As It Happened – UC Davis pepper spray

So I first stumbled across these images, which led me to this on boingboing. A bit of background: UC Davis students were protesting a tuition hike (after their tuition was raised by 8% the year before, and a 32% one is on the cards now) and, when refusing to leave university property, got pepper sprayed. Whilst it’s not really about this:
… there was a lot of support from people in the OWS protests, especially because of things like this:

That last image is Scott Olsen; click the image for his story.
But back to UC Davis. This next video of the incident was far and away the most powerful one for me, and it affected me quite deeply.

For a bit more context, UC Berkeley was where Mario Savio gave this infamous speech in 1964:

This speech was given on top of a police car where another student had been put after his arrest; the student ended up spending two days in the car while the protest continued around him, preventing him from being taken to the police station. At the time the protesters were part of the Free Speech Movement that had moderate national impact at the time.

After the pepper spray incident, the protesters did this when their Chancellor tried to get to her car:

Mad props.

Now afterwards when she addresses the students here:

… she reveals that she was there when the Savio speech was delivered. Personally, this makes me even less inclined to like her, or to buy her “it was everyone else’s fault” line. More than one person found the apology extremely lacking; Nathan Brown, a professor of English at UC Davis, wrote this open letter in response and subsequently gave this speech:

… while Anonymous responded as expected:

I’ve been watching a lot of Rachel Maddow’s show, and I particularly enjoyed her analysis of pepper spray here; she has a few other videos following the incident that are really worth checking out.

There have been calls to leave the officer (John Pike) in question alone, especially now that his dox have been dropped all over the internet. I’m not so inclined to agree. Perhaps I’m just a nasty, black-hearted /b/-tard, but I hope this haunts him for the rest of his life.

The internet, as always, then provided a plethora of images, both in sympathy and in the blackest ways possible.

Watching things unfold live on the internet is amazing. Have you been following along? What are your thoughts?

~ by Andrew on November 27, 2011.

One Response to “As It Happened – UC Davis pepper spray”


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