(video) Police pepper spraying students that are... just sitting there?
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25-11-2011, 11:21 AM
RE: (video) Police pepper spraying students that are... just sitting there?
@Thammuz
I agree that injustice should be dealt with, I simply don't agree with protesting. Not because I think it has a negative effect on ones cause, but because I think it typically has no discernible positive effect (some cases yes). Should the students have been pepper-sprayed if they were peacefully demonstrating and causing no disturbance? No. Should we forgo the right enforcing our laws? No. Perhaps they should have been dealt with in another matter (as lucradis and I have already discussed) but they were not and here we are (well not us because we are not the ones who have been sprayed or did the spraying).

As for your Nazi example, that is a bit extreme but I suppose it is well within the limits of this discussion. The problem I have here is that the majority of the people agreed with what the Nazis were doing and at least some of them chose to turn a blind eye towards the things they did not like. I am not saying that I disagree with the principle behind the actions of the students (or the occupy Wall St. protesters) but the method is not something I agree with. I believe there are better ways to get your point across. Flood mailboxes and inboxes with letters and make a phone call everyday to your representative (student, state or federal). In an extreme case like that of the Nazis, I do agree with the living coward part and I would seek a way of fleeing the country. If that were not an option and there was a suitable number of like-minded individuals, I might agree with the old "eye for an eye" homage and go out fighting (not over tuition though). Long-story short, if you disagree with what is happening around you or to you, do something productive about it (I simply don't see protesting as productive).

As for the tuition issue, I do agree with the students in being upset about yet another tuition hike (tuition was raised every year at my undergrad university while I was there). We could have an entirely new discussion on the failings of our education system (primary and post-high school) in the U.S. but I get the feeling that this discussion has more to do with my above paragraphs. Perhaps a new thread for what is wrong with education in America? I would throw my two cents in on that when I get a chance.

@FSMScott
I do not agree with what happened to the Civil Rights protesters (another extreme example that also sadly fits into this discussion). What happened there is also most unfortunate. I still disagree with protesting (even then) but prior to the internet this may have been the best way to spread your message. It is rather unfortunate that a lot (not all mind you) of these cops may have simply been carrying out orders (nazis did the same thing and that does not make it right) but that is a failing of the system, not the individuals. Change is (in my opinion) a top-down effect. An uprising may bring it to the attention of those at the top, but in order for things to actually change, it has to start at the top and work its way down. We are still not a racism-free country and I think that has to do with the fact that there are those still in power at the top who are racist (perhaps a bigot like Gingrich comes to mind). When I think of the civil rights era, I now think of the movie "Milk." I grew up in a small conservative religious town in middle Tennessee, so whenever civil rights protests were mentioned, it was only about race, never sexual orientation (because the community is largely homophobic I suppose). That was a very good movie and changed the way I thought about the civil rights movement. That is how I think change happens. Someone sees a problem and instead of holding up a sign or sitting on their ass, gets up, steps up and puts themselves in a position to change things from the top. It is also unfortunate that Harvey Milk was shot and killed, but in death he became a symbol for the civil rights movement (unless you grew up where I did and they don't mention him). If you want to make a difference, do it the Milky-Way (I just came up with that and I am rather proud of it). That is, stand-up and do something about.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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25-11-2011, 11:33 AM
RE: (video) Police pepper spraying students that are... just sitting there?
@ TheBeardedDude

Thank you for your reaction. I can agree with some of your points, especially about protest not being the best choice. I've seen protests about neighbour complaining about noise from the kindergarten next door, that's just silly in my opinion; a rational debate might be more in place. In the case of Wall street however, I believe it's worth it, but that's a political-ethical discussion that's not related to the thread. I'll start something about it when I have some spare time; thx for the idea.

About education in America; you might as well start something about the academic world in general and its changes. Tuition fees are raised everywhere and decent education for all seems to become a thing of the past. It might become an interesting discussion.

Grtz!

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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29-11-2011, 09:24 AM
RE: (video) Police pepper spraying students that are... just sitting there?
Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Linda P.B. Katehi,

I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

You are not.

I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

3) to demand your immediate resignation

Today you ordered police onto our campus to clear student protesters from the quad. These were protesters who participated in a rally speaking out against tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses on Tuesday—a rally that I organized, and which was endorsed by the Davis Faculty Association. These students attended that rally in response to a call for solidarity from students and faculty who were bludgeoned with batons, hospitalized, and arrested at UC Berkeley last week. In the highest tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, those protesters had linked arms and held their ground in defense of tents they set up beside Sproul Hall. In a gesture of solidarity with those students and faculty, and in solidarity with the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis set up tents on the main quad. When you ordered police outfitted with riot helmets, brandishing batons and teargas guns to remove their tents today, those students sat down on the ground in a circle and linked arms to protect them.

What happened next?

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

This is what happened. You are responsible for it.

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. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same way—linking arms and holding their ground—police also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

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.

On Wednesday November 16, you issued a letter by email to the campus community. In this letter, you discussed a hate crime which occurred at UC Davis on Sunday November 13. In this letter, you express concern about the safety of our students. You write, “it is particularly disturbing that such an act of intolerance should occur at a time when the campus community is working to create a safe and inviting space for all our students.” You write, “while these are turbulent economic times, as a campus community, we must all be committed to a safe, welcoming environment that advances our efforts to diversity and excellence at UC Davis.”

I will leave it to my colleagues and every reader of this letter to decide what poses a greater threat to “a safe and inviting space for all our students” or “a safe, welcoming environment” at UC Davis: 1) Setting up tents on the quad in solidarity with faculty and students brutalized by police at UC Berkeley? or 2) Sending in riot police to disperse students with batons, pepper-spray, and tear-gas guns, while those students sit peacefully on the ground with their arms linked? Is this what you have in mind when you refer to creating “a safe and inviting space?” Is this what you have in mind when you express commitment to “a safe, welcoming environment?”

I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedience—including the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.

Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. And I want you to know that this is clear. It is clear to anyone who reads your campus emails concerning our “Principles of Community” and who also takes the time to inform themselves about your actions. You should bear in mind that when you send emails to the UC Davis community, you address a body of faculty and students who are well trained to see through rhetoric that evinces care for students while implicitly threatening them. I see through your rhetoric very clearly. You also write to a campus community that knows how to speak truth to power. That is what I am doing.

I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.

Sincerely,

Nathan Brown
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Program in Critical Theory
University of California at Davis
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29-11-2011, 11:35 AM
RE: (video) Police pepper spraying students that are... just sitting there?
Extreme cases of reactions to protest bearded dude? Even the Nazi reaction was not that unusual of a reaction to naysayers. Protesting is noticed even if it's not generally seen to do much. Protestors run into some extreme situations, people in the US see pepper spraying as excessive force, though plenty would see more. In the US it is perfectly legal to protest and you can go with the law. Law is state, Occupy wallstreet shouldn't give a shit about the local police. They need to pick their fight. When people break the law en mass enforcement generally reacts. And often badly. The pepper sprayer was not given money to do it, he simply decided he should and did it. This kind of thing is very common.

For police a peaceful protest is a protest which allows the basic laws to continue. I have protested many times and I am not against protesting, but you have to expect these sorts of issues to come up when people simply go out and protest. Protesting is not something you can do without meeting aggression. But it is legal to protest in this country, and all you have to do in order to meet far less aggression is deal with a little paperwork. What they are protesting is not something that the cops would stop. I don't really care what the policeman did because it's expected to happen. Protests have a long history of being fought, it only takes a few days to make the law enforcement your partner in a protest. Then these things don't happen.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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29-11-2011, 12:19 PM (This post was last modified: 29-11-2011 12:32 PM by mysticjbyrd.)
RE: (video) Police pepper spraying students that are... just sitting there?
Here is a video giving some more info on the cop.




(29-11-2011 11:35 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Extreme cases of reactions to protest bearded dude? Even the Nazi reaction was not that unusual of a reaction to naysayers. Protesting is noticed even if it's not generally seen to do much. Protestors run into some extreme situations, people in the US see pepper spraying as excessive force, though plenty would see more. In the US it is perfectly legal to protest and you can go with the law. Law is state, Occupy wallstreet shouldn't give a shit about the local police. They need to pick their fight. When people break the law en mass enforcement generally reacts. And often badly. The pepper sprayer was not given money to do it, he simply decided he should and did it. This kind of thing is very common.

For police a peaceful protest is a protest which allows the basic laws to continue. I have protested many times and I am not against protesting, but you have to expect these sorts of issues to come up when people simply go out and protest. Protesting is not something you can do without meeting aggression. But it is legal to protest in this country, and all you have to do in order to meet far less aggression is deal with a little paperwork. What they are protesting is not something that the cops would stop. I don't really care what the policeman did because it's expected to happen. Protests have a long history of being fought, it only takes a few days to make the law enforcement your partner in a protest. Then these things don't happen.

So every single protest is met with violence...
All protests need to do is sign a piece of paper to prevent violence.
Therefore no one has ever signed that paper.
Yah, I am confused...what is this magical paper?


You don't care because its expected to happen! Well lets expand on that.
So, if a girl dresses slutty, then she is expected to be raped!
And when she is raped, ohh well it was her fault, and you don't care.

Yah this is a great moral conclusion you have come to.
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29-11-2011, 06:12 PM (This post was last modified: 29-11-2011 06:22 PM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: (video) Police pepper spraying students that are... just sitting there?
You don't seem to understand me very well. I didn't say that every protest is met with violence I said that it commonly is. And I was stating that it is idiotic to ignore a simple solution to prevent this issue. Protests are legal in the united states. There is no law against civil unrest. To simplify this there are regulations to help keep everyone on the same page so that things like this don't happen. In the US there are billions of protests a year. Most of them have no issues with the police. If the protesters don't state to the government that they are going to protest and determine where beforehand though, they end up in jail for a night or worse. This is because while it is legal to protest, it is not legal to encroach on the rights of others. You heard them talking about how it's their college, it's not, the actual owners of the college have their names on the property. Paying tuition does not give them free reign of this property.

You seem to really dislike what I'm saying, because I hear a lot of contempt from your posts. I'm discussing things like they are. If your child reaches for the fire on the stove and you say don't do that it will hurt, and then while looking away the child touches the fires and burns his hand are you going to get arrested for bad parenting? Sometimes actions are expected because they tend to happen. When police officers go into mobs be they aggressive or peaceful they see a hoard of people with contempt for them. They get scared. Or did you not see them back away from the mob after it happened? They didn't feel that it was safe for them to be there. One officer decided to try something he felt was not overly aggressive to make them disperse. He's paying the price. He is not an example of US values. He's a man facing a mob who reacted.

I'm not defending the US, but I'm not saying this is an overwhelmingly surprising action from a protest. These kinds of things happen. If you really want to make them not happen then find a better device for police to take into mobs so that if they decide to react they don't go overboard for you. He's allowed to use mace in order to disperse crowds within a mob so he did. Most of the protests I have been in the police were on our side, because we asked beforehand to be able to protest, in fact they even went after the civilians who were trying to prevent our protest. If you go through the right channels you can get your message out there without unwarranted risk.

You may want to step back a little while before accusing me of so much for discussing things about protests. You're now suggesting that I advocate there should be no repercussions for expected results? I am putting a statement out there that others weren't because it is important to discuss topics at all angles. i have experience with protesting and it really is easy to fix this type of error. Sorry that I didn't go "oh no!! the policeman hurt people. let's abolish the government". Get real I'm discussing the actuality of the case and how this sort of thing can be prevented. With a little paperwork.

When in a mob who is against you it's not uncommon to react badly, so don't act like it is really so cut and dry. For those cops they had the requirement by law to clear that road. He picked the wrong way to clear it. I just think it's idiotic to protest in a way that causes personal harm when you can easily keep it from happening. Had they went through the proper channels then when the faculty called about the disturbance the police would respond by saying yes we've agreed to this protest and have officers there making sure everything goes safely.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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01-12-2011, 09:46 PM
RE: (video) Police pepper spraying students that are... just sitting there?
For those who didn't read Nathan Brown's letter, Id say that this sums it up -

Quote:Nathan Brown, an English professor at UC Davis, wrote an open letter to Katehi calling for her resignation. He witnessed the attack, and described it, writing:

"Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-​sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-​sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-​five minutes after being pepper-​sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood."

Also, Id have to say that I disagree that the protests are "useless." While they aren't doing much to directly change anything, they are at the least getting attention to the issue. Sure, there are probably better methods that they could be using, at least something like attempting some decent advertising, and having a clear and precise statement. I do like the fact that people are at least trying to do something, no matter how little it may seem to be doing overall. And I hope the movement shows some improvement. I find that people tend to for some reason be completely opposed to the movement entirely, despite that they may agree with the things that they are generally saying. It doesn't make much sense to me. Why be opposed when you agree with them? Why not try and give some suggestions yourself? Don't they have facebook pages, tumblr, etc? I think we are lucky in America that people are doing anything at all, really.

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