I can’t see any legitimate basis for police action like what is shown here. Watch that first minute and think how we’d react if we saw it coming from some riot-control unit in China, or in Syria. The calm of the officer who walks up and in a leisurely way pepper-sprays unarmed and passive people right in the face? We’d think: this is what happens when authority is unaccountable and has lost any sense of human connection to a subject population. – James Fallows
What if the powers that be simply let the peaceful protests continue without any show of force?
After the event shown in the video, what did the UC Davis chancellor do? Sent out a letter and announced a task force. A task force? What’s wrong with these people? Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi is revealing more institutional blindness and callousness, which we saw most recently with Penn State, though that was obviously on a level all its own.
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. – Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
A petition is now circulating to demand Chancellor Katehi resign.
Calling Gov. Jerry Brown.
A judge in Massachusetts had the right idea earlier this week.
A Boston judge on Wednesday ordered the city not to remove Occupy Boston protesters or their tents from their encampment in the city’s financial district without court approval, except in an emergency.
[...] Howard Cooper, a lawyer for Occupy Boston, said the protesters are living under an “imminent threat” of the impairment of their constitutional rights if police are allowed to tear down the camp without giving the protesters the chance to argue against it in court.
“You can’t get those rights back once the moment is destroyed,” Cooper said.
It doesn’t preclude police from arrests on actual crimes.
Exercising your First Amendment rights peacefully is not a crime. It certainly doesn’t require pepper spray to be used on seated, peaceful students.