RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Galindez writes: "This time the scene of the crime was the University of California, Davis. Police once again sprayed fuel on the fire in the form of pepper spray, and lots of it. The target? Students sitting peacefully with arms interlocked on the University's quad."

UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters blocking a walkway in the quad on Friday, 11/18/11. (photo: Wayne Tilcock/Davis Enterprise)
UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters blocking a walkway in the quad on Friday, 11/18/11. (photo: Wayne Tilcock/Davis Enterprise)

UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

19 November 11

Reader Supported News | Perspective


Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns

n response to the crackdown on Occupy Wall Street and the pepper-spraying of an 89-year-old woman in Seattle I wrote, "Fanning the Flames of the Revolution." Quite simply, I argued that each violent crackdown by the police against non-violent protesters does little more than "fan the flames" of Occupy protests and, in many cases, adds fuel to the fire of the Occupy movement.

It happened again on Friday afternoon.

This time the scene of the crime was the University of California, Davis. Police once again sprayed fuel on the fire in the form of pepper spray, and lots of it. The target? Students sitting peacefully with arms interlocked on the University's quad. Some were positioned across a pedestrian walkway. It is wide enough for small utility vehicles, but is clearly not a roadway open to traffic.

The students had gathered around an area that had earlier housed their tents. What an ominous threat to the community! Beware of students protesting in the quad instead of throwing a kegger party in a dorm!

The police had already removed the tents. All that remained of Occupy Davis was a banner hanging from a tree that read "Save Public Education." How dare they call for such a radical agenda on a campus in the California University system? The students sitting across the campus walkway chanted the subversive line: "Don't shoot students." How is this a threat to riot-clad police?

Perhaps the really subversive, supposedly "threatening," act was in the simple interlocking of their arms.

Last week The San Francisco Chronicle quoted UC Berkley Police Capt. Margo Bennett:

"The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence. I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest."

In fact, Captain Bennett thought that it was okay to use batons to push back the Berkeley crowd, so we shouldn't be surprised that the UC Davis police took it one step further and used pepper-spray to pry apart those threatening arms.

In Berkeley and in Davis, the goal was to break up Occupy encampments. In Berkeley, the police were trying to get to tents. In Davis, the tents were already gone. In both cases one wonders what exactly is so threatening about students camping on the quad? What is so "violent" about sitting with arms joined together?

Wait ... they might just learn something! But it's a lesson plan not approved by the Board of Regents.

Apparently, it would be better to force them back into their frat houses and sorority houses so they can get drunk before returning to their corporate-funded classrooms on Monday morning. We can't have them learning about the effects of corporate greed all weekend, out in the open air of the campus commons. That must be why they moved in at 5pm on a Friday afternoon. What would the town pubs do if the students were camping on the quad instead of doing shots 'til they passed out?

All kidding aside, the scary thing is some of my sarcasm is probably not far from the truth. But the real effect of Friday's police action at UC Davis is that this coming Monday at noon the students will be back, likely in much larger numbers. The pepper-spray fired by the police on Friday further fanned the flames of the revolution. When will they learn the relationship between cause and effect?

Watch the end of this video if you have any doubts about the outcome.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+110 # mwd870 2011-11-19 13:39
I saw this on "Up" with Chris Hayes this morning - he's a great advocate for the Occupy Movement. There must be repercussions for this disgusting behavior on the part of police. As we've seen before, it actually looks like they enjoyed attacking the protesters. Lawyer advocates, I hope you are out there.
+101 # Byronator 2011-11-19 14:56
Now that police forces around the country are becoming para-military organizations, they will attract sadists, bullies and other sociopaths like never before. The stupid comment that non-violent protesters "linking arms in resistance" is tantamount to violence echoes an authoritarian mindset. Prepare for the worst.
+20 # Karlus58 2011-11-20 11:26
I believe it most valuable to video the faces and names of all these bruts in black. Please continue to shine the light on them at every opportunity for their family and all to see. As if these citizens were cockroaches and they were exterminating them.
+10 # michelle 2011-11-20 16:27
Officer John Pike is the name you are looking for. His voice mail is full. You can sign a petition for Katehi's resignation here:
+6 # Adoregon 2011-11-20 14:18
Take your pick:
+142 # Michael_K 2011-11-19 13:41
Actually, acting in direct and overt breach of guidelines for the use of pepper spray, that Lieutenant should be charged with assault and battery and to jail time.

Why do all the police departments have such a marked predilection for hiring degenerates?
+13 # RLF 2011-11-19 20:44
Must we go back to calling them pigs. How about a little SELF-POLICING there guys! If you're going to be ass're going to get people hurt...people like you. If you make nonviolent protests will be the big losers.
+36 # Inland Jim 2011-11-19 13:55
+63 # railroadmike 2011-11-19 14:04
When will the government ever learn. I saw this happen in Chicago in 1971. People got fed up after years of abuse. They tore limbs out of the trees,grabbed rocks and before the day was over cop cars were on their sides burning in the streets of the Dan Ryan Freeway. We out number them.
+62 # Bill Clements 2011-11-19 14:41
Yes, I recall those years well. We outnumber them, yes, but the killing of students by our own National Guardsmen at Kent State radically changed everything. My fear is that this is where we're once again heading.
+25 # Nominae 2011-11-19 19:43
Yes, Bill, I remember as well. Four students dead at Kent State and two shot at Jackson State shortly thereafter. What I do *NOT* remember, is ANYONE doing so much as an afternoon in JAIL over those lil' "incidents. Do you ?
+15 # Billy Bob 2011-11-19 20:41
You're right. Still, those martres were another nail in the coffin of THAT immoral war.
+8 # Bill Clements 2011-11-20 14:28
One would like to believe so, but what a terrible cost.
+9 # Billy Bob 2011-11-20 14:59
That's the price we ALWAYS have to pay to let our voice be heard as non-repuglicans .
+7 # Bill Clements 2011-11-20 14:12
I believe you are absolutely correct! As is often the case, sadly, for crimes like these. We've seen it again and again where our fabled justice system fails to hold the perpetrators responsible.

And, though I would certainly hope for a different outcome, I predict that Katehi's "investigation" will not result in a prosecution of those responsible. I would even be surprised if Spicuzza doesn't get to keep her job. Perhaps it will be sufficient for Pike to be the lone sacrificial lamb, but even that may be an unreasonable outcome for those in control.
+130 # feloneouscat 2011-11-19 14:20
UC Berkley Police Capt. Margo Bennett: "The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence. I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest."

Uh, you are an idiot. Violence means "behavior involving physical force meant to hurt, damage or kill someone or something". Sitting with arms locked does not fit that definition.

The students were acting non-violent. That is a fact. Attempting to redefine "violence" show how stupid Capt. Margo Bennett is - or how corrupt.
+67 # CL38 2011-11-19 14:55
That we have people with power with this little understanding of their job is a huge problem: a UC Berkley Police Captain defines violence as "individuals who link arm and actively an act of violence".

This "Captain" needs to read the Constitution and First Amendment about people's right to peacefully protest, rally and express free speech.

He has a very self-serving definition of violence.
+30 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 17:54
Evidently Capt Margo Bennett is female-a Feminazi. If she is confused about what violence really is and has never been in the military she should be sent to Afghanistan to find out firsthand.Passi ve resistance is NOT violence.
+37 # Byronator 2011-11-19 14:58
She's the Bitch of Buchenwald reincarnate, another Republican dumbinatrix.
+45 # maveet 2011-11-19 15:21
All part of the Orwellian redefining of reality. War is peace. The police are defenders of the peace. and so on.
+64 # vitobonespur 2011-11-19 14:37
The actions of the "Badges" as reported in this article and as depicted in these videos is appalling. The City of Davis, known colloquially as "The People's Republic of Davis," has always had rather extreme methods to quell activities that the were somewhat offensive to the "movers and shakers," but this is beyond the pale.

Back in the 60s I never agreed with my peers when they referred to the law enforcement community as "Pigs." But having watched this travesty I can only wonder if that was perhaps an appropriate sobriquet after all.
+25 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 17:56
The analogy is offensive to the porcine species.
+9 # Travlinlight 2011-11-21 08:30
Actually, I would rather not insult and defame our porcine brethren. Better to call the "badges" jackals or hyenas. In a sense that police official is right--resistan ce is violence, violence to the sensibility of plutocratic pirates and their tools of control and repression.

I see the Occupy movements as a harbinger of a radical shift in consciousness toward a holistic, cooperative social paradigm. The fact that the movement has eschewed any kind of top-down management of ideas and actions is one clear indicator of this shift. It looks to me that the model of social organization that is developing is one of an organic network that is horizontal not vertical. If that's true, then the old pyramid model is on its way out, along with the mindset that created it. Good riddance, if that is so; and good luck to those who seek to bring forth a model of social organization based on cooperation, human decency and good will.
+42 # jamieinjax 2011-11-19 14:39
please take the time an write to u.c. davis chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and demand her resignation. i just did.... thank you! email:​contact.php
+57 # DaveM 2011-11-19 14:40
The keg party comparison is more than apt. When is the last time a large flock of police in riot gear surrounded and "broke up" a frat house bacchanal?

The main thing to remember in all this is that police do not think. Police follow orders. And when orders are given, they do not question whether they are appropriate, reasonable, or even lawful.
+25 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 17:57
Good little Nazis. They will end up the same way the other ones did.
+45 # Steven C. Anderson 2011-11-19 14:42
The police are carrying out their scripted role in this acient drama. How many meaningful social changes can you think of that haven't involved 1) civil disobediance, 2) violent suppression, 3) resultant media coverage? All necessary but insufficient conditions for social revolution!
+81 # CL38 2011-11-19 14:50
Through ordering violent acts on peaceful protesters, officials that WE elected, are telling the world that only the 1% have constitutionall y guaranteed rights.

John Dean's book, "Conservatives without Conscience" examines the 'character' of those on the far right and how they justify what they do to achieve power, wealth and influence. There isn't much they WON'T do, as we're seeing played out right now.

The far right believes they're superior to anyone who sees things differently, that they deserve wealth and power OVER others, are justified in using ANY means to maintain that power. They have absolutely no hesitation about destroying or using violence against anyone who gets in their way.

This is just the beginning. As the protests expand and grow exponentially -- which they most certainly will -- the 1% won’t hesitate to order martial law and will be able to do that, thanks to the "Patriot" Act and the fact that police forces (we pay for) around the country have been militarized.

We need our best minds to develop a comprehensive, effective, powerful, long term strategy for
addressing this reality NOW.....
+49 # Nominae 2011-11-19 16:18
@CL38 - Thanks for the great recommendation of Dean's book. You (and Dean) are, unfortunately, *deadly* right.

And, further, backing their newly-militariz ed local police forces, the 1% has instant access to their own taxpayer funded private militaries such as Blackwater, et al.

Your call for a "comprehensive, effective, powerful, long term strategy" is the *only* sensible response, and, as you indicate, it must come sooner rather than later. In fact, we need it "yesterday" !

In the meantime, however, just to "chip away at the edifice", I would like to see copies of the that top still-photo with the cop pepper spraying seated, non-violent students captioned "Civil Rights Classes - UC Davis", and sent to all parents, students and others who pay the actual tuition at Davis and every single institute of Higher Learning in the USA.

Pepper spray is supposed to be a defensive, not an offensive weapon.

It doesn't get much more "offensive" than the way it is being used in his picture. This shot is the "Tiennamen Square" for use of pepper spray, and this picture should be used with equal power and effect.

There must be a way - Aikido like - to simply neutralize the ability of the 1% to turn their strength and power against the hapless and helpless citizenry.
+21 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 18:05
Great idea to circulate the video to parents across the country with kids in college... I wonder if the same ones outraged by the PSU situation who want to trash that great school for the actions of a few would feel the same way toward something like this that is the mindset of the college system. If any of my kids were at UC Davis I would pull them out immediately and sue the school for reckless endangerment for starters.
+14 # CL38 2011-11-19 20:41
Great idea about sending that photo out (locally, nationally and internationally!

Did you see how he walked in front of the student line, then raised the pepper spray up in the air like a salute before releasing the spray into their faces?
+13 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 18:01
But how many, if any of the fascist scum directing these attacks were ever elected? Campuses are run by those who have the same political agenda as those who appoint them. Our so-called institutions of higher learning are not- hing of the sort and certainly run as dictatorships by the elite.
+34 # humanmancalvin 2011-11-19 15:08
Although I would not normally advocate violence, I would understand a violent reaction to unprovoked brutish behavior such as this. Absolutely Orwellian or third world, certainly not what one would ordinarily equate with America. Egyptian protests are more peaceful than in this country. Supposedly, I repeat SUPPOSEDLY, the land of the free, and the blah of the blah apparently.
+33 # Charles3000 2011-11-19 15:25
All of us need a history lesson and some serious thought on the lesson that is available to us from almost 80 years ago. That lesson is the "Bonus March" of 1932. There are glaring similarities and some significant differences. Everyone should Google "Bonus March on Washington 1932" and read a few of the historical accounts of the event as well as the attendant events around the country at that time. The similarities to today are obvious; a depression/rece ssion, need for jobs, families needing money to survive, mass marches, urban tent cities of occupation and violent attacks by police and in the 1932 case, the US Military commanded by MacArthur, Patton and Ike Eisenhower taking down the tent cities. Another similarity was the excuse given for violently overthrowing the marchers. It was said they were supported or instigated by communists which was untrue. Similar things are being said now about OWS. The big difference is that in 1932 the march was by WWI vets looking for early release of their bonus pay. (Read material for details) but today the marchers are the "99%" but it needs to include veterans from our era. Anyone interested in, supporting or participating in OWS needs to read, understand and think about that lesson given to us from 80 years ago by the bonus marchers.
+17 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 18:10
Bravo! I made sure that this despicable episode was presented at length in my history classes to expose what a fascist Dugout Doug was and what a gutless wonder Hoover was for NOT canning his sorry butt over this. Don't think for a inute that somethijng like it could not happen again. The conditions are right and we have comparable fascist types in the military and police and their accomplices in the federal misgovernment who will do nothing for the 99%-except look the other way.
+40 # Tippitc 2011-11-19 15:25
WOW!! -I can't believe that cop just pepper sprayed this small group of people sitting on the ground!! Did he think he was spraying ants or some other bug?! And so blatant about it - his mother must be proud of him - serve and protect - Really??? It seems the only people involved in "violence" are the cops - they are on the verge of being called "pigs" again and with this behavior I believe they have earned it!!
+20 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 18:12
Unfair to pigs. Scum like this deserve only one name-NAZI!
+41 # psychomom 2011-11-19 15:37
They're unarmed COLLEGE STUDENTS, sitting down, PEACEFULLY protesting according to their constitutional rights! SHAME ON THE POLICE!! The absurdity of it all is that they think this will stop protesters. They're too dumb to realize this will only make them STRONGER!
+50 # JayMagoo 2011-11-19 15:40
When policemen can assault passive, seated demonstrators with Mace, we'd better take a good look at the way we train our cops. We should also ask who the cops are really working for. Unfortunately, news is leaking out about how police departments are sharing information they get from corporate and banking interests on how to deal with Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. It's also coming out that the big banks and corporations making excessive donations to police departments, and are hiring and training the cops to put down any demonstrations by the members of the pubic against the corrupt and illegal activities of the corporate and Wall Street interests. Look at history. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy used the police and private militias to beat down the labor unions and then to beat down political opposition to the Fascist governments of Hitler and Mussolini. Are we seeing a repeat of the rise of Fascism?
+20 # Doubter 2011-11-19 19:04
More than the "rise," it is the "consolidation" of Fascism.
+20 # CL38 2011-11-19 20:51
You are so right. Nazi Germany & Fascist Italy did go after unions and the political opposition, just as the right has done--while at the same time, projecting their behavior onto Democrats, protesters, the middle class and poor.

They are using Nazi tactics.

In addition to the tactics you mentioned, they also used fear, intimidation, lies and misinformation, scapegoating, turning one group against another, taking over newspapers and the media to control the 'message' -- and now using violence against peaceful protesters, who are exercising guaranteed First Amendment rights.
-58 # Gnome de Pluehm 2011-11-19 15:41
Once again; demonstration is a constitutional right, but locking arms and preventing passersby is an infringement of their rights.
+19 # Billy Bob 2011-11-19 19:59
Didn't read the article or watch the video, huh?
+19 # humanmancalvin 2011-11-19 23:22
As if a person could not walk 10 or so feet around the sitting protestors without having their freedom being trampled on. If that is your best argument then you'd better give it up Gnome. You must be one of the uber-wealthy 1% that pays little or no taxes, for certainly you cannot be one of those regular working class stiffs that supports the party of Grover Norquist at your own peril and risk of forking over even more dollars if a republican scams his/her way into the White House.
I'll close with a P.S. Gnomey: Fox News is strictly an entertainment channel, it is not real news. Spread the word the next time you don your tri-cornered hat and gallop at midnight on your trusty steed shouting: Obama is coming...Obama is coming.
+40 # Meriam 2011-11-19 15:42
Once again the young people are showing commitment and courage to an ideal that their elders do not. it is unbelievable to me that the University is not there protecting their students! An education is supposed to promote ideals as well as speaking up for their beliefs. It is shameful that the University abandoned them!
-57 # mrgrtmorris 2011-11-19 15:42
Tony Boloney's gone viral!

There are so many more effective things than hanging out and linking arms and oh, yes, blocking pedestrian egress.

Quit courting victimhood. These are not brave Syrians, for example, facing death for protesting but a scattering of folks who had their say, many doing it well, and now need to get down to the hard work of strategic interventions in the system. This silliness is dissipating the gains and annoying supporters.

And the old lady was 84 last I heard. Isn't that bad enough?
+28 # Billy Bob 2011-11-19 20:01
The "old lady" in New York was 84.

The "old lady" in Seatle was 89.

There were TWO "old ladies".

What if that was your grandmother or mom?

Show some respect!
+10 # vitobonespur 2011-11-20 01:32
Exactly what gains are dissipating which supporters are being annoyed? You, perhaps? But from reading your comments you don't seem like a supporter. And if you're not a supporter, what are you doing here? Butt the hell out and go bowl a few lines, have a few beers, and kick a dog. Maybe that will make you feel better.
+5 # genierae 2011-11-21 09:05
mrgrtmorris: If you think that blood won't have to be shed to reclaim this country from the powerful corporate interests that now own it, you need to think again. They will not give up easily, and if OWS persists, police brutality will increase, then the military will be brought in, like at Kent State, and the battle will be joined in earnest. OWS will need every ounce of courage and altruism that they possess, and I am certain that martial law will be declared as a last resort. Then things will get much uglier. Can't happen in America? Of course it can. And it is. Does OWS have the courage to put lives on the line to take this country back? That remains to be seen.
+36 # michelle 2011-11-19 15:47
I don't have skills but I wish one of you could edit the police brutality from Seattle to NYC and everywhere into a long string of clips and post it on youtube. It would layout the consistent methods employed by police against citizens. It would provide a clear statement about who and what police departments are all over this nation. On 911 they were heroes and now they enemies of the people. What a fall from grace.
+17 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 18:18
The way they are now if you had another 9/11 type attack, they would likely be shooting everyone in sight for running through the streets and rioting.How anyone with a shred of humanity or decency can act this way is beyond belief. The country most of us grew up believing in is now FUBAR.
+37 # Lolanne 2011-11-19 15:49
It does no good to chant "Shame on you" -- these sorry excuses for human beings have no shame. They are obviously the worst kind of bullies, but deep down inside THEY ARE COWARDS! Cowards always flock together and attack those who do not fight back. WHERE IS THE ACLU? WHERE ARE THE HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS? There MUST be consequences for the kind of atrocities these bastards are committing against unarmed, nonviolent people.
+34 # jwb110 2011-11-19 15:53
The police are trying to make it a violent protest. The potential problem for the 1% is that the few who are present at the protests don't seem like 99%. The protesters have "standing" in the eyes of other Americans who agree with them. And it is possible for the police to actually not have enough pepper spray for the entire population of the US.

Lt. John Pike, a name now a matter of public record, has decided whose side he is on. His picture is now on the Internet and therefore potential he is known around the world for his actions.

The World is Watching.
+24 # B-Aware 2011-11-19 16:11
As I admire the younger, braver souls who carry on the Occupy movement, I am comforted by a single line from Milton’s sonnet, “On His Blindness,” memorized more than 60 years ago: “They also serve who only stand and wait.” So, what place is there for me, and others of similar circumstance, in this bold attempt to change our government into a democracy of the people? Can we do more than stand and wait?
At this moment, I can try to make a mild improvement in the only political party that shows concern for the 99 percent. I am pushing for a pledge by the House and Senate campaign committees to stop giving financial support to those Democrats who oppose the President’s American Jobs Act. Chief among these is Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who votes against the 99 percent most of the time and is up for reelection next year. I hope you will join me in signing a petition to this effect. It needs your support, and it needs for you to send it to as many friends as possible. You will find it at
+20 # wwway 2011-11-19 20:16
Who will run agaisnt Ben Nelson?
Everyone needs to get behind the constitutional amendment that will negate corporate personhood and require public financing of campaigns similar to what's done in Canada and a few other democracies to keep big money and lobbyists out of the business of the people.
+14 # CL38 2011-11-19 20:55
Great point to identify and target each the 'blue dog' Democrats and vote them out.
+8 # mwd870 2011-11-20 06:48
I though I had signed this petition already, so I went to the link and checked the names of supporters. I'm signed on now.
+3 # genierae 2011-11-21 09:18
B-Aware: There is much that you can do. Why not run for local office, there are many obnoxious progress-hating Republicans trying to mess things up locally, as well as in D.C. Go to council meetings in your town and make waves. Write Letters to the Editors of your local papers to inform and educate those in your community who are not aware of what's going on. Speak up when you hear right-wing propaganda in your social circle. Demand corporations take the common good of the community into consideration when they make their decisions. If we stand together, we can change our world. Let's do it!
+24 # boater1 2011-11-19 16:17
Police should JOIN the demonstrations.

They're victims of corruption by a moneyed aristocracy (plutocratic) system that's purchases lawmakers... & police to "keep the lid on."
+42 # Dbratton 2011-11-19 16:25
I couldn't bear to watch the video of this--the picture itself is revolting beyond description! How much more of this are people going to put up with? The policeman in the photograph should be fired and charged immediately, and as one reader has noted, the Chancellor should resign. How audacious of students to defend public education! What a tragic sight this is--a very sad, sad day for America. I'm feeling more and more confirmed in my decision to leave the States during the War in Vietnam. For a while things seemed to have changed, but now we see how little they've changed at all. If only Leonard Cohen were right about democracy coming to the USA . . . but it looks a lot more like fascism is coming, at least from up here in Canada. Those poor, poor kids in the photograph. This is absolutely disgraceful--re ally beyond words . . . how dare the USA support Arab spring and then turn around and do this to its own citizens. What absolute hypocrisy!
+22 # CL38 2011-11-19 19:28
Your last comment is excellent and bears repeating over and over! "how dare the USA support Arab spring [and claim to be the land of truth, freedom and justice for all]-- {my words} and then turn around and do this to its own citizens. What absolute hypocrisy!"
+29 # Gord84 2011-11-19 16:26
NEW SPEAK: Students sitting peacefully with their arms linked is "an act of violence."
+26 # CCB5er34 2011-11-19 16:37
I know all this non-violence advocacy is what may be the ideal. Sadly, this is not an ideal world and as Captain John Sheridan said in Babylon 5, Never start a fight but always finish it. I think that self defense is quite allowed, and well, this country was born in violence, and who knows, it might have to go that way again. Problem is, the 1% have the police on their side, and the army as well. This is not going to be pleasent, and it may have to be more Malcolm X then Martin Luther King, by any means necessary. The police are not to be respected and held up as heroes when they assault non-violent protestors. They are now the 1%. We are living in a fascist police state, and it is dark as hell.
+4 # swissms 2011-11-21 03:20
The job of the police is always to support the institutions and representatives in power. It is a sad lesson for young idealists everywhere. Another sad lesson is to realize how often "violent" protests are in fact the violent response of the police to peaceful citizen protest. We should not allow ourselves to be sidetracked into focusing our rage on the police who are sent to enforce the status quo. The problem is a much larger one; bankrupted states and a citizenry unwilling and perhaps now unable to subsidize its public education, and thus its next generation. The rot is at the top, where laws and policies allow corporations the rights of people and the 1% to grab the whole pie. Let's put our anger and our energy into solving that problem.
+2 # genierae 2011-11-21 09:26
Gandhi's greatest strength was non-violence. It is an act of great love to endure violence from those who hate us, without responding in kind, and it is absolutely essential for a movement to work. What did Malcolm X accomplish that can compare to Gandhi?
+43 # dquandle 2011-11-19 16:46
"Linking arms is an act of violence" ??????
Fire Captain Bennett immediately!!!
+24 # Nominae 2011-11-19 19:38
Quoting dquandle:
"Linking arms is an act of violence" ??????
Fire Captain Bennett immediately!!!

Well, of course it is ! Especially if you can't even SPELL "PASSIVE RESISTANCE" ! The blatantly stupid idea of trying to call passive resistance "violence" is simply an echo of what the Right has been doing with shocking success for the past 30 years. Re-branding and controlling the national debate with NEW SPEAK. Estate tax = "Death Tax", End of Life care = "Death Panels" etc, etc, ad nauseum. There is no concern for what is true, only for what "works" to incite fear and to cloud and confuse the national debate.

What is most inane, is that a tactic that shouldn't pass the "straight face test" with bright third-graders has now been successfully fooling the voting public for *three decades*.

Heads up, people ! When the Right calls "black" "white", and "up" "down", and "Pollution" "Clear Skies Initiative", it is just POSSIBLE that they are LYING ! Think about it ! Talk about it.

Let's stop being so naively GULLIBLE ! Do not allow them to "rebrand". Certainly do not REPEAT their inanities ! And correct everyone else you hear repeating them. At least you will start a spirited dialogue ! :)
+46 # walt 2011-11-19 16:54
If the pepper-spraying cop and his chief are not suspended and prosecuted, there is no justice in the "land of the free."

These were non-violent students exercising free speech. How dare these fascists ignore their constitutional rights.

I hope the ACLU takes this case and goes all the way!

What the hell has this country become?
+7 # mwd870 2011-11-20 06:50
Maybe the first part of their punishment should be to line up and be pepper-sprayed in exactly the same way.
+24 # Glen 2011-11-19 16:59
The cop doing the spraying looks as if he is spray painting his front deck. Very nonchalant and "just doing his job". As I asked in another post concerning the "sound machine", what will they do to folks that are truly out of control - use bunker busters?
-19 # mrgrtmorris 2011-11-19 17:02
In my town, the occupyers conferenced with the cops who helped coordinate our protests. The occupiers went home at the end of the second day and started list servs, places to hold general assembly , a web site, e mail lists and a way to make collective decisions. Our Move-Your-Money was enormously successful. And I don't doubt the Xmas boycott will be as well. We have a good chance of removing a cipher of a Congressman and replacing him with a smart and progressive guy.

The insistence on occupying is a. less effective b. losing the support of friends. The fuzz can be your friend because he is in the same boat as everybody else--in danger of losing his job because of cut backs.

If you think Americans are ready for revolution you are crazy.

People shouldn't be encouraged to do stupid things.
+32 # Texan 4 Peace 2011-11-19 20:43
Mr. Morris, our small occupation in El Paso was also treated reasonably by the police, for the most part. But in Oakland, UC-Davis, NYC, that is obviously not the case. Carry on with your wonderful efforts -- especially if they are effective! -- but don't claim that because your town's police are helpful, that negates the need for civil disobedience elsewhere. Different tactics for different situations.
+29 # CL38 2011-11-19 20:57
Exercising our right to protest, rally and free speech isn't stupid.
+15 # Texan 4 Peace 2011-11-19 21:36
The last couple minutes of the 3rd video is one of the most amazing things I've seen. Way to demonstrate the power of non-violence!! As someone once said, "There's nothing PASSIVE about passive resistance"!
+14 # Nominae 2011-11-20 00:54
Quoting mrgrtmorris:

If you think Americans are ready for revolution you are crazy.

People shouldn't be encouraged to do stupid things.

Yeah ! Like standing up to the most powerful Navy in the World at the time (England) and hoping to win independence for Thirteen of their Rag-Tag Colonies. Totally silly idea. Don't try this at home, people. Be afraid. Be *very* afraid. It's your heritage.
+6 # Karlus58 2011-11-20 11:21
I suppose you prefer to sit on your behind for another generation to pass.
+33 # pernsey 2011-11-19 17:03
That was a disgusting display by the police, the students really showed much more compassion to them by letting them leave peacefully, then the police showed them by spraying all those students just sitting there.

+26 # Aussieken 2011-11-19 17:07
My Gawd - I guess we are beginning to get an inkling of how the Palestinians feel. Those cops are like something out of Star Wars and they are ALL so beefy!! Do they have a special cop diet? Some of them wouldn't look out of place on a Sumo mat in Japan.
+10 # pernsey 2011-11-19 19:21
Quoting Aussieken:
My Gawd - I guess we are beginning to get an inkling of how the Palestinians feel. Those cops are like something out of Star Wars and they are ALL so beefy!! Do they have a special cop diet? Some of them wouldn't look out of place on a Sumo mat in Japan.

Its called a donut shop, thats where most cops hang out...we have officer Jelly, Lt. peanut, and captain glaze lol!
+17 # Aussieken 2011-11-19 17:14
Well CCB5er34 - Like Dick Chaney said "We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side." I guess if pushed the 99% may have to do the same which will be a shame - but power corrupts and those people will do ANYTHING to hang on to it.
+33 # Nel 2011-11-19 17:28
Policemen should refuse orders to collaborate with the Wall street criminals.
+10 # Billy Bob 2011-11-19 20:02
The ones who aren't a**h***s will.
+20 # in deo veritas 2011-11-19 17:44
This cop is nothing but a rotten Nazi SOB. I hope he is sued and does jail time. The good ol boys just love it when a cop gets in with them. The only difference thoughout history between the law and the outlaw is who is wearing a tin star at the time. Look how many lawmen in the Old West were also lawbreakers.
+24 # Paul Scott 2011-11-19 18:25
Anyone who was 10 years of age or older during the Civil Rights movements, of the 60's, know police don't serve the people; they serve politicians. During the 60's I saw the police in many places, not only the south, doing the same thing then as I see now; beating the hell out of people who were asking for justice.

How long this goes on depends on the continued stupidity, of the voter, and whether he/she wants to protect the nation or partisan politics.
+19 # wwway 2011-11-19 18:26
Police take an oath to "protect and to serve." Protect who? Serve who? The only thing police should be doing is ensureing that protesters are safe. UC Davis authorities say that students can't camp because it's unsafe. Well, that's the job of police to let them be safe while camping!
+11 # Billy Bob 2011-11-19 20:29
You can see from the video exactly WHY it isn't "safe".
+8 # brianf 2011-11-19 19:22
This is why we call them PIGS.
+12 # Billy Bob 2011-11-19 20:28
I remember being a little kid in the '70s and hearing the counter-spin already beginning, about how the '60s "just went too far, man". An example of that was calling cops, "pigs" - afterall, they're just regular folks doing their jobs, right?

I say it's time to bring that word back into our vocabulary. Right now, I don't think they have the right to be "offended" by a few harmless words, given their actual behavior.

By the way, if this is just the lone actions of a few "bad apples", as we're sure to hear, I'm ready for the official apologies and changes in policy to start being announced. Until that happens, this ain't "a few bad apples". This is the coordinated action of a class of PIGS.
+13 # Nominae 2011-11-20 01:03
Quoting Billy Bob:
I remember being a little kid in the '70s and hearing the counter-spin already beginning, about how the '60s "just went too far, man". An example of that was calling cops, "pigs" - afterall, they're just regular folks doing their jobs, right?

I say it's time to bring that word back into our vocabulary. Right now, I don't think they have the right to be "offended" by a few harmless words, given their actual behavior.

By the way, if this is just the lone actions of a few "bad apples", as we're sure to hear, I'm ready for the official apologies and changes in policy to start being announced. Until that happens, this ain't "a few bad apples". This is the coordinated action of a class of PIGS.

The origin of the term "pigs" for police in the '60s was a reference to George Orwell's book "Animal Farm" which described a totalitarian system in which the pigs (although animals themselves) had been convinced to do the bidding and perform the beatings of their fellow animals on behalf of the human oligarchs who owned the Animal Farm.
+21 # Archie1954 2011-11-19 19:27
The police shouldn't be the main concern of the protestors as they are simply the brainless muscle of the elites. The OWS has to get to the core of the problem which are the president and senate of the university in this case and the political elites and monied elites in the case of the country as a whole. The political system has been so corrupted by filthy lucre that no one involved in it can anymore smell the stink of forgotten promises, conflict of interest, fraud and betrayal. It is now so pervasive as to be the new norm. This is what must be attacked and soon!
+22 # rom120 2011-11-19 19:29
Is this America? No, it's a third world country. Was there violence? Yes of course, violence from the uniformed psychopaths!!! And you could see how they enjoyed pepper spraying unarmed, non violent students. Watch out cops, you can push people only so far.
+29 # LessSaid 2011-11-19 19:41
I think we need to understand that the police actions in these cases don't begin and end with the police themselves. In this situation the orders were given by the Chancellor to the police to take action against(remove) the students. Police in most cases are nothing more than gatekeepers for the 1%. However, in this situation the Chancellor need to be made to resign. At some point, OWS will have to go after the people who are giving the orders.
+24 # DLT999 2011-11-19 20:21
Yes, but the excuse all the murdering Nazi soldiers gave during the Nuremberg trials was "I was just following orders". They also are responsible for their actions.
+17 # DLT999 2011-11-19 20:24
Now when we peacefully sit down, we need to remember our face shields. Order them and bring them and wear them. Bullet proof vests, helmets, face shields, and ear plugs. That's what it takes to peacefully assemble now.
+30 # BishopAndrew 2011-11-19 19:50
Where is the President? How can he denounce violence in Syria and remain silent here? I am ashamed of this country!
+15 # Billy Bob 2011-11-19 20:22
Great comment!

Still, don't be ashamed of your country. Be ashamed of our President. I'm PROUD of our country, because it's filled with millions who are ready to stand up and be counted. THAT'S our country!
+19 # Smiley 2011-11-19 20:10
It's hard to believe how cowardly some of these cops are....and criminal. Anyone who was given orders to do these things and had a pair of balls and a conscience would quit and join their fellow Americans.
+18 # DLT999 2011-11-19 20:20
Yes -- these cops are COWARDLY AND CRIMINAL!!! Look at that B*stard standing there calming spraying PEACEFUL students. HOW SICK IS THIS?? And these kids pay all this money for college fo this? What is the name of that cop in the photo???!!
+13 # Okieangels 2011-11-19 23:56
John Pike. And now Linda Katehi, the chancellor, says she's going to "investigate." Well, of course, now that hundreds are calling on her to resign...
+17 # RLF 2011-11-19 20:46
Time to cut police budget...I knew we could find big cuts somewhere!
+12 # Scott479 2011-11-19 20:58
UC Berkley Police Capt. Margo Bennett is clearly a fool who should be fired-wait, her tactics of violence have done a great job of recruitment for the protests....let 's instead write letters of support for this fool.
-29 # mrgrtmorris 2011-11-19 21:50
Protest isn't stupid. Encouraging useless provocation is.

Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory--the OWS have changed the conversation from cutting the deficits to the maldistribution of wealth in this country. Now it's about pointless behavior of occupyers. You can't start anything worthwhile joining hands and sitting your butts in a public place. It has become a joke. It alienates supporters and delights opponents.

And the anti-cop rhetoric? All cops are bad everywhere? What infantile blather.

If you were paid plants or provos you couldn't do more damage.
+25 # Billy Bob 2011-11-19 22:49
How much do paid plants get paid, by the way? Just curious. I thought you might know.

Avoiding provocation is the same thing as trying not to do anything at all. People like Gandhi and King would disagree with your idea that "provocation is useless".

You know what's useless?

Sitting on your ass, while trying to undermine American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights.
+10 # vitobonespur 2011-11-20 01:41
Hear, hear!
0 # Doubter 2011-11-23 02:25
Nice try.
+13 # Politicalprincess 2011-11-19 22:52
If you want to change the way the "Officer's of the Peace" treat students at Berkley - contact the people below with their lofty credentials:
Board of Directors
The Berkeley Endowment Management Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UC Berkeley Foundation and is governed by a board of directors who are knowledgeable about the capital markets and committed to the mission and values of UC Berkeley.

Janet McKinley (Chair)
William Ausfahl
Warren Hellman
Laurance Hoagland
Colleen McAndrews
Warren Spieker
Scott Biddy (Ex officio)
John Wilton (Ex officio)
Janet McKinley (Chair)
+9 # Eastmain 2011-11-19 23:04
Concerning these cops all I can say is, "What a bunch of a**holes! And, not a one of them has the slightest bit of moral conscience. If they had, they would have laid down their weapons and walked away."
+12 # Politicalprincess 2011-11-19 23:07
Below is the Executive Committee of UC Davis. Contact them and let them know how you feel:
Kevin Bacon ’72
Vice Chair
Bruce Edwards ’61
Immediate Past Chair
Pam Fair ’80
Chair, Audit Committee
Anne P. Gray
Chair, Finance & Investment Committee
Eamonn F. Dolan ’83
Chair, Development Committee
Bret T. Hewitt ’76, M.A. ’83
Chair, Nominating Committee
Michael W. Chapman ’58, M.D.
Reza Abbaszadeh, D.D.S.
Roger L. Akers
Nick G. Alexander ’78, M.A. ’79
Gilles Attia
Jack F. Bair ’86
Bruce W. Bell ’85
Stephen F. Boutin, J.D. ’72
Tim Bucher ’86
Davis W. Campbell ’68
Michael Child ’76
John M. Chuck
Fred P. Corson ’64, Ph.D. ’67
Reno N. Cruz, Jr. ’74
Lois Crowe, Ph.D. ’75
Diana. Cusumano ’67
James C. Davis
Richard C. Dorf, Ph.D.
Sundeep Dugar Ph.D. ’84
Christian P. Erdman ’88
Victor H. Fazio
Diane Fiddyment
Kent A. Humber ’74, D.V.M. ’82
Rudy A. Kadlub ’71, ’72
Joseph W. Lin, Ph.D. ’75
Diane S. Loranger
Robert L. Lorber, Ph.D. ’69, M.A. ’71
Marshall McKay
Doug J. Muhleman ’77, M.S. ’79
Mike O’Brien ’73, D.V.M. ’76
Carol E. Parker
Mary Ann Peoples
+8 # Politicalprincess 2011-11-20 00:04
Below are contact details for Berkley Endowment Management Corporation
Berkeley Endowment Management Company
580 California Street, Suite 1350
San Francisco, CA 94104

Contact them and tell them how you feel
+4 # candida 2011-11-20 00:18
And not a word from Obama. What a lost cause he is.

The righteousness of the otherwise understandable indignation toward police brutality against OWSers in this and other discussions on RSN and elsewhere would be funny if the whole situation weren't so tragic. This kind of police brutality and much worse is daily fare in black, brown and poor communities throughout this country historically and has accelerated during the Reagan-led counter-revolut ion of recent decades. Now that poverty AND the violence of the state is coming to the white middle-class, they are aghast. "Shocking!" you say. "Not in THIS country," you say, "This is AMERICA!!" Or as the great, late, poet laureate of the Chicano Movement, Ricardo Sanchez, called it, "Amerika." When the tear gas stops spraying on your children and the billy clubs stop beating them, and jobs come back to your communities, remember that there are those who will remain victimized, jobless, and scapegoated for the ills of elite and the complacent white middle class of this society... unless there is a true revolution.
+5 # swissms 2011-11-20 01:14
And shame on the California taxpayers for deciding not to invest in the next generation.
+7 # seeuingoa 2011-11-20 04:01
And where the Hell is President Obama in all this?

When the Constitutional Right to Demonstrate Peacefully is violated, it is
no longer an internal state business for the mayor or governor to tackle.

It is on Obama´s desk
So please say something mister President.

Don´t forget that the American
Constitution begins with:

"WE THE 99%..."
+6 # daveapostles 2011-11-20 06:42
This action is just so disgusting. There should be prosecutions. Thanks #Politicalprinc ess.
+12 # daveapostles 2011-11-20 06:47
I've sent my e-mail to with a copy of the photo of the officer using the pepper spray.

Dear colleague, I am writing to express my disgust at the actions of the UCDavis police against the young people on 11/18. There is NO excuse for such action and the action of the police will bring UCDavis into disrepute. The use of pepper spray in the apparent circumstances looks tantamount to a criminal act. I hope that the UCDavis authorities will make the most stringent investigation into the action of these officers.
Yours sincerely,
Dave Postles
+4 # Politicalprincess 2011-11-20 13:38
Good work Dave! The 1% in the California University system have to feel our pain!
+4 # daveapostles 2011-11-20 06:49
Do we know what happened at the meeting of the Board of Berkeley on 11/16?
+10 # Charles3000 2011-11-20 06:55
In that photo the people standing around and gawking should have walked calmly forward and joined those few brave souls. There were enough there to have stopped the nonsense of the campus cops.
+9 # daveapostles 2011-11-20 06:55
Oh, o.k., the UCOP meeting was cancelled on the pretext of the possibility of violence. Of what are they afraid? Do they want the furore to subside so they can ignore the issue?
+9 # angelfish 2011-11-20 11:38
In my humble opinion, the term "Pig" is too good for this cretinous Police Lt. John Pike. WHERE do they come from, these soul-less Nazis who have no qualms about horrifying young Americans exersizing their Constitutional Right to assembly and free speech? Justice WILL be served on Election Day 2012! The People, UNITED, will NEVER be defeated!
+7 # LessSaid 2011-11-20 12:24
'In that photo the people standing around and gawking should have walked calmly forward and joined those few brave souls. There were enough there to have stopped the nonsense of the campus cops.'


You make a very good point! And this could go the rest of the 99%/OWS movement around the country.
+7 # JohnnyK 2011-11-20 13:03
Those cops should have been fired on the spot.
+10 # bubbiesue 2011-11-20 14:06
Want to see cops charged for overreacting? It will happen when people begin to collect names and badge numbers and charge offenders one by one. Don't be afraid to do it if you have a lawyer as the law is on your side.
-11 # Carolyn 2011-11-20 14:14
Behold! Obama's America. Chanbge you can believe in
+6 # Bill Clements 2011-11-20 17:57
An easy and thoroughly fatuous comment. But then again, you're probably clueless about the OWS movement, too?
+4 # Politicalprincess 2011-11-20 14:20
UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said "officers used force out of concern for their own safety after they were surrounded by students".

UC Davis Crime Investigations Sgt. Don Malloy 530-752-3278
Call Sgt. to report the assault of UC Davis student today
+4 # thinkingman58 2011-11-20 23:59
This is outrageous. I'm glad the protesters avoided reacting with violence.

UC Davis serves as a training locale for the CHP (California Highway Patrol), and they are notorious for ticketing cyclists for disobeying traffic laws. The campus is infested with wannabe cops - what kind of example is this for the police to present to the new recruits? It appears as though members of the police need to go back to police academy and re-learn constitutional rights and more effective means of crowd control.

I fear incidents like this will only serve to erode public opinion of the authorities, which may lead ultimately to violent civil revolt. Heaven help us all if that happens.
+7 # mdj777 2011-11-21 08:49
The below was sent to the Chancellor moments ago:

November 21, 2011

Dear Madam:

If one actually knows what one is defending, it is much easier to do so. Knowledge is power.

Might I suggest forming a book club? A few items of interest for imitation Americans would be the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, along with Madison's Notes on the Federal Convention, and The Federalist Papers. And I have been advised that they are in audio format, which makes them possible to enjoy in the unemployment line.

While on active duty, I served with someone who had escaped from Czechoslovakia when the Soviets invaded. He used to say, "The fish stinks from the head." And he was right. Therefore you need to go; and take Captain Margo Bennett, and Lt. John Pike with you.

Yours truly,

Marvin D. Jones

United States Army
+3 # Gardiner 2011-11-21 19:04
God Bless America, words and music by Irving Berlin (capitalization is mine)

"While the storm clouds gather FAR ACROSS THE SEA,
Let us swear allegiance to a LAND THAT'S FREE,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. "

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home"

Perhaps we're just supposed to keep on singing about freedom, democracy and purple mountains' majesty and everything will be alright!
+1 # chicago 2011-11-22 14:53
They were coward pigs back in the 60's,and they still earn their name today .I'm very proud of all you young people.Bless you.
0 # rhgreen 2011-11-28 17:50
Is there some reason I don't understand why the cop who is photographed doing this can't be fired? My father was in police work all his life and he would be sick to his stomach seeing that. Michael_K put it well: "... acting in direct and overt breach of guidelines for the use of pepper spray, that Lieutenant should be charged with assault and battery and to jail time".

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.