown into as a result of the wall street debacle.
            The fact the the american government seems to be interchangeable with Wall Street, as to personnel, must be greater cause for concern for people who feel ground down.
            The fact that the banks have walked away Scot free and the near failure of your government to balance the budget  during the summer must be real cause for concern, not just to Americans but the whole world. What messages have successive government, both democrat and republican, given out over the years..apart fro greif and misery for many.  Please note that I would include my own British government in this analysis as well.

            I think a lot more will be done by a government, that is honest in its approach to the biggest asset of any nation and that is  whole population and not just pander to the few who can afford the vast lobbying fees needed to oil the wheels of your Government these days.

            I think under the circumstances, BoingBoing are doing a good job in their reporting of this , as they have done with many other events. Their coverage of the Fukishima disaster was comprehensive and catholic in its approach. If this seem biased in this cause I think there is some justification..as your mainstream media does seem to concentrate on the agitators and not the genuine protesters.

            You must remember that the vast bulk of your media and communication networks are in the hands of a few and we in Britain recently saw the danger of this, with the disgraceful behaviour ( illegal phone hacking on an industrial scale) of News International a company owned by Rupert Murdoch who also by the way owns FOXX and other large chunks of your media.
            Power corrupts..absolute power corrupts absolutely….and this is a concern , a big concern, of the protesters. 

            The heart of  America is being squeezed  and slowly people across the country are realizing, that its not just big business, but their government as well which is now controlled one way or another by that same big business.

            America is founded on rebelling against big British business and I think that the genuine protesters of this movement are acting in that same 13 state manner, and should be applauded for bringing to attention the slide from democracy.

            I have said this before on other posts, but from where I am sitting it really does look as if the United States is slowly sliding into becoming a Medieval Norman feudal society, complete with robber barons and you the peasants.  During that time some of the worst and richest tyrants  existed in Britain sitting atop the grinding poverty of the general population, and really is that where Americans want to go…I would hope not

          • FrodeSvendsen says:

            First of all, like you say, I can’t think of a single word in any language that is sufficient to warrant a violent response by a trained, professional police officer. Full points there.. 

            Second of all, I am very tired of hearing about the “one bad apple” lie. If that was the case, the other, law abiding, decent officers should have stopped the one with the pepper spray. Or better yet, arrested him. But no, they encircle him, and others like him, in a blue wall of silence. Reform your police forces, do it know!

          • pigpen23 says:

            well, yeah. fuck the pigs. remember the last few years of shit going down in europe and the middle east? here’s the chant they used: (repeat after me) COPS! PIGS! MURDERERS!

            yeah, arab spring involved a whole lotta torched buildings and cops on fire.

    • Ceronomus says:

      Brutalizing peaceful protesters is NOT their duty…it is a disgrace.

    • Guest says:

      Really? You can’t blame them?

    • ZikZak says:

      It is easy to expect resolve of others.  You are there.  This is happening in your society.  This is being done by your government.  If you think you know what needs to be done, go do it.  When you act, you become powerful.  And you learn a lot.

    • Kevin Pierce says:

      The police are prepared for violence, and when they don’t get any, they create some.

    • Matthew Welch says:

      It’s not “doing their duty”.  There are ways for them to do their duty that don’t involved close-range pepper-spray to peaceful protestors.  Just following orders doesn’t cut it.

    • Mordicai says:

      Yeah you can, you can blame them.

    • mathew says:

      They are only following orders, alles ist in ordnung.

    • Guest says:

      Sure you can. “Just following orders” is not an excuse for crimes, this has been well established in civil, criminal, and global courts. 

    • milkman says:

      Obviously to a much more extreme extent, but its like saying, “I can’t blame Nazis, they were just following orders”…I think we all pretty much agreed in blaming Nazis anyway.

    • saidas says:

      That is exactly the defense the Nazi SS used at the Nuremberg trials.

  8. parrotboy says:

    This is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.  Kudos to the protesters and those who support them.  Here’s hoping it doesn’t go too deep into the ugly before change starts happening.

  9. nixiebunny says:

    I hope everyone watching this on TV understands by now that “the land of the free” is a lie.

    • The thing is, there’s no one watching this on TV – it’s not being broadcast anywhere. The media is turning a blind eye on all of the the protests, showing only what’s in their best interest – and hint, it’s not police brutality.

    • Warren Wright says:

      Except while we don’t have as much freedom as we’re supposed to everywhere else is worse.

  10. Guest says:

    “I want to be very clear in calling upon the Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters. The people of Egypt have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.” —Barack Obama

  11. Guest says:

    Here’s an idea, spray them back! Or maybe a member of their family…

    • Kevin Pierce says:

      Troll much?   That is precisely what they are hoping for.   

    • rattypilgrim says:

      Do you not get the concept of non-violence and how it separates the righteous from those who use brute force instead of dialog and how the world always goes against the brutes?  It takes more guts to stand up to power in a peaceful way than to devolve to their low, inhumane level.

  12. Guest says:

    It is hard to imagine how anyone defending the status quo could view this video and not realize that it represents the meridian of their defeat. From the needless bulk-pepper-spraying of unresisting protesters (who clearly would have been taken away by the police in exactly the same fashion without the pepper spray) to the tight-formation phalanx of officers that could not more clearly have displayed that what they are protecting is themselves and nothing else — from a threat that just as evidently doesn’t exist — there is not only victory for the protesters, there is also clear evidence that what they are protesting is real and is wrong.

    The name of Gandhi should be looming large on the defenders of the established order right about now.

  13. boris kane says:

    This is ridiculous, one hundred people stand, watch, and record a dozen people getting pepper sprayed for a cause that they all believe in. What is this, martyrdom? Why don’t they all join in and fight for the cause? Yeah you’ll get pepper sprayed, but then it’s 112 people getting pepper sprayed for doing nothing but sitting on the ground, not just 12.

    Either OWS goes down the same route as the arab springs or this all ends with everyone just getting tired of being pepper sprayed.

    • Matthew Welch says:

      If they all joined in no one would be recording it then we wouldn’t know just how bad it was and the police could spin it any way they want.  Those recording it and watching on the sidelines are just as important as those getting brutalized.

    • Catbeller says:

      They WANT the crowd to charge. Oh, how the 1% pray for that. On Fox news and Cramer’s tweets, they *know* that the crowd is violent and out of control. Oh, for just one crowd to lose control – then they send in the military and no one ever gets to protest again.

    • Cowicide says:

      What is this, martyrdom? Why don’t they all join in and fight for the cause? Yeah you’ll get pepper sprayed, but then it’s 112 people getting pepper sprayed for doing nothing but sitting on the ground, not just 12.

      Either OWS goes down the same route as the arab springs or this all ends with everyone just getting tired of being pepper sprayed.

      Boris, please educate yourself.

      http://boingboing.net/2011/11/18/police-pepper-spraying-arrest.html#comment-368122572

    • EvilSpirit says:

      Why don’t they all join in and fight for the cause?

      In the video *I* watched all the way to the end, they *did* all join in and fight for the cause. They did it the effective way, which may not have been the way you had in mind.

    • Dree says:

      Pepper sprayed?  No, you will get shot.

  14. It seems like sheer laziness by the police department.  “I can’t be bothered to arrest all of you and do all that paperwork.  I’m going to judge you guilty, and dole out your punishment right here.”

    There’s something really weird about the video though… it seems like the students know it is coming in advance, and the officer kind of holds the spray can up high to announce to everybody that he will use it.  Very weird.

    Watching the police leave at the end is equally bizarre.  They walk away from the situation as if they are leaving a stand off with a dozen gunmen.  I guess their training tells them to never let their guard down.

    We need to compile a master video of all these events and demand a hearing in Congress where we can play it for them.  On repeat.  For a few hours.

    There’s something very wrong with police department leadership in several cities in this country.

    • igpajo says:

      I’m betting they know it’s coming because they’ve been told multiple times if they don’t clear the area they will be pepper sprayed.   That’s what I thought immediately upon seeing the police officer hold the can up as if to show everyone “Ok, here it comes.”   Odd that we don’t see the minutes before the video starts to see whether they were warned it was going to happen.  To me it looks staged because it’s probably exactly what the protesters wanted to happen.  I don’t get why the police were making the point of pepper spraying them because they were “in the way”.  What are they in the way off.  Looks like they’re sitting on a big cement square.  There are police on both sides of them and they are clearly just stepping over them when they want to.  Definitely unnecessary, but it sure looks like the protesters were expecting it, even anticipating it.  

      • rattypilgrim says:

        Read the post before yours. And people resisting non-violently aren’t asking for it. This is like the German Shepard Dogs used to intimidate and attack the non-violent  civil rights protesters in the 1960′s.  Sadly, this is how things get changed in our country. Apparently you think it happens  if you close your eyes and click your heels together twice while repeating, “There’s no place like home”.

        • igpajo says:

          Not quite sure how you got out of my post that I think they were asking for it, at least in the same sense that it’s implied I think they deserve it.  I wasn’t saying they deserved it, I meant that I think they probably wanted that to happen.  You don’t think that after seeing the press that 84 year old lady got after being pepper sprayed the other day in Seattle, that some in the movement wouldn’t see an opportunity in positioning themselves so as to provoke the police into deploying pepper spray with maximum media coverage?  This video has certainly gone viral hasn’t it.  I think Ms.Dorli Rainey was on no fewer than a dozen TV/Radio shows yesterday and probably interviewed for even more print/web stories.  She’s become the movement’s Rosa Parks because of her unfortunate encounter with chemical agents.  Whether it’s right or wrong of the police to deploy it, getting the Police to pepper spray you with dozens of video cameras rolling is a guaranteed way to get your local protest mentioned in the national media.  It’s a good way to get more people outraged and gain sympathy for the movement.  Even Ms Rainey mentioned in several interviews how getting on a bus soaked in milk and pepper spray became an opportunity to convert those aboard to sympathize with the protestors.   It’s all about media coverage.  So yeah, I think they were expecting something like that to happen.  (And if you don’t think they were expecting to be pepper sprayed in Seattle, ask yourself why Ms. Rainey had milk flowing down her face in that iconic photo, and why liquid Maalox was flying off store shelves in the neighborhoods around downtown Seattle.)

          • wygit says:

            “GETTING the Police to pepper spray you”?

            WTF!?!?

          • Paul Westcott says:

            Such a twisted argument you are trying here.

            Almost as good as saying that  poor people took loans from the banks, knowing they couldn’t pay back them back, because they knew that that would cause a financial crisis, which would assist in pulling power away from the banks and create the OWS movement!Like really.OK, maybe it does play well to the media, and get some more support for OWS. But if they didn’t spray peaceful protesters then it wouldn’t be a media opportunity would it?

    • Bart says:

      Apparently, the protesters were warned beforehand of what might happen if they didn’t comply. Still doesn’t justify what took place though. Throughly shameful.

    • cpm5280 says:

      A hearing in Congress? That’s like establishing a research feasibility study committee. Useless, costly, and designed to waste time. Congress is just another part of the problem, not a potential solution.

  15. Mark Lee McDonald says:

    I think the real story here is the way the crowd drove the police back. A calm but unyielding crowd is a very powerful force.

  16. There is actually legal precedence in California saying pepper spraying non-violent protesters legally qualifies as excessive force.   Case was Headwaters Forest Defense v. The County of Humboldt.  The casual way the officer paused before spraying certainly implies he was not under specific duress.  UC Davis Police department is going to get sued, and probably will lose.

    • Guest says:

      To be fair, the officers in the Headwaters case were appylying pepper spray with swabs directly to the (locked together, unable to move) protestors eyes, so as not to overspray in a congressmans lobby.

    • indy_girl says:

       Good.

    • Josh H says:

      from the Lexis Nexis overview on Headwaters: “Officers used pepper spray on nonviolent protestors, to force them to release themselves from lock-down devices, by applying the irritant directly to their eyes. The officers refused them water to wash out their eyes unless they released themselves, threatened the pain would get worse, and authorized full blasts, despite the maker’s warning against spraying from three feet or less away. The appeals court’s reversal of the trial court’s grants of qualified immunity and judgment as a matter of law was vacated. After remand, the appeals court found a rational juror could have concluded the officers violated the protestors’ right to be free from excessive force. Under Saucier, it would be clear to a reasonable officer that repeated use of pepper spray was excessive under the circumstances: it was unneeded to subdue, arrest, or safely and quickly remove people without pain or injury. Even absent direct precedent, the officers violated clearly established Fourth Amendment rights by using objectively unreasonable force in the circumstances to arrest the protesters. They did not actively resist arrest because they were peaceful, easily moved, and did not threaten or harm the officer”

  17. At least two people in this thread so far are calling for interfering with the pepper spraying or actually pepper spraying the police back.  I mean it is obvious right, and we’ve all thought of it.  I just really worry about when it actually happens.  If only a few people fight back, they will be either sent to prison for a long time or they will be beaten to death by police.  Not to mention the vast loss of popular support a protest movement gets when it turns violent.

    We have a moral obligation to storm Congress and demand police reform before we turn to violence.

    It really seems time for the entire movement to descend on Washington and not leave until there is change.

    My number one demand, without a doubt, is campaign finance and election reform. Good luck reforming anything else with a bought Congress.

    My second demand is quickly becoming police policy reform.  We’ve militarized our police.  We need to unmilitarize them.

    Allow me to add in response to Trey Muhlhauser: We should be all outraged about the lack of accountability for blatantly illegal actions by public officials — because when the State is sued and pays a huge settlement, there goes our tax dollars.

  18. Mitchell Glaser says:

    Welcome to the U.S. where we deplore torture anywhere but here. Watching the Republican debate the other night where the candidates fairly leapfrogged over each other to declare their support of waterboarding made me want to vomit. And seeing this just proves how common torture is this country.

    • Warren Wright says:

      Do you know the kind of stuff that the terrorists do to people? Waterboarding is nothing compared to that. Things like shoving a hose up your rear end and turning it on until you’ve voided the contents of your stomach and bowels through your mouth. Things like sticking you up on meathooks and then tearing you down from them. And some of the stuff that we do that people are calling torture? It’s just stuff like shoving a prisoner in a slightly damp, slightly cold room and forcing them to listen to really bad music.

      • Douglass says:

        Do you have the slightest clue of the long and sordid history of police brutality in the United States?

        That’s clearly a rhetorical question because if you did, you either wouldn’t say that or you’d justify it no matter what I said. That said, you should look at some of the other footage of the way protesters have been attacked, or the case of Abner Louima, or the mass of charges and incidents concerning the Chicago Police Department.

      • eryximachus says:

        Yes, terrorists are bad.

        We know.

        Why are these cops trying to emulate them?

      • L_Mariachi says:

        “If we sawed off captives’ arms and legs on TV that would be okay, because some terrorists somewhere sawed off some guys’ heads.” That correlates exactly to what you’re saying. I really hope you’re just pretending to be an utter psychopath for trolling purposes.

  19. MrBillWest says:

    I am baffled… They clearly were planning to arrest the sitting students. They were offering no resistance. Why use the pepper spray?
     
    I know what the police would say: “it is for our safety.. they could get violent… we must put the safety of our officer first. Well, lets take that logic and see where it brings us. You harm 10+ plus people to prevent the possible harm of a few officers. Does that make sense?
     
    These actions also increase the likely hood actual violence. Images like this impire more people to protest. The more protests and protesters, the more likely one will get out of hand. Thus incresing the likely hood that an officer gets hurt and public property could be damaged.
     
    My mother told me to not complain without a solutions. So, here it is: don’t pepper spray non-violent protester you intent to arrest. Just arrest them and move on. If you get hurt, so be it. You are a police officer. Your job is inherntly dangerous.

    • Mitchell Glaser says:

      Interesting. Do you think the police really feel safer after pepper spaying the protesters? Then the solution would seem obvious: when a policeman is killed for doing it, they will no longer feel safer, and they will stop doing it. No logic on display anywhere here.

      • Michael Hasse says:

        Boy, the trolls are out in force tonight! 
           Clearly the 1% would really, really like some violence to happen to justify use of (more extreme) force.
           Fortunately OWS polices its own.  More than a few potential (and actual) troublemakers have been summarily seized and presented to law enforcement by the crowd around them.
           My thought is that as the movement grows it will actually become more difficult for agents provocateur to operate as it will be so patently obvious that they don’t belong.
           Or, to put it another way, this is the Silent Majority, no longer silent…

      • That’s not how I think it works. The first police officer to get killed in one of these protests, even if it’s because he tripped over his own bootlaces, will likely see the end of pepper spray, to be replaced by bean-bag rounds, LRADs, water cannon, and then real bullets. When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. If the nail doesn’t move, get a bigger hammer. Insane, I know. None the less, that’s the usual route of escalation.

    • And then there’s the obvious old adage: come dressed for a riot, and what do you think will happen next?

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      “it is for our safety.. they could get violent… we must put the safety of our officer first.”

      If you can’t handle passive students during a sit-in without resorting to weapons then you need to change careers.  The quality of police officers has gone down the toilet in some depts it seems.

    • Guest says:

      Not only that, but then you have to arrest a bunch of people covered in pepper spray. 

  20. Bodhipaksa says:

    What we’ve just witnessed would be a war crime if perpetrated against Iraqis by US troops. From Wikipedia: “Pepper spray is banned for use in war by Article I.5 of the Chemical Weapons Convention which bans the use of all riot control agents in warfare whether lethal or less-than-lethal.” It’s illegal for a country to use chemical agents against anyone but its own population. 

    • Catbeller says:

      Um, Manning tried to out a war crime by leaking video of our troops killing civilians for fun – and he was in solitary for over a year, and he’s still sitting in prison uncharged. And the journalists who posted the video now cannot get donations by orders of the US government. What war crimes? Who reports? 

  21. ProChoiceGrandma says:

    I am so thankful for all those physically able to participate in OWS!  This OWS movement is what German citizens SHOULD have done in 1930′s Germany when the corporatists used fear and intimidation to make an entire nation cower, much like what the GOP and the 1% are trying to do in the USA.  That cop pepper sprayed those students when there was no threat of violence or injury to anyone, he used it as a tool to intimidate.  That is abuse of power.  What the hell is wrong with these cops?  Their actions are reminiscent of the Gestapo from 80 years ago.  Or is it now to be known as the GOPstapo?  “Just following orders” is no excuse to repeat a vile part of history. 

  22. Kwolfbrooks says:

    A despicable act.  He has pleasure in inflicting pain.  That cop was beaten up by his father many times.  Power to the protesters.

  23. Bodhipaksa says:

    By the way, when Occupy protestors know they are about to be pepper-sprayed or clubbed, what would happen if they started singing the national anthem? I’d love to see the police attacking a bunch of people singing the Star Spangled Banner. It would be the kind of publicity that could be a real tipping point. Or perhaps some germ of decency would spring forth, and they’d back off. Either way, we win.

  24. I’ve watched the entire video. Describing it as “pure awful brutality” seems like hyperbole. The police seemed in control of their actions; I saw no use of their batons or air weapons (although I thought I heard one discharge about halfway through the video) and no striking with open or closed hands. Perhaps viewing some of the old newsreel footage of the 60′s freedom marches would provide some needed perspective: fire hoses, biting police dogs, some unrestrained billy-clubbing and a lot of bleeding. 

    I would feel differently if the students had been peacefully seated along the sides of the sidewalk. But they chose to block the path of the police and they got what most of us would get for police interference: an unpleasant experience and a ride downtown. Maybe it was worth it to these students in order to make their statement. But it would probably be better for them to put their efforts into mobilizing at the ballot box. We’ve already seen how effective this can be in recent elections. If OWS has as large a backing in the general population as stated, then it should be relatively easy to elect representatives who will move the agenda forward. Casting a vote could actually make a difference, and it’s a lot easier than taking a face-full of pepper spray. 

    • SoItBegins says:

      What can casting a vote do when the political system can be bought off by (only) anyone with enough cash to hire lobbyists and make big campaign contributions?

      • Michael Hasse says:

        There’s actually a really interesting comment here:

           http://www.creators.com/opinion/steve-chapman/a-cornfed-remedy-for-illinois-graft.html#comment9527

        …which summarizes political corruption thusly: “…it is like sending a nun to a house of prostitution…She does not convert them…They convert her…”

        The same comment describes the current situation: “…when 100 people are representing 300 million and not at all equally, that…is a great big gold plated invitation to corruption…”

        As well as a solution taken from history, as compared to the present day: “The Ancient Greeks in their Supreme Court had a ratio of one to two hundred and fifty to make corruption expensive… We go the other way and economize corruption…”

        I don’t know who the author of the comment is, but “Sweeney” seems to have his head around it all pretty well.

    • Bodhipaksa says:

      Which of the two Republican parties do you suggest we vote for? Original flavor or lite? 

      • rattypilgrim says:

        Three words: Supreme Court Justice. Which party do you want to choose the next one which WILL happen in the next 4 years.

        • Bodhipaksa says:

          I won’t argue with you. There are differences between the parties. One is worse than the other. But in fundamental respects both are sold out to Wall Street, and we’re not going to see fundamental change (public health care option, campaign finance reform, restructured tax system) merely by picking the Dems over the GOP.

    • Cowicide says:

      it would probably be better for them to put their efforts into mobilizing at the ballot box. We’ve already seen how effective this can be in recent elections.

      You’re kidding, right?  Please tell me you’re kidding.

      • Guest says:

        he is, isn’t he?  isn’t he?

      • Amy L Sacks says:

        Hey, nothing makes party hacks happier than a movement they can suck dry and then discard in the name of the almighty vote.

        See also: The fate of the Anti-War movement when it let Candidate Hopey grab it by the short hairs back in 2008.

    • So for something to be painful it has to involve bloodshed? I agree someone free swinging a club in anger sure makes for a more “brutal” scene, but  I believe you’re under estimating the amount of pain & damage chemicals can inflict upon a person. 

      And for whom would they have voted if something was organized? On the congressional level there’s very minimal difference between the parties and candidates for those positions. There’s been a deep seeded rot in the process for a long time now and its not going to change overnight; the current setup of the political process makes it hard for someone to just walk out of a movement and into a position without prior government experience. Are people supposed to just sit around on their hands waiting until they can try and elect someone?

    • Guest says:

      Friend, pepper spray is for dangerous people, not inconvenient people. #JustifyFail

    • Mark Lee McDonald says:

      Really, what? I mean holy shit. What?! So getting calmly pepper sprayed by a cop who is not only in no danger, but actually looks a bit bored doesn’t qualify as brutality? So what is the precise threshold where such an action becomes unacceptable? The fact that you find this a reasonable response to blocking a sidewalk is disturbing beyond measure.

    • Matthew Welch says:

      They were sitting and people were clearly able to get through.  If someone casually blocking a path but still letting people through is deserving of pepper spray then I should be able to pepper spray anyone who ever blocks the aisle in a grocery store.

    • CL38 says:

      Police interference???  This is the police interfering with protesters free speech and protest rights.   This is an abuse of power.

      Change begins with free speech and protest.  Next comes the ballot box, if right hasn’t legislated our voting rights away before the next election.

    • rattypilgrim says:

      Um, two cans of pepper spray aimed directly in the faces of passive protesters is hyperbole? And another thing…some people can walk and chew gum at the same time, i.e. protest and vote.

  25. BarBarSeven says:

    Where does one get pepper spray in huge “spray a whole line of non-violent students” sizes? Costco?

  26. Peter Hollo says:

    I love this “casting a vote” stuff that comes up all the time. Who’s the president now? Not a member of the Rethuglicans is he? Which party bailed out Wall St, do you recall? Not the really insane officially-right-wing one, was it?
    Democracy is lovely and all, but it’s not a viable way to effect change.

  27. I watched Gandhi. Isn’t this how Britain lost control of India?

    • balaknair says:

      Funny that. That’s exactly what watching the video reminded me of- the scene in Attenborough’s Gandhi where as each line of protesters is beaten down, the next line steps up and takes their place.

  28. If this guy is just doing his job… then his job is rubbish. Shit like this is starting to turn me against the police. I don’t like to paint in broad strokes, and I take a “they’re just doing their job” mentality, but the rampant aggression towards almost entirely peaceful protest and civil disobedience is starting to wear me down.

    I’m not buying my “fuck tha police” tshirt YET… but I’m seeing where people are coming from.

    A hefty THANK YOU to Officer Pike, for giving OWS some damn fine publicity. Author Jeff Sharlet ( @jeffsharlet)  just published Pike’s email and phone in his twitter stream, so go thank him yourself.

  29. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Gibbet/sport/own crows…peace.

  30. EH says:

    “The truth will set you free, but not until it is finished with you.” –DFW

  31. A song that is very appropriate lately:

    I’m gonna knock it down
    Any way that I can
    I’m gonna scream, I’m gonna yell
    I don’t want to have to use my hands

    It’s like screaming at a wall
    Someday it’s gonna fall

    You built up that wall around you
    And now you can’t see out
    And now you can’t hear my words
    No matter how loud I shout

    It’s like screaming at a wall
    Someday it’s gonna fall

    You’re safe inside and you know it
    ‘Cause I can’t get to you
    And you know I resent it
    And my temper grows

    You better reinforce those walls
    Until you don’t have no room to stand
    ‘Cause someday the bricks are gonna fall
    Someday I’m gonna use my hands
    – Screaming at a Wall, by Minor Threat

    This sort of abuse will only stand for so long before people break, stop taking it on the chin and fight back with a vengeance. I know it’s not a popular thing to say, and I am not advocating violence of any kind, but these police departments need to get their shit under control before they ignite more than just peaceful protests from these people.

    • Cowicide says:

      This sort of abuse will only stand for so long before people break, stop taking it on the chin and fight back with a vengeance.

      This guy is the expert on winning struggles in the face of brutality.  He’s been there (literally).  He’s done it.

      Please have a listen (hint: vengeance doesn’t work):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG64b_3OQcs

      • As I said *I am not advocating violence of any kind.* You’re preaching to the choir.

        • Cowicide says:

          As I said *I am not advocating violence of any kind.* You’re preaching to the choir.

          I guess I posted that video as more of a response to where you said this:

          these police departments need to get their shit under control before they ignite more than just peaceful protests from these people.

          Harry Belafonte goes into that in the video.  The corporatists are obviously pushing the police into trying to incite violence from the OWSm (and make it lose this war of ideas).

          The proper strategy is to not fall for it and continue to be peaceful at any cost… even death. Harry knows what the fuck he’s talking about, I’m just sayin’.

          We don’t leave this up to the police.  The police aren’t in control.  We’re in control as long as we keep ourselves in control.

          “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”
          - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

  32. I managed to get John Pike on the phone tonight through his cell.  He refused to answer any questions and kept directing me to the Chief of Police/UCPD PR. I asked him point blank what Penal Code section.  Refused to answer.  Was very aware that the call was “about the pepper spray.” So that’s another confirmation for you. It sounds like he’s not going to talk with anyone.

  33. glassartists says:

    In light of the UC Davis Police Officer who carried out the pepper spraying, can I suggest that in future, the act should be called “Piking” and the perpetrator, perpetrators  should be called  “Piker” or “Pikers. The actions are after all medieval in nature and really have no place in a peaceful protest or for that matter a University Campus unless it has of course become someones personal feifdom.
    What I find really interesting  about the USA at the moment is how much it is starting to resemble Medieval Norman / English society.

  34. Police… the biggest gang in the US. 

  35. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    Was it just me or was the look on their faces at the end,  one of… oh crap they aren’t afraid of us.
    We don’t have enough pepper spray or zip ties.

    They were only prepared for a violent response, and when they failed to illicit one the plan fell apart.  They are going to be very confused, they expected a violent clash like NYPD creates and they were denied what they wanted.  I feel sorry for those who face the next round of these officers trying to get the fight they are prepared for, I expect
    them to cross several lines they haven’t yet and I expect to see it end poorly.

    I expect to see a graduate of the Iraqi Information Minister school of spin, trying to say the protesters were actually wearwolves and that pepperspray was used only after they had torn apart and eaten an officer.  I find it amazing the media ignores the Youtube videos of the events happening in real time, and repeats the outright lies of spokesweasels.

    Someone should ask UC Davis to refund some of their tuition as they haven’t gotten their allotment of pepperspray yet.

  36. Justin J. Snelgrove says:

    Have to say, all these “Occupy Wall Street” related assaults have been doing wonders for my depression.

    I mean, it’s doing great lately. Me, not so much, often.

  37. KeithAnselm says:

    I feel very angry when I see this. I have a feeling the police would not be passive were the protestors to pepper-spray them.

  38. Chris Goodwin says:

    The students won.  Look at the faces of the cops.  They fucked up, they knew it, and they were truly scared.  

  39. AirPillo says:

    What in the fuck do you honestly say to justify using pepper spray on motionless seated people using passive resistance.

    You can (and it is standard procedure to do so) simply walk up to them, take hold of their hands to cuff them, and carry them away. Years of using this method of protest, and years of law enforcement responding to it, have born out that this is the normal way to proceed within this scenario. They will almost always cooperate in as much as they will not resist having their hands bound and will simply lay there passively. Not only is there no action on their part to suggest the necessity of pepper spray, but there is no previous precedent by which an officer would be inclined to think they may require that weapon. There is every reason to believe that pepper spraying them will actually escalate the situation and make it more difficult and hazardous to detain them while they are enraged and in pain. Any officer who makes that decision has completely failed at their duties and at even the basic adult capability to think more than 30 seconds into the future.

    Are these people who look at what happened at Kent State and think “I wish we could just do that, it’d be less work to kill them”?

  40. soundhound says:

    The blue people are easily startled, but they’ll soon be back.

    And in greater numbers.

  41. UCD Chancellor Linda Katehi just sent out an e-mail justifying the brutality by saying that ” the encampment raised serious health and safety concerns.” Yeah, and pepper spray to the mouth doesn’t. Meanwhile, Professor Nathan Brown has written an open letter to Chancellor Katehi asking her to resign: http://bicyclebarricade.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/open-letter-to-chancellor-linda-p-b-katehi/

    • That link reports Page Not Found.

      • Oh, sorry! Here’s the full text of the message:
        Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

        18 November 2011

        Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

        Linda P.B. Katehi,

        I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

        You are not.

        I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

        1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

        2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

        3) to demand your immediate resignation

        Today you ordered police onto our campus to clear student protesters from the quad. These were protesters who participated in a rally speaking out against tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses on Tuesday—a rally that I organized, and which was endorsed by the Davis Faculty Association. These students attended that rally in response to a call for solidarity from students and faculty who were bludgeoned with batons, hospitalized, and arrested at UC Berkeley last week. In the highest tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, those protesters had linked arms and held their ground in defense of tents they set up beside Sproul Hall. In a gesture of solidarity with those students and faculty, and in solidarity with the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis set up tents on the main quad. When you ordered police outfitted with riot helmets, brandishing batons and teargas guns to remove their tents today, those students sat down on the ground in a circle and linked arms to protect them.

        What happened next?

        Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

        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.

        This is what happened. You are responsible for it.

        You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

        One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same way—linking arms and holding their ground—police also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

        You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.

        On Wednesday November 16, you issued a letter by email to the campus community. In this letter, you discussed a hate crime which occurred at UC Davis on Sunday November 13. In this letter, you express concern about the safety of our students. You write, “it is particularly disturbing that such an act of intolerance should occur at a time when the campus community is working to create a safe and inviting space for all our students.” You write, “while these are turbulent economic times, as a campus community, we must all be committed to a safe, welcoming environment that advances our efforts to diversity and excellence at UC Davis.”

        I will leave it to my colleagues and every reader of this letter to decide what poses a greater threat to “a safe and inviting space for all our students” or “a safe, welcoming environment” at UC Davis: 1) Setting up tents on the quad in solidarity with faculty and students brutalized by police at UC Berkeley? or 2) Sending in riot police to disperse students with batons, pepper-spray, and tear-gas guns, while those students sit peacefully on the ground with their arms linked? Is this what you have in mind when you refer to creating “a safe and inviting space?” Is this what you have in mind when you express commitment to “a safe, welcoming environment?”

        I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedience—including the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.

        Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. And I want you to know that this is clear. It is clear to anyone who reads your campus emails concerning our “Principles of Community” and who also takes the time to inform themselves about your actions. You should bear in mind that when you send emails to the UC Davis community, you address a body of faculty and students who are well trained to see through rhetoric that evinces care for students while implicitly threatening them. I see through your rhetoric very clearly. You also write to a campus community that knows how to speak truth to power. That is what I am doing.

        I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.

        Sincerely,

        Nathan Brown
        Assistant Professor
        Department of English
        Program in Critical Theory
        University of California at Davis

  42. Doran says:

    The cops’ badges are covered with black tape. Is that legal? Who are they?

  43. Adam S. says:

    You know brilliant kids have to be to even walk in the front door of one of the U-Cs?

    UC Davis Police treated those brilliant, beautiful kids like cockroaches.

  44. Guest says:

    How bad will things get before these people start getting fired?  Until some higher-up intervenes?

    Will it have to get to this point?

    http://ce-wiki.wikispaces.com/file/view/kent_state_massacre.jpg/189697076/kent_state_massacre.jpg

  45. Dan Cass says:

    Poor Americans, you have a peaceful little protest movement, of people standing around in a dozen or so cities and campuses, posing no tangible threat to any organisation or Government and you get the crap beaten out of you?

    Its stating the obvious, but what a tragedy; you really dropped the Democracy ball back home while you were supposedly fighting for it abroad.  

  46. yadayada says:

     The victims might want to contact these guys: http://www.nopepperspray.org. Good luck.

  47. Amber Crystaldottir says:

    Here is an eyewitness account with many more horrifying details. The police forced their mouths open and sprayed down their throats. 

    http://bicyclebarricade.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/open-letter-to-chancellor-linda-p-b-katehi/

    • Marja Erwin says:

      “The police forced their mouths open and sprayed down their throats.”

      That can kill.

      I can’t see any purpose to that sort of thing, except to kill, to cause permanent lung damage, or to satisfy someone’s bloodlust. Or to cause terror.

  48. dormina says:

    As a current UCD student, I walk through the area this protest was held every single day. It is a giant grassy quad divided in half by a cement pathway. There is absolutely no way a dozen students seated in a row could obstruct the progress of police officers, because that path is surrounded on all sides by at least an acre of open space. Resorting to pepper spray to “subdue” students engaged in the utterly nonviolent “resistance” of remaining seated was wholly unncessesary, whether they warned for it or not. That gesture was purely symbolic, which is why it is so loathsome.

  49. erikb says:

    Thanks for covering this story. I am a UC Davis graduate student and a BoingBoing reader. I just wanted to share the administration’s response. Below is a copy of the official UCD email from the chancellor. Enjoy the feigned compassion and justification of keeping everyone safe from the peaceful, unarmed protesters.
    ——————————————————-
    To UC Davis Campus Community,
    I am writing to tell you about events that occurred Friday afternoon at UC Davis relating to a group of protestors who chose to set up an encampment on the quad Thursday as part of a week of peaceful demonstrations on our campus that coincided with many other occupy movements at universities throughout the country.
    The group did not respond to requests from administration and campus police to comply with campus rules that exist to protect the health and safety of our campus community. The group was informed in writing this morning that the encampment violated regulations designed to protect the health and safety of students, staff and faculty. The group was further informed that if they did not dismantle the encampment, it would have to be removed.
    Following our requests, several of the group chose to dismantle their tents this afternoon and we are grateful for their actions. However a number of protestors refused our warning, offering us no option but to ask the police to assist in their removal. We are saddened to report that during this activity, 10 protestors were arrested and pepper spray was used. We will be reviewing the details of the incident.
    We appreciate and strongly defend the rights of all our students, faculty and staff to robust and respectful dialogue as a fundamental tenet of our great academic institution. At the same time, we have a responsibility to our entire campus community, including the parents who have entrusted their students to us, to ensure that all can live, learn and work in a safe and secure environment. We were aware that some of those involved in the recent demonstrations on campus were not members of the UC Davis community and this required us to be even more vigilant about the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We take this responsibility very seriously.
    While we have appreciated the peaceful and respectful tone of the demonstrations during the week, the encampment raised serious health and safety concerns, and the resources required to supervise this encampment could not be sustained, especially in these very tight economic times when our resources must support our core academic mission.
    We deeply regret that many of the protestors today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested. We are even more saddened by the events that subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal.
    We appreciate the substantive dialogue the students have begun here on campus as part of this week.s activities, and we want to offer appropriate opportunities to express opinions, advance the discussion and suggest solutions as part of the time-honored university tradition. We invite our entire campus community to consider the topics related to the occupy movement you would like to discuss and we pledge to work with you to develop a series of discussion forums throughout our campus.
    I ask all members of the campus community for their support in ensuring a safe environment for all members of our campus community. We hope you will actively support us in accomplishing this objective.
    Linda P.B. Katehi

    • glassartists says:

      If this statement and the events surrounding it were not so tragic..it would be quite frankly funny. But then again O`Brien in 1984 would have been proud of  Linda P.B. Katehi, its almost as if Orwell had been thinking of her when he wrote the book back in 1949

    • ffij says:

      Thank you for posting the message from Katehi.  I was hoping there was a copy floating around, and it is just as awful as I expected.
      I did a few really stupid things in college, but always with the understanding that so long as we weren’t (intentionally) hurting anyone, the worst that would happen was a trip through our peer-adjudicated discipline system.  I don’t know much about UC, but I assume they have something similar in place (giving students this “real-life experience” doling out punishments to their peers is much cheaper than paying another administrator to handle all the stupid stuff college kids can come up with).
       
      “…protestors refused our warning, offering us no option but to ask the police to assist in their removal.”
      Here’s a thought:  When protesters are gathering and you don’t agree with their ideas, ask them kindly to disperse and give them some time.  If they’re still hanging around, take a clipboard and ONE security official (take the old guy that all the students know & love).  Ask them for a student ID card, and write down their name (if they aren’t a student or refuse, just ask them to leave campus please.  Maybe get a snapshot if safe/legal to do so.  I’m sure your college has methods to deal with trespassing & loitering).  When they ask what for, tell them you’re submitting their names to the disciplinary department (or whatever you call it locally) for “refusing to follow instructions” or something like that.  Your job is done.  Let the mechanisms that are already in place handle a situation like this.  This is no different than that time we took our (university provided) mattresses outside in a snow storm for lack of any better sleds.  There were NOT riot police at the bottom of the hill, but there were angry RAs.
      Outside of this whole “Occupy” thing, 9 times out of 10 the students will try to run off & abandon their silly adventures before you get around to identifying them and the problem will evaporate.  In a real situation, like the one in the video above, you may fill a dozen sheets of paper with names, but they call it “due process” for a reason.
       
      All of those big important ideas we learned about in middle school history class are coming back.  You know, the parts where we decided that those in power couldn’t change the rules in the middle of the game or condemn us without fair judgement.  This sort of feels like both of those.
      If anyone truly believes there was “no option” besides terrible force, they ought to be removed from their position of power for lack of creativity and critical thinking skills.  Aren’t those requirements to run a university?

  50. BarBarSeven says:

    Slight tangent buy a perspective on justice in the context of protests: In Madison, Wisconsin a worker was suspended without pay for popping a protestor’s balloon.
    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/ex-capitol-worker-pleads-guilty-to-popping-protester-s-balloon/article_f693ee90-1215-11e1-bb9b-001cc4c03286.html

  51. I was on campus when this happened (holding extra office hours) and my friends were hit by the spray. Students have been holding occupations on campus for over two years and the UCD police never used pepper spray to break them up before today. Nobody expected that this would happen. The notion that protesters “provoked” police into pepper spraying them in order to “go viral” is completely unfounded.

  52. This article is misinformed and clearly biased.  It is illegal to obstruct a walkway/street under ANY circumstance and it is also illegal to protest without a permit (which is probably the case here given their lack of acknowledgement for laws).  Police are allowed to use whatever force they see fit to uphold the law, and I am sure this officer gave them fair warning.

    • Mike Newell says:

      party pooper.

    • BarBarSeven says:

      This article is misinformed and clearly biased.  It is illegal to obstruct a walkway/street under ANY circumstance and it is also illegal to protest without a permit (which is probably the case here given their lack of acknowledgement for laws).  Police are allowed to use whatever force they see fit to uphold the law, and I am sure this officer gave them fair warning.

      It’s not illegal to protest without a permit nor and the legality of blocking a walkway/street on a campus where grass paths that can be walked on are right next to the walkway is debatable.

      So basically, what you are also saying is if I “jaywalk” thus impeding the flow of traffic, I can be pepper sprayed?

    • glassartists says:

      Ah my understanding of your Laws and police procedures have been illuminated, thank you. So the police will use “whatever force they see fit to uphold the law”…..I see, it could have interesting consequences if one of the protesters had stood up I imagine.
      Under that circumstance would you have considered it cavalier of the commanding officer, not to have his officers in the field that day much more heavily and substantially  armed.  Lets face it the situation of a protester in the act of standing up peacefully could well justify the use of lethal force of the kind employed at Kent State University many years ago…But then he would have to turn around to be shot in the back

    • erikb says:

      From what I understand the official charge against those arrested was a violation of a no-camping ordinance.

      • BarBarSeven says:

        Last I checked I don’t recall Yogi & Boo Boo being pepper sprayed for stealing pic-a-nic baskets… How did they get off so easy?

    • eryximachus says:

       It will be so very satisfying when the pigs are beating you to a bloody pulp for something they see as ‘illegal’.

      Remember to scream ‘I DESERVE THIS’ through your broken teeth, if you can breathe through the pepper spray.

      • zombhi says:

        I would not wish that treatment on Gavan Woolery, no matter how closed-minded he is. When you identify someone as an enemy, turn them into an abstract obstacle instead of another human being, and then wish violence upon them, you become what you are complaining about. Gavan Woolery is valuable and important to someone, and should be given room to change his mind someday. If you back someone into an ideological corner, they will fight blindly to avoid admitting they were wrong.

        • eryximachus says:

           I’m not necessarily wishing it on him.

          It is more of a forecast of a result for when his wrong-headed ideals come back to bite him in the arse, and poetic justice amuses me.

    • e smith says:

      “Police are allowed to use whatever force they see fit to uphold the law”

      Yeah.. no. Police are not allowed to shoot you if you are speeding 5 miles over the limit. Police are not allowed to torture you for littering, police are not allowed to punch you in the back of the head for refusing to talk with them. There are clear guidelines and laws put in place to limit abuse of power. The police are not allowed to use whatever force they want to enforce all laws. Have you ever made a copy of a song or tv show? Are the police now allowed to bust in your house with guns drawn and throw you in prison naked for that infringement? Of course not.

      We are ALL guilty of some crime, be it however small. Hey have you paid your taxes on internet purchases like you are required to do? No? pepper spray for you.

      Sitting on a pathway, partially obstructing a walkway does not rise to the level of using chemical weapons against them. Your argument is authoritarian in the extreme and rightfully belongs to those such as Ahmadinejad.

    • atimoshenko says:

       It is illegal to obstruct a walkway/street under ANY circumstance and it is also illegal to protest without a permit

      And during WWII it was illegal for Jews to walk around without an identifying armband. The question is not one of what is illegal, but one of what is immoral. Indeed, one of the things being protested is the inherent immorality and bias in some of our laws.

      Is it moral to pepper-spray people for peacefully sitting in the street? No… and it really is that simple.

    • autark says:

      “Police are allowed to use whatever force they see fit to uphold the law”

      Thanks for playing in this week’s episode of Who Wants To Troll A Million Readers!  For participating in this week’s episode you win… NOTHING!

      Police are *not* allowed to use “whatever force they see fit”.  Hence the term “excessive force”.  Next time you are caught j-walking or speeding, let alone civilly disobeying an unjust “law”, remember this, it’s a good thing.

    • wee_malky says:

      So it was okay to use pepper spray on them? All they needed to to do was lift them out the way. Bit of an obvious attempt to troll my friend. Your going to have to raise your game a bit this is Boing Boing after all.

    • Mark_Frauenfelder says:

      “Police are allowed to use whatever force they see fit to uphold the law.” 

      If that’s true, that means police officers can shoot a child for dropping a gum wrapper on the sidewalk.

      Thanks for teaching us about the law, Gavan!

    • Mike Ebert says:

      No, Gavan. The police are NOT allowed to use whatever force they see fit to uphold the law. There are laws against the use of excessive force, and pepper spraying people without provocation is excessive force. They didn’t even try to cuff or arrest anyone before spraying them.

      Furthermore, any laws requiring a protest permit are unconstitutional. We have the right to assemble without permits–how is a non-violent protest any different than bingo or a knitting bee?

    • Whatever force they see fit? So, they could have killed the protestors? Oh, no, not that much force. Something a little less. Well, sorry, but to any reasonable person, the police overreacted to the situation. Whether or not it is illegal, it is certainly inhumane and unnecessary.

    • Donna Brooks says:

      Police saw fit to use high-pressure fire hoses & dogs against African American protestors during the Civil Rights movement.  I guess you’d defend that too.  Obviously you are a good German, who upholds the actions of “law enforcement”, no matter how unjust the laws, or how excessive the force used against your fellow citizens.  Getting a “permit” to protest is ridiculous.  And what if the state doesn’t GIVE you a permit (meaning PERMISSION) to protest?  You just remain silent and do nothing?  “Oh, I don’t have your permission to protest?  OK, let me know when I can.”  How can patriots keep quiet while our Constitutional & human rights are being eroded?  Your attitude that the police can do anything to maintain “order” (which, according to you means doing whatever the state tells you to do) is the same attitude that allows atrocities to occur.

  53. Mike Newell says:

    I think this is an amazing display of people uniting for a cause.

    When do the people start carrying pepper spray for protection from police?

  54. zombhi says:

    I have been watching for a police officer at these events to turn around and refuse violence. Say something like this to their commanding officer: “I cannot exercise violent behavior upon the people I am sworn to protect and serve, these are peaceful and nonviolent protestors. They may be deserving of arrest and ticketing for misdemeanors, but not unprovoked brutality. Here are my badge and gun.”

    Has this happened, but no one has noticed or it has not been reported? It seems that if a police officer did this, they would immediately be the focus of worldwide positive attention, a hero for justice some would claim. The retired officer in New York got a lot of attention, and that’s good, but it’s not the same as someone going to the protests fully aware they might be cracking skulls, then deciding it was wrong.

    What about an alternate situation, where an officer begins illegally beating a downed protestor, and other officers surround and arrest that officer? Can you imagine the accolades? Once again appearing to separate “good cop” and “bad cop” in the force?

    Is our police system so homogenous nationwide that no one has actually done this yet? Is there some kind of psychological screening or intense brainwashing for those who are sent to control the crowds? It amazes me that so many officers are able to act violently against blatantly non-resisting fellow humans and not look at each other to say “is this right?”

    For those who claim that the protestors somehow deserve this treatment, and for those who laugh from the comfort of your homes: the protestors on the street may not exactly represent you, but think of them as the canaries in the coal mine. If they can do this to unarmed people in the street, they can do it to you. And by the time it happens to you, it may already be too late to go back.

    • In the UK at least you can choose to not police an event like this based on personal beliefs etc.  I assume the same goes in the US.

      Given this, I wouldn’t imagine that the kind of police that disagree with brutal police response would even be here to refuse to participate.

      I imagine that most of the police at OWS are looking for trouble.  They really are just a big gang, nothing less, nothing more.

    • Donna Brooks says:

      Outstanding comment, zombhi!  Yes, what we need are defectors,— people who REFUSE orders because their CONSCIENCE tells them it’s wrong.  It is disturbing that no police officer has done this yet (although the Police CHIEF in Albany, NY, defied orders from both the Mayor & Governor to evict OWS protestors b/c the protestors weren’t doing anything wrong and the Chief said the Dept. knew better how to police people than the Mayor or Governor).  I wish there were more instances like this.  Even more disturbing than the apparent lack of conscience, and conformity of the police in using excessive force are the people who defend this abuse of power.  If they can do this to unarmed, non-violent protestors for any reason they choose, then there is nothing to stop them from doing it to any one of us at any time, as they see fit.  A person getting a traffic ticket for a moving violation is more dangerous than these protestors were.  Should it be standard procedure for police to pepper-spray you if they stop you for speeding or running a red light?  This vilifying of protestors as somehow “deserving” to be abused by “authorities” is chilling.  Our country was founded by protestors.  There was a reason Ben Franklin said, “Gentlemen, we must all hang together, or surely we will all hang separately!”  As subjects of the King, they were risking their lives by committing treason, and if they didn’t remain united in the war for independence, they knew their fate.  Today we call these people heroes.  Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Henry David Thoreau, & many others that we now admire were arrested for breaking the laws of their day.  And have we so soon forgotten the words of Martin Niemoller?  “First they came for the Communists, but I didn’t speak out because *I* was not a Communist.  Then they came for the trade unionists, but I didn’t speak out because *I* wasn’t a trade unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, but I didn’t speak out because *I* was not a Jew.  Then they came for me…. and there was no one left to speak out for me.”  Your last line about allowing this to go unchallenged and unchecked says it all.  “Nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there’s a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become victims of the darkness.”

      William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

  55. Mike Estee says:

    Those students with their cameras, those students on the ground, they did the right thing. If you fight back with violence and you win, what then? You’ve only replaced one violent system with another. We *know* where that road goes.

    That road leads right back to where we are now.

    If you want a just, civil, and fair society you aren’t going to get it with more violence. Keep it non-violent. Keep shining light in the dark places. Keep on doing it until they use words, instead of pepper spray.

  56. mvanveen says:

    I recently graduated from UCD.  I know some of the people in this video.  Many of my friends were involved in the student protests that have been happening throughout the last two years.  I can assure you that the people involved with these protests are some of the most gentle, non-violent people I know.  The entire Davis area, a small suburban farm town which comprised almost entirely of academics, is extremely docile.  You are more likely to see people playing guitars and singing at these events than anything else.Occupying the quad is certainly politically motivated, but far from a dangerous threat to the “health and safety of the [the] campus community.”  The UC Davis quad is a central gathering place on campus that’s normally quite peaceful.  The Whole Earth Festival (http://wef.ucdavis.edu/) rolls into town every year and thousands of people occupy the quad 24/7.  This is a self-policed (officers are called “karma patrollers”), campus-sponsored event!  Many descriptions go so far as to describe WEF as one giant biological organism that subsumes the quad.  How are a dozen protestors a threat to safety and health when WEF is readily endorsed by the campus?While the Whole Earth Festival is probably a model example of a energy-neutral, sustainable, self-policing community event, the popularity of the event has introduced a darker tinge to the mostly utopian experiment.  A number of rapes have been reported in recent years, and fights have been known to break out.  Shame on the campus for continuing to support the Whole Earth Festival in the light of these events (presumably in an attempt to gain positive PR by associating with a “green” event)  while actively, forcefully, and violently attempting to shut down the student protest movement.

    I actually really support WEF, and think that these tragedies are probably an unwelcome side-effect of any event of this scale.  WEF is ultimately a super positive force in the community and I’d love to see it keep going.  My only point is that there is a huge disparity in the treatment WEF receives in comparison to how the the UCD administration had dealt with the protests.

    In fact, the fact that these protests have managed to remain so peaceful is a testament to character of the students and community members involved.  I can’t stress enough how benign and peaceful these student protests are in spirit.

  57. Mike Estee says:

    Also, everyone one of those students has an extremely good case for excessive use of force. There is plenty of precedent for that level of brutality.

    That shit is *NOT* legal:
    http://www.llrmi.com/articles/legal_update/pepperspray.shtml

  58. Frederik says:

    Perhaps the police should consider comming up with a new motto. “To protect and serve” is more a punchline to a sarcastic joke then anything else.

  59. Emo Pinata says:

    I think a large number of lawyers just came in their pants, and I hope that taking the WBC approach to protesting is used to maximize the effect in the ultimate peaceful attack -an economic one.

  60. sixty three days since occupation, zero things changed. and its breaking my heart.

  61. Alice says:

    chris coreline:  you know what’s changed?  the terms of the debate have changed. 

  62. Alice says:

    We’ll see what comes of that, but it’s not…nothing.

  63. Why don’t the attack the retarded cop?

  64. Doug3000 says:

    I think it’s time to compile all of these terrible videos and project them large onto the White House. That would shake things up a bit.

  65. mahal0 says:

    Contact page for UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

  66. Nik Andrews says:

    Maybe some other nation needs to bomb the US over throw the ruling party and put in another government for badly abusing its people…. Oh hold on thats the US who doe that to oil rich countries. No wonder the US has a bad press around the world.

  67. Marktech says:

    From http://blogs.ucdavis.edu/common-sense/

    UC Davis has a long tradition of promoting community, particularly our Principles of Community. We are a campus known for its civility and our commitment to respect, equality and freedom of expression runs deep. During the 2009-10 school year, UC Davis – as well as other UC campuses – experienced acts of intolerance and I vowed to take action to build an inclusive community.  As we crafted our Vision of Excellence, we ensured that diversity and inclusivity were key components, and we took action to promote a hate- and bias-free campus…

  68. awjt says:

    I’m glad people are resisting authority.  A few decades back, I remember hearing people throw around slogans such as “question authority”, etc.  Now, THOSE people, who questioned authority need to be questioned.  Because obviously they didn’t question the previous authorities deeply enough, and we need to finish the job.

  69. Older_Wiser2 says:

    There’s a reason people started calling the police “pigs” so many years ago.

  70. B A says:

    (glassartists) “the vast number of police officers in the United States who are decent, moral and law abiding citizens. ”

    Sadly it’s 90% of police officers who are giving the other 10% a bad name.

    • glassartists says:

      Well you know over here in Scotland, “Hill street Blues ”  and similar Hollywood productions were big favourites.  I am sure its not really 90%……………but its like any situation, where its a them and us,  simple fear and the buddy systems just click into place and some people do irrational things ( and I would agree it certainly should not be that way)…and I certainly do not mean the “Piker”……..he was Gladiatorial and Triumphal in the way he held up the spray can, and cold and calculated in his dispersal of it, and I stand by what I have said about his actions ,previously. Certainly a bad apple.

      But you cant discount the fear thing when dealing with the police,  they have been thrown into the front line of this by people who have their own adgenda, and I think worry little about police safety as well as the safety of the protesters and the general public.

      But I am sorry to say it again, but from out here it really does look as if the USA is reverting back to a brutal English Medieval Society model, and that is not good as those were some of the most divisive and violent times in the history of England and the British Isles.

      • erin jones says:

        “But you cant discount the fear thing when dealing with the police,  they have been thrown into the front line of this by people who have their own adgenda, and I think worry little about police safety as well as the safety of the protesters and the general public.”
        Well, okay, sure. But police are professionals. They are trained to respond to potentially violent situations in a calm and rational manner. They are trained to operate in stressful environments in a calm, rational manner that will defuse, not escalate, a violent situation. That’s what we, the tax payers, pay them to do.

        Lt. Pike’s salary over the last 3 years was in the range of $110,ooo/year. Given that, I would expect him to have received training more than adequate to enable him to handle the arrest of 12 seated, non-violent protesters without escalating the level of violence in the situation (which appeared to have been roughly nil outside of the actions of police). 

        It appears that Lt. Pike was either incapable or unwilling to perform his duties in the professional manner instilled by the training he has received. We, the tax payers, pay his salary and it’s quite likely that we pay for his training in the use of pepper spray as a deterrent to violence. In the spirit of Nathan Brown, as one of his employers, I call for his resignation on the grounds that he is incapable or unwilling to perform the duties for which he is paid.

        From a purely practical standpoint, and keeping in mind that we are in what Chancellor Katehi so accurately referred to as “these very tight economic times “, I see no monetary or practical gain to be achieved by putting him on paid administrative leave or sending him to sensitivity training. Such punishments, so popular and commonly-applied as correctives to oopsy!-shootings, were intended to not only punish and re-educate the officer who had committed a crime, but to send a clear message to other officers that the offending behavior is not acceptable professional practice.

        It has become clear over the last few months that these punishments are not achieving the objectives they were set to meet. Police officers who have engaged in police brutality have been punished with paid leaves and sensitivity training, but those corrective actions have obviously had no effect whatsoever on the behavior of police officers as a whole. Brutality and the use of disproportionate force is on the rise and we can view ample evidence of the fact on YouTube. 

        I’ll trot out this tired canard, but only because it’s appropriate: The definition of insanity is repeating the same process but expecting a different outcome. In these very tight economic times (thanks, Chancellor!), we just can’t afford to indulge in liberal measures that we once could have sustained. If we are to expect police officers to adhere to the laws that govern their use of force, we must respond with measures that actually make an impact on their behavior. Because clearly the current punishments for illegal behavior are not making an impact.

        So, once again, I call for Lt. Pike’s immediate resignation on the grounds of ineptitude or willful disobedience. 

  71. redjade says:

    This video is evidence of crimes committed. The perps are clearly identifiable and we know where they live and work.  Arrests should be able to be made within the next 24 hours if the perps do not resist arrest.

    Who has the authority to make the arrests?

  72. hungryjoe says:

    Just give me someone to vote for.  

    Otherwise I’m voting Libertarian.  At least the Libertarians will break things badly enough that we’ll be able to fix them.  And most of these cops will be unemployed under the Libertarians.

  73. redjade says:

    ahhhh the ‘Both sides’ are wrong rhetoric is coming in strong today – if ‘both sides’ had and were using equal weaponry, there may be a point here – but TROLL ON, troll on.

  74. ernunnos says:

    The point of civil disobedience is to provoke a response. Mission accomplished. Hope it was the kind you wanted, and that you can spin it in a way that gets you the publicity you wanted. These protesters have certainly outraged the choir, but have they reached anyone else?

    • jennatar says:

      “The point of civil disobedience is to provoke a response. Mission accomplished. Hope it was the kind you wanted, and that you can spin it in a way that gets you the publicity you wanted. These protesters have certainly outraged the choir, but have they reached anyone else?”

      Absolutely. Absolutely, they have. I was a “non-marching liberal,” cynical and useless to the core, utterly done in by my family’s “non-medical” (Alzheimer’s) medical bills and ignoring #OWS just as hardheadedly as I could. What can these flourishes of disorganized, unmitigated feeling really accomplish, I wondered, rolling my eyes.

      I first became interested when I heard the media were not permitted to cover Zuccotti Park. That was only days ago. Do you see what I’m seeing? Did you see how this video ended? These kids have set me on fire.

      There is no media; there are only these kids’ cell phones and tablet computers. Do you see what I’m seeing? Really. How are you not on fire?

    • Warren S says:

      You’re making some good points . I have always wondered, why not protest, march, demonstrate, calmly and smartly in our ‘sunday best’?  Would that not make a very reasonable set of demands (money out of politics, mainly) more palatable by those not yet in the choir?    Keep up the thoughtful commenting.

  75. schubiedoobie99 says:

    Christopher Schubert
    OWS

    If they didn’t have a cause before,
    they sure as fuck have one now!
    Baton struck skulls, and teargassed spirits soar.
    The whole world wide web is watching, and how.

    How does it feel NYPD, you enemy combatants!
    Watch the people heat the streets into a social patent.
    Was it worth it? Oh, you were just taking orders?
    As your tea party cools it leaves economic boarders.

    Occupy all our hearts and minds!
    Human mic we hear you, stack up the signs.
    Occupy all my free time and police lines.
    Assemble in peace, in the face of zip tied binds.

    Spit in the face of our beloved democracy,
    you pigs, mayors, and ill willed tyrants.
    OWS paid for the parks, your salaries, this aristocracy.
    For the rubber bullets, your interns, the water in the hydrants.

    How can you put out a fire by poking at it so?
    Can you feel it? Is change now the status quo?
    Facebooking madness, harnessed into political action.
    Thats in and out of low class and high on the facts end.

    You’ve occupied our souls,
    Now go occupy the polls!!!
    Go get your civil and poverty rights improvements,
    Before you get nothing from this beautiful movement.

  76. Bill de Iturromdo says:

    I love how so many anonymous posters  love to rant and rave without offering anything constructive…thank you Captain Marrrrk for picking up on one aspect of my prior post but ignoring the rest (ignoring the whole essence of my post).

    No I can’t blame the cops. They are doing their job. They are being put in a no win situation. They are using non lethal force to disperse a crowd (it’s not Kent State).  

    That being said I can blame the people above them for telling them to do it.  The politicians, the administrators….

    The question is what to do, how to continue to resist… without violence.  that last part is the key. Non violent civil disobedience is a very powerful force. They evicted Zuccotti and tens of thousands march. As more and more join in they speak with a voice that can’t be ignored.

    • pigpen23 says:

      “They are using non lethal force to disperse a crowd (it’s not Kent State).”

      you been to kent state on any of the anniversaries of the massacre? i’ve been to a few. i vividly remember some pigs smashing a woman’s head against a cruiser until it broke. she was charged with felony vandalism. that was the same year that several people were arrested on the site of the massacre. i also remember an undercover that started straight punching people in the face. no joke. this is not an anomaly.

    • FrodeSvendsen says:

      The police are trained, are they not? They are supposed to be professionals, are they not? Haven’t you seen other police-forces handle similar events with a lot more grace? 

      Of course they are to blame. If there’s one thing the second world war taught us, it’s that you are responsible for your own actions, you can’t blame the orders you were given.

  77. gothicgeek says:

    Todays video is brought to you using the words ” powderkeg ” and ” fuse ” ..

    A feeling of impending doom is starting to come over me…. One of these days this is going to flare up and there will be bullets and running …

  78. John Stephens says:

    In my experience, the police don’t give a damn about politics.  They want to maintain order and enforce the law, then draw their paycheck and go home.  They genuinely believe that anyone who breaks the law, regardless of the reason, is a criminal.  They believe that they are obliged to do what they must to stop them.  And they believe that anyone who objects to their methods is allied with criminals against them.  While you don’t have to agree with their beliefs, you do have to understand them if you’re to make sense of their behavior.         

  79. Dave Horton says:

    Is it just me or has YouTube recently disabled viewing of this clip? I have tried to watch it on three different sites and I just get a big black rectangle.

  80. Jon_Wake says:

    Who let the trolls out?

  81. Dan Warren says:

    As a UCD alumnus, I just sent a letter to the alumni association stating that the university would never see a dime of support from me unless there was a public, sincere, and timely apology for this.  I heartily suggest that all other alumni who are appalled by this behavior do the same.

    • Guest says:

      That might actually work. 

    • akputney says:

      I’m also an alum, class of ’77. I’m appalled by the police action on the quad, but my overwhelming emotion after watching the video is of great pride in the Aggies who resisted reacting to violence with violence. I began to cry when the shouting turned to “You can go! You can go!” This may have been the most important lesson of their university education. “It’s our University,” indeed!

  82. danegeld says:

    WTF Aamerica??

  83. marc anthony says:

    If the goal was to arrest these people, spraying them with chemicals is clearly unnecessary, and I believe it’s felony assault.  Since a crime was witnessed by several bystanders, I’m wondering if the crowd could perform a citizen’s arrest or call the police and file charges? At minimum, these people need to band together and form a class action suit.

  84. David Germanico says:

    When exporting democracy, make sure that your domestic supply does not runs low.

  85. cjeam says:

    I predict a riot

  86. Guest says:

    More proof that that the same people who are afraid the Islamists would bring us back to the 14th century are busy working to bring us back to the 16th.

  87. Seriously though, is it not time to start fighting back yet?  Peaceful protest is noble, but when you’re constantly being trodden on by those that are supposed to be serving and protecting you, it’s time to snap back. We’re only human after all, and arbitrary rules don’t seem to matter to the police, those that enforce such rules, so why should they matter to the people?

    Where are the NATO airstrikes?

    • glassartists says:

      Hey listen pay all your way over due United Nations bills first, and then maybe, and its a big maybe, you can have some NATO Airstrikes……( and they will probably be Canadian ones at that..well it saves on jet fuel)……but how much oil do you guys have left..come on there are no free lunches

    • Guest says:

      In case you haven’t noticed, Obama is not on OUR side.

    • George Cleveland says:

      Because then it becomes just another reality show, Cops vs. Hippies. The use of force against the most powerful “military industrial complex” the world has ever known is suicidal and interferes with what really needs to be done. And what needs to be done is not fighting cops but changing  minds of those who have accepted the perverse economic hegemony that we’ve suffered under for the last 35 years.

       Nonviolence is the only effective weapon we have. Look how the anarchist trashing at Occupy Oakland’s general strike weakened them. The people at Davis have now had their voices and actions multiplied a thousand times by their insistence to remain nonviolent. If they had started throwing rocks at the police, no matter how justified, they would have become in the mind of the country just another bunch of thugs who deserved whatever the police handed to them. By remaining nonviolent they have raised themselves above the actions of the police and the corporate fascist state they guard.

  88. People who think OWS isn’t protesting Obama clearly have not listened to anything OWS is actually saying.

  89. Sorry to come so late to this thread. Been doing a lot of Occupy stuff and trying to have a real social life. Something had to give, it was my online life. I think that’s a healthy choice.

    Just gotta give my props to The Houston Police department. Occupy Houston blocked a major intersection at the Travis Street Bridge on 11-17. It was similar to this protest at UC Davis, but much bigger, though only thirteen people were in the street. So, what did HPD do? There was no riot gear, no pepper spray, and no baton swinging. They just wrestled the protesters apart. Rolled them over on the groud, cuffed them, and dragged them into a van. End of story, entirely appropriate use of force.

    Keep in mind this was at a much larger event where protesters were blocking a major intersection. The people at UC Davis were blocking A SIDEWALK, and not really obstructing anyone movement whatsoever. I ask again, what is up with California? Cops be crazy there.

    And no, I do not work for HPD, there have been tensions and arrests here, mostly over what constitutes an illegal improvised structure.

  90. Bryan Davis says:

    Perhaps the honest actions of these kids will serve in other ways as well. I liken it to Hormesis- These small stresses may serve to strengthen/harden us all. 
    Even I am becoming aware and I rarely care at all. Can’t imagine I really will til they come for me, as the old saying goes.

  91. Mark_Frauenfelder says:

    I showed this to my daughter to drive home that point that police are not to be trusted.

  92. Michael Jackson says:

    Freedom and Justice for all….BS!  Massive debt and police brutality for all!

  93. creamneuron says:

    The guy at 2.30 wich gets arrested (bearded guy) – is that the guy who did the speech in the video from last week, in which they call to the big demonstration on last thursday?

    I do not find that video right now. If yes, it has the ugly touch of arresting “special people” who where conspicious before, like the police is making lists with “headfigures”.

  94. GeoSari says:

    WTF man! Where’s our bullshit president in all of this? WTF does he have to say? Why is he staying quiet, this country is a freakin joke!

  95. Lis Mitchell says:

    ffij sez:  “Even if you were there, you couldn’t guarantee that a protester didn’t have some choice words about the spraying officer’s mother when you were distracted for a second.”

    Wow, who knew that I could have pepper-sprayed my second grade classmates for being verbal assholes.

    No. That’s STILL FUCKING WRONG WRONG WRONG BRIMMING WITH WRONGABILITY! You do not respond to non-violence with violence. You just don’t.

    You do no pepper spray college students for sitting on the ground. There’s no justification you can bring to this. None. I saw the Bank of America protest that happened a few blocks from where I work, and San Francisco police officers were able to remove 85 people non-violently from the bank premises and yes, it took four hours, but the whole thing went down non-violently. So I KNOW that some cops are capable of not being brutal assholes, but the pepper-spray wielding Lt. Pike is not one of them, nor are the cops who let him spray those kids. They held people down and sprayed them in the mouth.

    Incidentally, as far as I can tell from my reading last night, it’s illegal in California (and much of the US) to use pepper spray on a non-violent protester. (And according to wikipedia, pepper spray is classified as chemical warfare.)

    But according to you, it’s okay for a cop to spray those kids because somebody called him a shit-swine? You do know about freedom of speech, right? Freedom of assembly?

    If you think it’s NOT okay for the cop to have sprayed those kids, then you will realise it didn’t matter what names the kids were calling the cops. You’ve been attempting to give the cops a reason this action could even be contemplate. It’s rank apologia.

  96. JohnbMtl says:

    Can’t help but notice that the police officers all had black tape covering their badge numbers.

    Makes you wonder who the thugs are….

  97. What were those students really blocking. A walk way? To where? You needed to pepper spray a bunch of students you could have walked around? It’s just plain stupid to use that unnecessary force.

  98. Even the reporters seem to recognize the bitter irony involved here:

    UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said it would not be safe or sustainable for demonstrators to camp in the quad.

    “It’s not safe for multiple reasons,” Spicuzza said.

    At least one woman left by ambulance for treatment of chemical burns.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45364967/ns/us_news-life/#.Tsfq_1Zt30Q

  99. There’s a petition asking UCD Chancellor Katehi to resign and it has collected nearly 900 signatures in less than 24 hours: http://www.change.org/petitions/uc-davis-chancellor-linda-pb-katehi-resign

  100. I’m not American. I’m not a student. But watching this made me feel sick. 
    Us, The West, go out shooting all around the world in the ‘name of democracy’ (which obviously has nothing at all to do with oil…) whilst in our own countries, the most peaceful protests are treated with sheer brutality. I don’t care who is at fault, this shouldn’t have happened.
    Disgusting. 

  101. Matthew Foster says:

    A salary like that to police children?  wtf?!?!?

  102. Brian Karlak says:

    This is my letter to Chancellor Katehi:

    As a proud graduate of the UC system, I was horrified and sickened to see the video of the use of excessive force against peacefully protesting students at UC Davis.My daughter will be applying for college soon.  She is a bright, hardworking and idealistic girl, the type of student any university would be proud to host.  But it was impossible for me to watch that video without seeing my daughter in the line of protesters, having toxic chemicals casually sprayed down her throat as if she was an annoying insect that needed to be disposed of.  Put simply, there is no way I could ever let her attend an institution where such brutality is considered routine.   Chancellor Katehi, you should be ashamed that your campus police are committing such depraved acts.  Either take a stand and discipline the officers responsible, or step down so that an honest and effective leader can take the helm of this fine school.

  103. parrotboy says:

    This is almost certainly going to get much worse before it gets better.  Sadly, I think the ultimate catalyst will be the death of one or more protesters at the hands of the police in a way that the police cannot cover up or spin.  All the worse if it happens on multiple occasions.

    Once that starts happening, and it is somewhat inevitable if the protests continue (I really hope they do), the game will change.  There is an election coming in a year, and it could be very interesting what happens.  Maybe some/many insurgent campaigns against the bought and paid for old guard would be a good start.

  104. bigorangemachine says:

    CNN’s coverage of this is a 5 second video claiming the officer pepper sprayed them for their (students) safety.

    When did safety get redefined? Quick someone call Websters!

  105. Alex Young says:

    Warning or none, I missed the part where the use of pepper spray was justified.

  106. ktm_film says:

    All summer we watched violent police behavior in Iran, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya – and our government and mainstream press cheered for the embattled freedom fighters.  Now, on democratic, American soil, the same dirty police tactics are turned against our citizens – where’s the National response?  While the Twitter-sphere functions as a defacto newsfeed in witness to these atrocities, the @whitehouse tweets try to sell us embroidered hoodies and presidential coffee mugs.  Pepperspray down the throat is nothing new – ask anyone who took on the logging industry in the 90′s – it just wasn’t documented by 100 cameras.  Instead of enforcing a pathetic and impossible media blackout (in direct violation of the Constitution), local governments and the Fed should be working with civic leaders to control their trigger-happy jackboot thugs and remind them that WE PAY THEIR FUCKING SALARIES.

  107. Tyler Riddle says:

    In celebration of this glorious day for the country I live in I’ve made a special commemorative poster. http://i.imgur.com/iefh8.jpg

  108. phisrow says:

    http://police.ucdavis.edu/support-services-division
    Has contact information for both the heroic Mr. Pike and the UCDPD chap who you contact with issues. I’m not entirely certain that Pike’s work qualifies as a “support service”…

  109. dragonfrog says:

    My note to the chancellor:

    Dear Chancellor Katehi

    I am neither a student of any University of California campus, a resident of Davis, nor even of the United States.  I live in Canada, and I write to assure you that the whole world is indeed watching.

    I urge you to watch this video of events you instigated, on the campus you are charged with leading.  You may find it uncomfortable to watch; I know I did:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuWEx6Cfn-I
    (note – the second video in this post)

    At about the five minute mark in that video, please pay particular attention to the facial expressions of the police officers – as the students and faculty chant “shame on you”, the really do appear to be ashamed of themselves.  They may not be above committing excessive and unprovoked violence, but they are not too base to feel shame at their actions.

    Are you?

    To the extent the opinion of one so distant from the events carries weight with you, permit me to add my voice to that of Nathan Brown, and call upon you to resign, if in fact you have as much of a sense of decency and shame as the officers pictured in the video.

  110. bo1n6bo1n6 says:

    I’m fed up with the police right now. Wheres my Caturday?

  111. Man… I thought the original video showed inappropriate behavior.  But have you seen what happened next?  They were discharging pepper spray at point blank range into the kid’s faces while they were on the ground: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxaLKsFdcjk&feature=share

  112. Can anyone tell me if there is any verification of Professor Brown’s claim that “When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats”?

    I’m not in a position to watch the second video at the moment (or to be honest a good state of mind to do so); if that verifies it, I apologise.

  113. SHeadius says:

    The police, in this case, are the solution in search of a problem.

  114. Geoff King says:

    Perhaps folks should put the following excerpt up around campus, and/or otherwise make it viral:

    “Characterizing the protestors’ activities as ‘active resistance’ is contrary to the facts of the case, viewing them, as we must, in the light most favorable to the protestors: the protestors were sitting peacefully, were easily moved by the police, and did not threaten or harm the officers. In sum, it would be clear to a reasonable officer that it was excessive to use pepper spray against the nonviolent protestors under these circumstances.” – Headwaters Forest Defense v. County of Humboldt, No.98-17250 (9th Circuit, 2002)

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1332957.html

  115. Sean McKibbon says:

    Large lobby campaign to outlaw police use of weapons except when there is a direct immediate violent threat to an individual human. Period. What would a society look like then?

    Drawing that weapon? Were you defending someone? No? Please turn in your badge and proceed directly to jail. Thankyou. 

    In the alternative people could start a campaign to reduce police weapon budgets. This would be along the lines of the Chris Rock formula to reduce gun violence. If each bullet costs $500 you are going to be more chosey about who you shoot. So if the force only has a couple of cans of pepper spray, this behaviour will be less common.

  116. Richard says:

    I think perhaps even more sickening than the act itself is the rationalization put forth by UC Davis. One spokesperson claimed that the police were “trapped” and “had to get out of there”.

  117. awelucid says:

    It is a shame that all onlookers can do is watch while their friends are being chemically brutalized.   I really wish there was a benevolent kung fu master who ran up, disarmed the cop leaving him on his back and bounced freely away.

    • Vnend says:

      I was hoping for a particularly ironic gust of wind to blow the pepper-spray back at the police. Sadly, that never happens in real life.

  118. What I find interesting (as opposed to appalling or sickening) is that with Occupy I think we finally have a protest movement that it is valid to compare to those in the 60′s.  And in that comparison I think we can learn something about the ways in which society has genuinely changed.

    The obvious technological differences are the existence of pepper spray, and the proliferation of independent news recording sources and ways to distribute them.

    I can’t help but wonder how Occifer Pike would have behaved if there was no pepper spray.  The psychology of the police does not appear to have changed, so it’s an important question.  Do pepper spray, tasers, etc., reduce police violence, or make it more likely?

    The case for video recording seems clearer.  I predict that — so long as legislation does not derail the natural course of events — concern for the state watching us on CCTV will be rendered irrelevant by the way private, portable video will give us unprecedented ability to monitor the state back again.

  119. nosehat says:

    Xeni– 

    Thanks so much for covering this and for linking Dr. Brown’s open letter to the chancellor who issued the order for this travesty. 

    Here’s UC Davis’s current home page.  Note the motto.

  120. Benoisito says:

    yo occupiers gotta invest in some goggles.

  121. terrycarroll says:

    Watching this video for the first time, I felt my body actually lurching forward to tackle that Piker (and commence getting thoroughly throttled for my rash act). My anguish was in part at the passivity of the crowd (as I sat on my ass, of course, in my living room with a laptop watching it). But then, as the crowd gained their composure and began their chants of “Shame on you!” (and my favorite, the bit at the end about “You may leave in peace,” etc.), I began welling with tears. This was a proud moment for disciplined passive resistance.

  122. loroferoz says:

    I  really really hope that Anonymous or a similar party gets to work on this fine public servant. Mark his name, rank, address, and other details of his public life, etc.

    If justice will not be served in an institutional way… Internet justice will have to be served.

    • John Healy says:

      Anonymous have never followed through with anything since they started making idle threats. And this, this is no shock.. wait until they start shooting people for real, believe me all governments are capable of it. They can shove their laws where the sun don’t shine.

      The police exist to protect and serve those in power.

      Reply to USA (below, thread is closed so I’ll put it here)
      “I see punks holding their cellphones to try to catch a cop doing his job,but i cannot hear their voices how they call the cops names,just to make them mad,those pictures mean nothing unless u a brainless bug,who believes that hussein obi is the smartest president ever”

      That’s why intelligent people watch the videos and read the articles instead of just looking at the pictures.

  123. Guest says:

    Occupy the Chancellor:

    Offices of the Chancellor and ProvostFifth floor, Mrak Hall
    University of California, Davis
    One Shields Avenue
    Davis, CA 95616(530) 752-2065

  124. EH says:

    Both the NYPD’s Bologna and this guy are lieutenants. It’s a policy decision.

  125. I am not a father, but I do have two young nieces. If in a few years I saw them on the ground in one of these videos, I would want to have a *serious* man-to-man talk with some of those officers that tortured those children.

    Prof. Brown is a major badass. His letter is amazing. Right-on to that guy.

  126. brerrabbit23 says:

    The difference between Prof pay and Cop pay:

    The cops are unionized.

    • penguinchris says:

      UC professors may actually be unionized. I believe at CSU (Cal State) schools they are – as a paid TA (which technically made me faculty) at a CSU school, I was asked to join the union.

      That said – the police union is obviously doing something right if they have managed to pay people $100,000+ (not including benefits!) to be thugs… and pay in academia for the people doing actual academics (i.e. professors, researchers, grad students etc. – not administrators, who are quite well paid) is ridiculously bad.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        UC professors may actually be unionized.

        I wonder what percentage of professors is full-time/tenured and if the part-timers would be in a union. It seems like professors who retire aren’t replaced. They just call the casual, unbenefited professors and ask them if they want to pick up classes. Being a university professor has gotten much, much closer to working at WalMart than it was a decade or two ago.

  127. weissadam says:

    I gotta be honest….  I’m just not convinced that in this day and age, trolling cops is really going to achieve much.  It doesn’t seem like it’s all that hard to generate publicity in this way, but I’m just not convinced that it really is productive publicity.  Cops can be dicks, and they like to reach for technology (be it tasers, pepper spray or whatever oppressive bits of nasty they’re carrying nowadays) especially when they’re outnumbered and in unpopular situations.  We already know that and have for a long time.

    I think real change comes from sound, concrete proposals that are well thought out and well marketed to the voting public.  Events like this may get national attention, but I really don’t think (or would like to hope) that the 65% in the middle pay them much mind… just as they don’t pay the tea party much mind either.

    The last few years have been pretty crazy:  We’ve seen the fringe on the right in the limelight, and now we’re seeing the fringe on the left in the limelight.  At this point, I’m really pretty much over the fringes and I’m ready for some pragmatic solutions to come out of the middle.  Stuff like serious proposals for deferred compensation rules for publicly traded companies, real, serious, proposals for erecting sturdy walls between lawmakers and the systems they’re charged with regulating, immigration reform so the world’s best and brightest are always welcomed on our shores (especially if we’re making space in our universities to give them advanced training), a balanced approach to incentives for business whereby we provide one of the best environments for seeding industries of the future while ensuring we treat the environment and our people with sufficient respect that we actually live to see it, a serious hard look at whether or not it’s time to start looking at holding our trading partners to the same standards we hold our onshore industries to or tariffs to make up the difference and perhaps a “Great American Incumbent Dump” where congress gets rebooted and we no longer have lawmakers in office that are either deeply entrenched in the existing corrupted system or are so damn old they couldn’t pass a DMV eyesight test.

    All of these problems are political.  Despite how bad things actually look, our system is actually built for adaptation and c’mon people… we live in the era of the Internet!  It’s never been easier.  All it takes is some careful thinking, tenacity to push it through, a bit of strategy and a little luck.  I don’t think the current strategy of the Occupy movement is going to work, but who knows, I’m basically an expert at being wrong…  

  128. allenmcbride says:

    I agree with most commenters that the videos show atrocious police brutality; it angers me, and I do think it’s the most important event shown. But I see something else in the videos that I don’t think has been commented on. The second video, while it doesn’t show it explicitly, suggests that a group of police had been completely encircled by people locking arms and refusing to move. As Lt. Pike (assuming he’s correctly identified) demonstrates by easily stepping over his soon-to-be victims, this false imprisonment was largely symbolic. But I can’t see it as purely symbolic; unless there was a gap in the chain not visible in the videos, the police were actually surrounded. I have been falsely imprisoned myself (briefly); I found it frightening and infuriating, and in order to escape I performed a serious act of violence. Some of the police in the videos acted as sadistic thugs, and I hope they are punished appropriately. But my outrage is tempered by the situation they appear to have been in.

  129. Vnend says:

    Question: What would happen/be the charge if someone who responded to an officer pulling a pepper spray canister and pointing it at a third party by pulling one of their own and pointing it at the first officer?

    What if someone just sprayed someone else?  Would it be different if the second person was a police officer?

    If this was an illegal use of force, why didn’t another officer arrest Officer Pike?  (OK, I know the answer to that one…)

  130. evolmechanica says:

    Look up amspicuzza@ucdavis.edu on Facebook. She is the boss of the cop doing the pepper spraying in the video. Send her a message asking her to fire him, or to resign herself.

  131. Joe Buck says:

    A comment on your salary comparison: UC professors are paid only for the academic year, and they are expected to raise research funds (from government grants or industry). If they raise sufficient funds, then a summer salary is paid to them out of those funds, after subtracting overhead (the university takes some fraction of the funds, 40-50%, not sure what the number is, grad students have to be paid, specialized equipment might have to be bought, etc). So if the assistant professor’s base salary is 60K and he is a good little fundraiser, he will get 80K for the year. It’s a way of forcing professors to hustle.

  132. Nate says:

    This line of thinking has generally been poorly received, but if you’ve already read me this far…

    This group of protesters is deliberately obstructing the police from carrying out their duty (in this case, dismantling the camps). They are seated in the only path that police officers could have used to access the camp in cars. You can see the car in the video.
    The police stood around trying to figure out what their duty here is, and almost certainly got orders to clear the protesters from the path. Rather than resort to violence proper (clubs and fists, which invite a great deal of criticism about having “hit too hard” or with excess malice), police used a relatively recent technology designed to “soften” without doing irreparable harm. And long before that, police made absolutely clear that the protesters were in violation of the law, and that pepper spray would be deployed (the video starts after this).

    The protesters made an informed decision to be exposed to the pepper spray.

    Now, I don’t think it’s a great thing, or even necessarily “right” that the police used pepper spray on these protesters, but most discussion treats this as genuinely shocking. It’s not, nor is it indefensible.

    Nobody’s first amendment rights were violated. The protesters on the sidelines who did not obstruct the path, and did not commit “civil disobedience” were in no way silenced. There was little need to silence any specific message though, because the point of this particular obstruction could really only be construed as an effort to prevent the illegal camp from being dismantled. In no way does the unnecessary and illegal camp grant the movement legitimacy or extra force.

    Actually, it does in one way: it forces the police to act, and allows the protesters to look like martyrs to a cause, even if that cause is only illegal camping. 

    • jimh says:

      Nate, it is a violation of the Geneva convention, it is illegal under the precedent Headwaters Forest Defense v. County of Humboldt, No.98-17250 (9th Circuit, 2002) where pepper spray was used at point blank range on non-violent protesters. The point of the protest was to put themselves in the way of the police, but passive resistance does not warrant the use of chemical agents.

      It is indefensible in this case.

      The police could have informed the non-violent protesters that they would be arrested if they refused to move, and then arrested them. I firmly believe the students would not have resisted violently, but they would have had to have been carried into custody. This is the tradition, the SOP, of non-violent protests. You seem to assume that the only other option was beating them with batons. Shame on you.

      I wish you a brilliant career in law enforcement; you make a great apologist for unnecessary violence.

    • phor11 says:

      “The protesters made an informed decision to be exposed to the pepper spray.”

      The Police are tasked above all else to uphold the law, Correct?
      And as any Police officer will tell you, ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse.
      I guess you just don’t know the law in this circumstance, so I will inform you.
      Using pepper spray against non-violent protesters has been considered “excessive force” on the federal level in the US since January 11, 2002.  Here is the case law if you wish to read it for yourself:  http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1332957.html

      So your take on this matter is not merely poorly received, but blatantly wrong.  : /

  133. Tim Delaney says:

    Student protests are important. The last 20 years have been two decades of an unconscious civilization that has just accepted the march of global capitalism and the death of privacy as if there were no alternative . We do not have to live in this Orwellian nightmare and a society rotten with inequity in which the rich elites dominate and rule the lives of the population regardless of which political party is elected. Wake up and realise that global corporations serve only themselves and use your patriotism as a weapon to control you.

  134. Anna says:

    who is policing the police? 

  135. ruben witt says:

    i wonder wen the are going to use a drone plane next time to drop peper boms oeps maby i gave them a idee i say 1312 ….

  136. yri says:

    Is it time to immanentize the eschaton yet?

  137. Lathwen says:

    I can’t believe there are people condoning this. I’m sure glad I don’t live in a country where it’s deemed acceptable to pepper spray kids in the face. Land of the free? What a joke.

  138. jeffkart says:

    WHAT COUNTRY WAS THIS TAKEN IN?! IS THIS THE USA?!

  139. Pamela Kramer says:

    How about the fact that the cop makes TWICE what the professor makes? There’s something wrong with that…

  140. Chase Musgrove says:

    OWS Supporters:,
      Protesting is great publicity.  Now “vote’ with your wallet.  Many of you are right in thinking a traditional vote at the ballot box will mean nothing.  However, choosing to boycott offending firms that support these misguided politicians will bring about change.  We are not in a democracy, we are in an oligarchy. $$$ is what gets you what you want.  BALANCE protesting with BOYCOTTING and we’ll get MUCH better results.  Better yet?  BUY STOCK IN THESE COMPANIES and DICTATE THEIR AGENDA AS A SHAREHOLDER! I’m serious.  If you are a shareholder in a company, you get to vote on how the company behaves!! It may not seem as glamorous as civil disobedience since it’s done privately, yett how does change really get implemented?! CHANGE DOES GET IMPLEMENTED THROUGH CLOSED DOORS.  People, we can’t change the rules of this game the oligarchy has us playing.  NEVERTHELESS, WE CAN BEAT THEM AT THEIR OWN GAME!

  141. Daniel Davis says:

    Concerning the update: 

    What does the pay rate of the police officer have to do with anything? The link doesn’t say anything about how long the assistant professor or police officer have been working. It could be 20 years versus 2 years. Also the assistant professor may in an endowed position which is not uncommon. 

  142. shockbeton says:

    I’m in no way defending the police, but why are the kids “protesting” on their own campus? They should go sit inside a Bank of America branch or something. What the hell, it’s like, “I’m pissed off about income disparity! I think I’ll sit in the hallway of my apartment building full of people in the same tax bracket as myself until one of them kicks me. That’ll show ‘em!”

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      …why are the kids “protesting” on their own campus?

      Tuition hikes. Staff cutbacks. University executive pay raises. UC used to be a social service. Now it’s a business and run like every other business that’s abusing its customers.

  143. Mlata says:

    In other recent news, Egyptian protestors claahed with cops:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/world/middleeast/facing-calls-to-give-up-power-egypts-military-battles-crowds.html

    At least the arabs and polaks know how to protest.

  144. Ewanglee says:

    I am disgusted and angry that police think they are above the law andabovethepeople they serve. And the chancellor as well as police chief and the police officers who perpetrated this crime against our constitutional rightts, should all be fired.

  145. This is one of the most abusive and disgraceful acts of authority I have ever seen.  

  146. Ivan R. says:

    Watching these kids in US gives me the only hope US will change one day. That the world will maybe change one day.

  147. weswang says:

    As an UC student parent, I am deeply shocked by this police action. I have sent my concern to CA governor asking for explanations and solutions, by using the following page:
    http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php

  148. Julia Nolan says:

    Always nice to know that our police officers are making nearly twice what our college professors are.   Our society’s values are definitely in the right place.

    /end sarcasm

  149. CurtisEichelberger says:

    pepper spray cop shirts are here !! http://www.pepperspraycopshirt.com 

  150. Dean Martinetti says:

    Slaves!!! when are you going to realize that your peaceful whining is going unnoticed?

    They hit you with pepper spray, you hit them with homemade molitov cocktails or your own pepper spray, they club you? you take a bat to their heads.
    the police are NOT on your side…they are on the side of the local government. When the shit hits the fan in 6- 8 months…AND IT WILL!!! it will be much worse than this, Cops will use force daily, troops will be put into cities where this is ongoing and there will be marshall law.

    and before any of you start flaming me and say i’m crazy…many people called what is happening today to the LETTER back in 2005 / 2006 and they too were told they were crazy.

    hell our parents in the 70′s told the government this was going to happen…oil and greed has brought us here…only a world war or a revolution is going to change it.

  151. Brian Walls says:

    I used the link you provided to send Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi the following message:

    Linda, I hate to break the news to you but your career as chancellor is over and there is nothing you can do to change what is now an inevitable outcome.  
    I’m sure it pains you to honestly face the facts about your future (and when i use the word “pain”, i mean psychological and emotional pain, not physical pain like your students experienced when they were pepper-sprayed in the face and mouth), but the sooner you resign, the sooner you will be out of the news cycle, and the sooner you can begin building your new career.

    So just look on the bright side and stay positive, because there is always a job out there waiting in the corporate/government realm for a brutal fascist like yourself!

    Sincerely,

    Brian Walls

  152. kayojen says:

    thank you young people… from an old one

  153. glassartists says:

    What people should be doing is first, emailing the University at this address,
    http://urelations.ucdavis.edu/www_contact/

    and any one around the world should send a polite and measured set of questions about the event.

    And second, specifically citizens of the USA should actively email all of the News and Media corporations letting them know that you as a consumer are not happy with their service coverage  and that you intend to contact the companies who advertise with them  to suggest that you will be reconsidering purchases from companies who advertise with Corporations that restrict news coverage.
    This may seem like a shot in the dark at first..but a similar grass roots campaign happened in the UK, over the appalling behavior of one of our Newspapers ( The News of the World).
    Many people including myself contacted the public relations sections of the newspapers advertisers, and advertising was rapidly pulled from that newspaper…..it has now shut down.
    One of the first companies in fact to do so, was Virgin Wines followed by many many more.
    So its worth doing….its where the little guy can “Pike” back at the robber barons

  154. glassartists says:

    Yes but what the footage does show is an officer in a very cool calm, unhurried and frankly cavalier attitude, casually spraying pepper spray at very very close quarters. The other officers in the frame were also looking very casual. If there had been previous tension I would have expected the officers to group into a protective array, rather than casually standing around. Several officers had their protective visors raised including the Officer Pike the officer responsible for the “Piking”, he even felt confident and comfortable enough to make two or three passes over the protesters with the spray when one would have been more than sufficient.

  155. Dave Horton says:

    Sorry. Hitch in my Chrome git-up. Updated… All better now.

  156. SHeadius says:

    Obama-squalor camps

     

    Nobody will take you seriously when you add ridiculous stuff like that to your comment.

  157. Bodhipaksa says:

    “No riot police needed.” And you think riot police were needed in the video above … why, exactly? What about the protestors above was “barbarian”? You have some interesting cognitive distortions going on there.

    There probably will be no *fundamental* change in the political system, but we can try, and there will be change. There have already been small victories, like BoA backing down over bank charges. There’s fear in the air, and our politicians and their corporate allies can smell it.

    The Tea Party influence on government was bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. Their clean and tidy protests (although you’re forgetting the fact that they started by shutting down public meetings over health-care reform) didn’t change anything. The fact that the Tea Party ran against established GOP politicians did scare the shit out of that party and caused it to move radically to the right. My own view is that the 99% need to do likewise, and run insurgency candidates against Dems. The Dems have to be scared enough to back off from the corporate trough so that we can institute campaign finance reform and hand government back to the people.

  158. glassartists says:

    Its entirely possible that you see what your media wants you to see and nothing else..after all we had the defacto owners of FOXX, the Murdoch family, heavily embroiled in British politics, with one of their Newspapers here illegally phone tapping on an industrial scale, both the phones of politicians and any one else who interested them.

    As to left and right..well as far as your government goes I see very little difference between either your democrats and republicans. Both seem to get elected to represent all of the people and end up representing  the few.

    The same business who ran the USA under George Bush are still running things under Obhama..it was an almost seamless transition of government………left wing..that quite frankly is a joke……………..its almost as bad as some americans in the past thinking that Nazi Germany was a communist country because the Nazi party was called the National Socialist Party.
    Dont kid yourself on pal, you really dont have the big bad commie bogie man to pin blame on anymore……just ordinary americans acting in the way their forefathers reacted to british big business running out of control, and they are acting within the statutes of your great American Bill of Rights and Constitution..which as we debate is rapidly being eroded for the sake of big business and the few.

    Oh by the way, apparently, there have been several situations where OWS organisers and supporters have handed over to the police, people who have been merely agitators and mischief makers.

    And I think it would be safe to say that there will always be some people on any side of a divide, who will use the situation for their own greedy and malicious means.

    Some people would say that you get the government you deserve..personally I think that that is disengenious to the vast majority of the american people, who vote and simply hope for the best and truest sense and form of democracy…but seldom get it.
    Barbarians..too late..you let them in a long time ago..into your government.

  159. atimoshenko says:

    I really do not see OWS as pro-Democrat. A lot of its supporters are certainly left-wing in their political views, and so would agree with certain Democratic policies, but it is hardly an extension of the party apparatus.

    The focus of the protests is on financial institutions rather than the government because it is financial institutions that have biased the system towards themselves, and, as a result, were able to escape with minimum pain from a disaster they caused. The protests are not about the crisis per se, they are about what the crisis revealed about our political and economic systems. As a result, the housing bubble is largely beside the point – it is a symptom of the underlying malaise, rather than a cause of it. The underlying malaise is that the financial system in particular (and the wealthy entities in general) have long been using their financial advantage to have laws passed, which primarily benefitted only themselves. So we had the removal of Glass Steagall, few regulations in OTC derivatives, low Tier 1 capital requirements, no accounting for systemic risk, etc, etc, etc. Under such conditions, if it were not housing it would be pork bellies, and if not pork bellies, then tulips…

    To reiterate again, it is not a left vs. right issue. I would be highly surprised if, for instance, most OWSers did not have a very negative view of Jon Corzine, Tim Geithner, or Larry Summers. But not Barney Frank or Barack Obama – not because they are Democrats, but because they are mostly irrelevant to the criticism being levelled.

  160. Guest says:

    It is very antisocial to sit on a walkway == barbarian.

    Or something like that? I don’t get it either.

  161. Guest says:

    Uh huh, I can talk big too. We’re coming for you. But mainly, your daughter is coming for us.

  162. sagodjur says:

    Edit: Apparently the commenter’s comments are gone now.

    Either you forgot your sarcasm tag or…

    Due process is not properly determined by a cop who is angry that he has to deal with protesters who are exercising their right to free speech and assembly.

    Punishment as a part of due process should only be determined by a court of law following a guilty verdict of charges that warrant that punishment.

    Pepper spray and other less- and non-lethal weapons should not be used as compliance devices but as weapons of self defense.

    Violence should not be used against non-violent crowds or else you lose any moral standing whatsoever.

    You think it takes more courage for the cops to stand and do their jobs in the face of a crowd that is at worst yelling at them than it takes for an unarmed crowd to stand (or sit) and do their civic duty of civil disobedience in the face of injustice in the face of a crowd of cops in riot gear wielding weapons and not fighting back?

    I’m afraid you, sir, have lost your sense of humanity.

  163. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    If blocking the sidewalk (with a large grassy expanse on either side — a purely symbolic blockage) was illegal, and the protesters refused to get up, then the police had legal grounds to arrest them.  Nobody would have been upset at the arrest of people who were willing to be arrested.  Simply arresting them achieves the intended purpose of clearing the sidewalk.  The pepper spray, on the other hand, does nothing more than hurt people; as is evident, it doesn’t serve the nominal goal of clearing the sidewalk.  Given the risk of antagonizing the much larger crowd surrounding the police, it also did nothing to enhance officer safety; if anything, it made it much more likely that officers might be injured after having transformed a peaceful crowd into an angry mob.  That being the case, the use of pepper spray was completely gratuitous, and the only reason to use it was sadism.  Now, every last student who got sprayed is going to get to sue UC-Davis, and the settlements are likely to be really, really expensive.  Even if it was theoretically legal and supported by policy, it was a Really Bad Idea, and that doesn’t strike me as a good example of professional policing.  Professional policing would have been simply arresting them one by one.

  164. glassartists says:

    The ulitmate and logical conclusion to your argument is the the Boston tea Party was wrong and consequently the American war of Independence against the British was illegal.
    After all the Boston tea party was in effect a peaceful protest in many ways, which resulted in violent action against the seceding colonies by the British. If the same thing happened today for the same reasons under your constitution would the Boston Tea Party be outside of the First Amendment. I do not really think so.
    But if you believe that then you are living in the country that you deserve.

    I think that you should look at the videos again. This time very carefully and I think that you will notice that peaceful sitting protesters, on the grass area were in fact sprayed along with those sitting on the pathway. Officer Pike actually did a double pass with the pepper spray a very close range.
    If you have an ounce of moral fiber in your being surely you must see that excessive force, over and above the call of duty, was used against peaceful seated protesters.

    It is not a policeman’s  duty ( in any part of the civilized world) to assault any person they are intending arresting, who is acting in a peaceful fashion. It is in fact acting beyond the law of all civilized countries.

    Officer Pikes behavior was frankly shameful, carried out in a cold and cavalier fashion, with little regard to the safety and well being of not only the protesters but his fellow officers. He clearly did not feel threatened, one can clearly see this but his demeanor and the fact that his visor was raised. 
    It was the sort of behavior that we have come to expect from third world Dictatorships who run police states, and sadly it is now happening in your country….the USA..the land of the free.
    And this does not worry you..that is sad, because this  is real life and it is happening on your door step.

    The OWS movement has modeled itself on the peaceful Civil rights movement of the 1960`s and Ghandi`s passive resistance against British rule in India, and I think that on the whole from what I have sen on the media..that their behavior has been impeccable in the face of such violence perpetrated against them on it would seem a daily basis.

    The police could have acted quite simply, by picking up and cuffing the protesters without using pepper spray…and they still had to pick them up anyway after they were sprayed.

    So I would ask you why the police would feel the need to act in a violent manner towards a peaceful protest………………if you can justify their actions..then you are living in the country that you deserve

  165. atimoshenko says:

    If you allow anyone with a “cause” to disrupt operations, you have anarchy. These people were free to march, chant, carry signs, whatever, but when they say, “You’re not paying enough attention to us, so we’re blocking access to __________,” they are way outside their First Amendment rights.

    Funny how we see the First Amendment these days. Corporations pouring so much money into the system that anyone without a few million to spare would never be heard is well within the First Amendment. If any of the ‘little plebs’ dare to block some random street, on the other hand, this action is “way outside” it.

    I wonder if the same type of indignant opining of “if you don’t respect our rules, there will be anarchy!” was also expressed when African Americans started to have the temerity to sit in the front of busses or when women first dared to ask for the right to vote.

  166. Marktech says:

    I wonder if the same type of indignant opining of “if you don’t respect our rules, there will be anarchy!” was also expressed when African Americans started to have the temerity to sit in the front of busses or when women first dared to ask for the right to vote.

    The slippery-slope fallacy is pretty much SOP as a response to social change.  With freedom, who knows where you might end up?

  167. Stephen Taylor says:

    Very well-said, my friend… but what do we do about cops pepperspraying babies?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRmHgeZyMs8

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