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DAVIS (KCBS) [San Francisco] – Two UC Davis police officers have been placed on administrative leave following their use of pepper spray in Friday’s arrest of 10 protesters on campus.

“I spoke with students this weekend, and I feel their outrage. I have also heard from an overwhelming number of students, faculty, staff and alumni from around the country. I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident. However, I pledge to take the actions needed to ensure that this does not happen again.”
---said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi.

Katehi placed UC Davis students in danger.  Her statement today is a turnaround from her imperious written communication yesterday.  Perhaps she consulted with a lawyer in the interim.  The incident could have been prevented without her carelessness.

The police action is indefensible.  Forcing the mouths of at least two students open so that they could take pepper spray internally, moved the incident from crowd control to premeditated assault.  The courts will decide that their actions were irresponsible and incompetent and there will be big bucks involved.  That's the only thing that the puppet masters care about.  The almighty dollar.

It didn't have happen this way at UC Davis.  Civil disobedience was handed down to Americans from Henry David Thoreau who wrote an essay on the subject. Every American should know that our forefather­s left us responsibl­e for correcting our government as needed. Civil disobedien­ce is the only alternativ­e when other measures aren't successful and by definition it must be non-violen­t.

And history shows that civil disobedien­ce protesters are always violently attacked by the 'status quo.' We have examples from here to India and beyond.

Occupy protesters are within reason to expect and demand that police use judgment that pertains to the situation, whenever they reach a location where citizens are assembled.  Upon arrival, they must first assess whether anyone is in danger, if so, how serious, and how can individuals in peril  be protected?   Second, they must assess whether property is being destroyed or stolen, identify its owner, if possible, and decide on appropriate intervention.   Caution must override everything else. There were many other possible outcomes at UC Davis.   What the police did there was the worst possible choice that they could have made.  There was no immediate danger inherent in protesters actions and no need to bring about a resolution at once.

What good may come?  Perhaps the police will learn to approach their work with strategy that reduces risk.  Huge payouts to their victims may result in pressure that only happens when risk is quantified to a dollar amount.  If they can learn, they'll know that excessive force backfires.  If they continue their paramilitary approach, it propels the movement forward.  The protesters know how to manage and control themselves in contrast to the police.  Their behavior at UC Davis was exemplary and we owe them a debt of gratitude.  

Meanwhile the discovery of an $850,000 proposal from lobbyist American Bankers Association to instigate and develop negative media reporting on OccupyWallStreet shows that the moneyed elite and business interests perceive the success of the movement as a growing threat to them.    

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:04:26 PM PST

  •  He thought they were hungry! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    white blitz

    "She's petite, extremely beautiful, and heavily armed." -1995 Michael Moore documentary Canadian Bacon

    by Tom Seaview on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:10:41 PM PST

  •  This is the part that gets me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarackStarObama, kurt
    ...and no need to bring about a resolution at once.

    Or was there?

    Seriously.  This movement is only two months old.  And as much as I love to see it growing every day, I can't help but wonder how strong #OWS would be today if there were no police crack-downs.  If the protesters were just left alone to do their thing, would anyone be paying attention today?

    I realize the message is getting lost- maybe that's the plan.  Instead of talking about the income inequality and injustice of the system, more and more are focusing on police brutality.

    It's like when the Egyptian government shut down the internet during their uprising.  All that did was send millions more into the streets.

    With all the videos of the clashes, more are coming out to protest the violence- not the system.

    Proving, I guess that Americans value that pesky First Amendment, and no matter what the demands, do not take kindly to protesters being attacked.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:25:14 PM PST

    •  I tend to hope (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grannycarol, kurt

      that this is a proactive movement.  There is and will be a half-life on every effort.  

      The more the general public knows about the messages and the more non-violent, understood occupying is shown by the media, the bigger the movement will become.  Sure there will be conflict and negative problems, but as the movement matures into more and more occupy venues, the harder it will be to deny.  Glass more than half-full here.

  •  There were 2 students who had their mouths... (0+ / 0-)

    forced open?  I've only heard of one.

    •  one male one female (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      katiec

      was what one of the other protesters  said she observed.  Whether one or two it shows a malicious intent.  There was also a court judgment several years ago in favor of the plaintiffs in a case where police applied pepper spray to their eyes using a Q-Tip.  

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:51:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OMG, at least two student's mouths... (0+ / 0-)

    were forced open?  I didn't know that. :-(

    “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.” President Obama 11/2/11

    by BarackStarObama on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:35:00 PM PST

  •  If I was a student (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftreborn

    I would be perusing my enrollment contract and student handbook, to find out whether the institute you pay large sums of money to attend and which accepts State and Federal grants has the ability to suspend your constitutional rights.
    If it does, then I would seriously think about organizing a class action suit.
    If it doesn't, I would go at it from a much different angle because the Chancellor has made a very big and personal error. A good lawyer could own that woman or any other university official that oversteps their bounds.

    •  The irony (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jacey, myboo, kurt

      is that Chancellor Katehi intial statement emphasized that she called in the police because she's responsible for the safety of the students while they're on campus.  So she has quite a lot to account for now, doesn't she? And it's easy to see why she's spinning her story around to condemn the police for actions that she says she never expected.  I hope those students make them all pay the maximum dollar amounts possible.

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:06:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Forcing the mouths of students open... (0+ / 0-)

    Is there documentation of this? I've seen this statement a few times, but as yet haven't seen it in a video or an interview.

    .

    What if they gave a war and no one came?

    by Sean X on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:06:29 PM PST

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