This video in a few short hours has gone viral and rightly so. This will go down in history as a moment that America realized our police forces are not only para-military forces — and out of control, para-military forces — but they have lost their souls.
Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing calls this video an “iconic, viral emblem accross the web,” [sic] and wrote of the police action, “it’s as if he’s dousing a row of bugs with insecticide.” On Twitter Jardin added, “it’s as if they were bugs to be doused with Raid.”
A progressive well-respected activist on Twitter known as @Shoq writes, “This is how movements grow. These poor UC Davis kids took pepper spray for the team.”
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog describes this as, “outrageous,” and adds:
I’m sorry, this has gone too far. This has happened in police department after police department, and it has gone too far. Our police look like the goons in Russia and China. Please watch this video and send it to everyone you know. This has gone too far.
I agree. My fiancé and I have been watching the level of violence by police departments across the country rise and become more extreme — and more frequent. We see it here in our hometown of New York City, where the cops’ default attitude is anger and disdain. And we keep talking about that iconic moment in “V For Vendetta” when the citizens have had enough, a cop shoots a little girl, and the people rise up and take control.
While I’m no anarchist, I guarantee that that same day is coming, and fast. I feel it. It scares me, but it’s going to happen. I feel it in my bones. And I feel today’s despicable act sealed the deal with the American people.
The police officer in this video has been identified as UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike. On Twitter, reputable journalists are tweeting his phone number and email address. People are angry, and not only “ordinary citizens,” but those who are charged with reporting objectively these events.
Wow it never ends... Updates http://twitter.com/#!/OperationLeakS
UPDATE: UC Davis Faculty Assoc calls for Immed Resignation of Chancellor Katehi http://ucdfa.org/2011/11/19/dfa-board-calls-for-katehis-resignation/
Second UPDATE: Chancellor Katehi leaving peacefully. Protestors are remaining quiet. http://pic.twitter.com/l7hPk0vJ
UC Davis Chancellor refuses to quit following police pepper spray attack as students stage mass protests
- Shocking videotape shows police dousing students staging passive sitdown protest with pepper spray
- Calls for school chancellor to step down and accept accountability
- Chancellor claims she has worked hard to make the campus 'a safe place for all'
- School task force to look into police response
Last updated at 4:57 PM on 20th November 2011
Holding firm: Linda Katehi, the chancellor of the University of California, Davis on Saturday afternoon called video images of an officer calmly pepper-spraying a line of student protesters a day earlier 'chilling' but said she would not step down.
The chancellor of UC Davis has refused to step down following the emergence of shocking video footage of police drenching a line of student protesters in pepper spray.
Linda Katehi called the footage of the forceful attack on passive demonstrators 'chilling', but said she would not resign.
What the video shows is 'sad and really very inappropriate,' but she had no plans to resign, she said.
'I do not think that I have violated the policies of the institution. I have worked personally very hard to make this campus a safe campus for all,' she said.
The events surrounding the protest have caused her personal anguish, she said, according to MNSBC.
Ms Katehi remained in a media room for more than two hours after the news conference, eventually walking to an SUV past a group of students nearly three blocks long who, in a coordinated effort, remained completely silent. The Sacramento Bee said.
The protest was held in support of the overall Occupy Wall Street movement and in solidarity with protesters at the University of California, Berkeley who were jabbed by police with batons on November 9.
The school faculty association had demanded the chancellor's resignation, saying that her authorisation of police force represented 'a gross failure of leadership'.
A statement released by the Davis faculty board said: 'Given the recent use of excessive force by police against 'occupy' protestors at UC Berkeley and elsewhere, the Chancellor must have anticipated that, by authorizing police action, she was effectively authorizing their use of excessive force against peaceful UCD student protestors.
'The Chancellor’s role is to enable open and free inquiry, not to suppress it.'
Nathan Brown, an assistant professor in the Department of English, also called for Ms Katehi to step down.
He wrote in an open letter to Katehi. '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.'
Ms Katehi yesterday promised to launch an investigation into the chilling footage.
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Brutal attack: The chancellor of UC Davis has refused to step down following the emergence of shocking video footage of police drenching a line of student protesters in pepper spray.
'Yesterday was not a day that would make anyone on our campus proud; indeed the events of the day need to guide us forward as we try to make our campus a better place of inquiry, debate, and even dissent,' she wrote in a statement.
The shocking videotape emerged on You Tube yesterday and immediately went viral.
Footage showed an officer using the spray on a group of protesters who appear to be sitting passively on the ground with their arms interlocked.
Witnesses watched in horror as police moved in on more than a dozen tents erected in the campus quad drenching demonstrators with the burning yellow spray and arresting 10 people, nine of them students.
Backlash: Last night students staged mass protests over the excessive police force at the the University of California, Davis
In the video, the officer displays a bottle before spraying its contents on the seated protesters in a sweeping motion while walking back and forth. Most of the protesters have their heads down, but at least one is hit in the face.
Some members of a crowd gathered at the scene scream and cry out. The crowd then chants, 'Shame on You,' as the protesters on the ground are led away. The officers retreat minutes later with helmets on and batons drawn.
It's not clear from the video what agency the officer who used the pepper spray represents.
Officers from UC Davis and other UC campuses as well as the city of Davis responded to the protest, according to Annette Spicuzza, UC Davis police chief. Davis is about 80 miles north of San Francisco.
Soaked: The students' faces were covered in the orange pepper spray
Moving in: Police officers remove the protesters as they clutch their faces
Defiant: The police officers also carried what appeared to be paint guns as they confronted the crowd
Ms Spicuzza told the Sacramento Bee that police used the pepper spray after they were surrounded. Protesters were warned repeatedly beforehand that force would be used if they didn't move, she said.
'There was no way out of that circle,' Ms Spicuzza said. 'They were cutting the officers off from their support. It's a very volatile situation.'
The tents went up on Thursday, and protesters were apparently warned on Friday morning that they had until 3 pm to take them down or they would be removed.
On Friday, Katehi released a statement saying the police had no option.
'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 protesters 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,' she told the New York Daily News.
The university lacked the resources to keep the protest site from becoming a public health hazard. she said.
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