UPDATES (Mon, 4:55pm)
“We’ve been inundated with people sending messages,” said Mitchel Benson, the associate vice chancellor for university communications. “It literally brought down our servers.”
Original Post starts here:
The DFA Board calls for the immediate resignation of Chancellor Katehi. The Chancellor’s authorization of the use of police force to suppress the protests by students and community members speaking out on behalf of our university and public higher education generally represents a gross failure of leadership.
Claudia Morain, a UC Davis spokesperson, told The Huffington Post:
“The pepper spray was used because they needed to get out of there,” she said, emphasizing that the students were repeatedly warned before the spray was deployed.
Morain admitted that she had not thoroughly studied the videos of the incident.
“The police tried to use the least force that they could,” Morain explained.
UPDATE: from AP
Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department’s use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a “compliance tool” that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and is preferable to simply lifting protesters.
“When you start picking up human bodies, you risk hurtingthem,” Kelly said. “Bodies don’t have handles on them. . . ”
“What I’m looking at is fairly standard police procedure,” Kelly said.
UPDATE 2: Chancellor Katehi’s Walk of Shame
Gotta give it up for the Aggies, very impressive:
(via boingboing.net, by Xeni Jardin)
In the video above, UC Davis students, silent, with linked arms, confront Chancellor Linda Katehi just one day after the incident. It’s hard to tell exactly how many of them are present, but there they are, a huge crowd. They’re seated in the same cross-legged-on-the-ground position their fellow students were yesterday just before Lt. John Pike pulled out a can of pepper spray and pulled the trigger.
Definitely worth reading the entire post, as it contains compelling eyewitness testimony and links.
Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic: Why I Feel Bad for the Pepper-Spraying Policeman, Lt. John Pike
Even Forbes came out against it: Police Response to Occupy Wall Street is Absurd
UPDATE 3: A Change.org Petition: Police Pepper-Spray Peaceful UC Davis Students: Ask Chancellor Katehi to Resign! has
nearly 34,000 over 45,000 signatures in one day. Sign it!
This week, we have seen excessive force used against non-violent protesters at UC Berkeley, UCLA, CSU Long Beach, and UC Davis. Student, faculty and staff protesters have been pepper-sprayed directly in the eyes and mouth, beaten and shoved by batons, dragged by the arms while handcuffed, and submitted to other forms of excessive force. Protesters have been hospitalized because of injuries inflicted during these incidents. The violence was unprovoked, disproportional and excessive.
We are outraged by the excessive and unnecessary force used against peaceful protests.
We are outraged that the administrations of UC campuses are using police brutality to suppress dissent, free speech and peaceful assembly.
We demand that the Chancellors of the University of California cease using police violence to repress non-violent political protests. We hold them responsible for the violence and believe it can only result in an escalation of outrage that holds the potential for even more violence.
Police brutality damages the University’s public image, and, more importantly, it damages the climate for free expression at UC. We condemn the assault on the legacy of free speech at the University of California.
We call for greater attention to the substantive issues that motivate the protests regarding the privatization of education. With massive cuts in state funding and rising tuition costs across the community college system, the Cal State network, K-12, and the University of California, public education is undergoing a severe divestment. Student debt has reached unprecedented levels as bank profits swell. We decry the growing privatization and tuition increases that have been the frequent — and only — responses of the UC Board of Regents.
The board of the Council of UC Faculty Associations
Everything you ever wanted to know about pepper spray: