UC Davis announced today that it has placed university police chief Annette Spicuzza on leave after her officers used pepper spray to move seated Occupy UC Davis protesters on Friday. The incident, which has gained international media attention, also led the campus faculty association to call for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi. She says she will not step down. We discuss the controversy.

UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident 21 November,2011forum

Linda Katehi, chancellor of the University of California, Davis
Nathan Brown, assistant professor, Department of English - University of California, Davis. And member of the Davis Faculty Association, which on Saturday called for the resignation of Chancellor Katehi over the pepper spray incident.
Fatima Sbeih, senior at UC Davis - She was among those demonstrators pepper-sprayed by police
Geoffrey Wildanger, second year graduate student in art history, UC Davis
Joseph McNamara, research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Retired police chief of San Jose.
Eugene O'Donnell, professor of law and police studies, John Jay College in New York - former NYPD officer.

  • Please ask Mr. Buchanan to define who is “White”. Ask him if brown haired, brown eyed, brown skinned people can be “white”. Ask him if he believes that ‘one drop’ of non ‘white’ would still make a ‘white’ person. Ask him if it’s possible for Asians, Aficans, Persians and Hispanic Latino Mexicas to have ‘white’ culture. Ask him to define ‘white’ culture. Ask him if he thinks one culture is superior to another culture. Ask him if he thinks one ‘race’ is superior to another ‘race’. 

  • PrintDeutschmarks

    Just as Gaddafi set the tribes of Libya against each other to keep himself in power, the 1% in America is constantly trying to set our “tribes” against each other — whites vs non-whites, asians vs blacks, men vs women, poor vs middle class etc etc.

    We all need to put aside petty differences and personal greed, and realize that we 99% have far more in common with each other than we do with the criminal 1% that is OK with invading countries, ruining the US dollars and keeping all of us down.

  • wandagb

    If the Catholic Church which Pat Buchanan so closely identifies with had supported international family planning instead of condemning it the U.S. would not be facing the prospect of a population of one billion people here by 2100. This is the direct consequence of immigration from an overpopulated Third World.

    *Mexico and the Philippines, two Catholic countries, are the two biggest exporters of their numerous poor.

  • ERIC

    The pepper spray incident at UC Davis certainly does seem to be a clear case of excessive use of force but it is also obvious that the Occupy protesters in Davis are absolutely gleeful that they succeeded in provoking the campus police and getting national publicity for their cause (whatever their cause is—-I am still trying to figure it out).  I am so bored with the infantilism, petulance, “you’re either with us or against us” protest tactics of the Occupy movement.  Let’s face it, lawlessness  is central to the self-image of this movement, and when you make lawlessness your core political value  some police officers will inevitably overreact in tense, potentially dangerous situations.  The Occupy protesters in Davis sought a confrontation, and they got one.

    • chang

      this is a very narrow view of understanding systemic injustice.  and i wouldn’t be able to verify whether you’ve had to work 2-3 jobs to put yourself through college.

    • greg hunter

      occupy – exists because no one in DC cares what they have to say – indict bankers, make it illegal to bailout banks or corporations, impeach those who gave our tax money to them. No action is taken, instead they are defended and the people ignored. Sadly, police are all too eager to be bullies with a badge and assault good, harmless, poor people. Shame on DC and the police for doing their dirty work for a buck. 

  • Don Strong

    Why couldn’t Krasny get a better commentator? I guess Herman Cain is occupied, why not G. W. Bush, or even Michelle Bachman. Pat Buchanan ???

  • We had a technical issue updating Forum last night – Pat Buchanan will not be our guest at 10am. The guests will be: 
    Linda Katehi
    Chancellor, University of California, Davis
    Nathan Brown 
    Assistant Professor Organization: Department of English – University of California, Davis. And member of the Davis Faculty Association, which on Saturday called for the resignation of Chancellor Katehi over the pepper spray incident.
    Fatima Sbeih Title: senior
    Senior, UC Davis – She was among those demonstrators pepper-sprayed

    • Chrisco

      I was scratching my head regarding why Pat Buchanan would be on. I figured he’d be the Law and Order man.

  • Jennifer Almquist

    The parents of all those students should show up and link arms with their children. They were protesting tuition hikes at UC Davis, for heaven’s sakes! No one deserves to be pepper sprayed like this. Especially not when the UC Davis faculty had voted in favor of the student protest. How old are these kids anyway?  They are our children and they need to be safe and afforded their First Amendment Rights. Shame on the dogs and their trainers that were set loose on these poor kids.

    • Starspangled

      Great experience for the police, good training!

      • barbara henninger

        Great experience if you get off on beating up unarmed teenagers.  Real law enforcement heroes.

        • Arnie

          Cops are cowards with badges.

  • Bateleur

    Putting the police chief on leave is a start, but not enough. What should really be done is for there to be an investigation of the officers who DID the pepper spraying and put them on probation or in court.

  • Neil

    Really Michael Krasny, Pat Buchanan? … because today is the day you need the guy who believes white people built America?

  • torroid

    The behavior of the campus police is unacceptable, and Katehi’s response is indefensible. Katehi should resign.

    • Starspangled

      That will our unemployment numbers.

  • Lynettamatteo

    I wish Chancellor Katehi had shown a bit of compassion towards the students – in her emails to Alum and parents, as she left her press conference on Saturday – it would have gone a long way to opening up the dialogue.  Instead she seems scared to death to interact with students!  I am a parent of a freshman at the school.

  • Tadare

    The Chancellor is only concrened with her career and not the students of the UC Davis campus. If she cannot controll her subordinates and ensure the safety of the students then she is not doing her job and she should resign and allow someone who will work WITH the students and FOR the students; someone with more strength and integrity.
    We are listening in class.

  • Mason

    I’ve worked security. Sometimes we forget that guards and the police are human too, subject to human angers and influences. In our politics and society we’ve glorified violence as our entertainment. Is it any wonder when let off the leash The Campus Police resorted to violence because they weren’t giving clear orders and constant training on how to deal with such contingencies? Every company I’ve ever known cuts corners on this, because it’s expensive and they hope people will remember their training when the time comes. And they’re -always- surprised when the violence happens.

  • chang

    i’ve always felt that academic institutions had a high regard for truth and integrity toward humanity–this is my disillusion as i’m seeing the decay and mindlessness unfolding for leadership that has been blind to potential violence when they send police force dressed in riot gear to rein in what!?!—unarmed kids, some with backpacks full of books standing probably stunned by what was unfolding in front of them!?! i also seriously think city/county police need to have a training course in meditation so that they don’t just react but respond appropriately without harm, using wise discernment in a non-violent communication protest: according to reports claiming that they were surrounded by other students–good lord, no one started attacking these policemen who thought felt they were out numbered.  these were kids without weapons. 1st amendment right to free speech protects these kids because they weren’t the aggressors, e.g.  i can’t just pepper spray the next well-dressed family that comes to my door to give me a pamphlet and save my soul.

  • anonymous

    Recent actions by police at Occupy encampments and student protests shows what happens when state violence goes unpunished. The new normal in America is that the police feel justified to inflict pain on nonviolent protesters, and the roots of this change have to be connected to the redefinition of torture as enhanced interrogation. Moreover, the Obama administration’s decision not to hold any members of the Bush’s torture regime responsible has set the stage for the use of police violence without fear of retaliation.

  • Sam

    They were occupying their public school which is facing barbaric fee hikes that will drive many of California’s poorest students out of the university. They had every right to protest, even if their protest included civil disobedience. We are seeing the dismantling of California’s strong heritage of public education, and I support the UC Davis protesters 100%. When it is acceptable in our society to show such crass brutality towards people expressing their right to protest, it really raises questions as to how authoritarian our society is becoming.

  • Bateleur

    These officers and the chancellor will surely have bad karma.

  • anon

    please post links to the video/pictures

  • LeftBanker

    The Chancellor said that the police were not supposed to remove the students, just their equipment. Quote from her e-mail to the campus Friday evening at 9PM:

    ” However a number of protestors 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.”

  • Doug

    Michael, has there been any response from Jerry Brown’s office on these this or the violent opression of UC Berkeley students?

  • elangmft

    The police action in Davis is chilling–but no different than many other instances of police brutality & unnecessary force. This has been going on since the ’60s-’70s. Police do not manage  First Amendment rights well. Police these days are mostly about control & intimidation, with aggression and power. The Chancellor is naive.

  • John Fensterwald

    The students showed remarkable dignity to the silent response to Chancellor Kaheti when she left on Saturday. It did Ghandi proud. However, the faculty did not show the same good judgment and maturity in calling for the chancellor’s immediate resignation. It was premature and unhelpful.

    • greg hunter

      no. 60,000 signatures agree. She needs to be fired, then indicted, and so do you if you are found to have conspired with her in this premeditated plan to assault your own students. Shame on you. 

      • John Fensterwald

        Excuse me, Greg Hunter. Since when is expressing an opinion  an indictable offense? Get a grip here. The pepper spraying was outrageous. The chief and cops have appropriately been suspended and, having lost credibility with students, should be dismissed. But the same does not hold for the chancellor – not based on the police actions. Doesn’t sound like a smart way to run a university that is facing very difficult times. Easy to sign a petition, though.

    • Leo

      I can not agree more.

  • J Tidwell

    The questions in response to the sit-ins on tuition hikes is – How much are the Regents receiving in compensation, as well as all association with their division within the UC system? Plus, how many Chancellors are on a bonus situation, as the ones who run the Investment Funds for the UC System, for coming in “under budget”?

    • Moderately_Disgusted

      The Regents aren’t paid, per the UC by-laws. 

      It’s a crony system, though – they have lots of influence on appointments and policy. I have no doubt their perks are many and varied. 

  • guest

    Her boss should tell Chancellor Linda Katehi to step down.  She no longer has the support of the faculty or students since her judgement was wrong, wrong, wrong. What a dispicable incident so unlike America.  It reminds me of Kent State and I thought we had gotten beyond that kind of behavior.

    • Moderately_Disgusted

      Let’s be careful here.

      The incident may point toward Kent State, but it isn’t another Kent State. These students lived to tell their side of the story. (I’m hoping that might be a sign of some sort of progress, but who knows for sure.)

  • Lance

    What you have is a sadistic cop that shoul dnot be in law enforcement. We can’t have cops deciding punishment. The protestors could have been removed peacefully without the use of pepper spray

    • Starspangled

      Police don’t decide on punishment, they enforce punishment.

      • Rob

        You are not adding to this conversation, Starspangled

      • UCD Parent and Tax Payer

        Starspangled, are you a troll or just ignorant? It would be nice if you added something of substance to the conversation. Oh, I like the screen name…..hide draped in a flag.

  • B.J. Haddad

    According to the University of California’s University wide Police Policies and Administrative Procedures: “Chemical agents are weapons used to minimize the potential for injury to officers, offenders, or other persons. They should only be used in situations where such force reasonably appears justified and necessary.” Furthermore, “Arrestees and suspects shall be treated in a humane manner … they shall not be subject to physical force except as required to subdue violence or ensure detention. No officer shall strike an arrestee or suspect except in self-defense, to prevent an escape, or to prevent injury to another person.” Pretty sure all of this was violated. 

  • Gstadler

    There needs to be an independent inquiry that evaluates Katehi’s role in these events. I think you should have asked about this–her own investigations will preclude herself.

  • UC Davis Grad Student

    i don’t remember tent pitchers getting peppered sprayed the last time tents were pitched at the memorial union – i’m referring to picnic day and whole earth festival day

    • Leo

      were they overnight?

      • UC Davis Grad Student


      • Mymail1247

        Three days and two nights in fact.

  • hari

    The UC Chancellors are supposed to be educators.  Why is it that they can’t learn that the UC policy of calling in the police to “disperse” student protests means violence against the students? 

  • Ken Iisaka

     What a bunch of whiners. The protesters knew that it is a crime to impede traffic, and they also knew that police would use force if necessary to break up the situation. They walked straight into a volatile situation, knowing fully well what the consequences would be.Also, they also knew that such protests are not effective to further their agenda. Those who do not study history make the same mistakes. Why would they commit the same mistake over and over? Why don’t they do something that would have a direct impact on their lives, like studying hard and working hard?
    Where is Sam Hayakawa?

    • chang

      this is a very narrow view of understanding systemic injustice.  and i wouldn’t be able to verify whether you’ve had to work 2-3 jobs to put yourself through college.

    • Steve von Maas

      People who are unconcerned with crimes committed by the police deserve what they, themselves, will get when it comes.  Don’t whine to me when they throw your fascist self in a camp!

    • andybrwn

      Impede walking traffic on the quad?  Get real.  There was no reason to try to evict them from that space–unless saving the lawn is really important for you? 

    • Daniel

      Are you sure you name is Ken? It might be John … John Galt?

      Anyway, if one wants to fit the establishment, study hard, and such … no one prevents him from doing that. No one was disrupting classes. Just step over the sitting people like that cop did and go to your classes.

    • TonioL

      According to people like Ghandi and MLK, Jr., who had pretty significant results, “such protests” can in fact further their agenda. Making the same mistakes would be sitting back and letting injustice hurt people without trying to fight it.

    • Mymail1247

      Sorry to say, your comments are truly a waste of time.

    • Jtarlin

      Mr. Lisaka,
      Since you’re such a great believer in the study of history, it strikes me as odd that you don’t seem to have heard of Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr.  Non-violent resistance is not effective????  Seems you might a history class taught by some of the protester you speak of with such contempt.
      Where is Sam Hayakawa?  Consigned to the dustbin of history where he belongs…

    • Kevin O

      Wrong Wrong Wrong.  My daughter attends UC and it is in her concern I protest your lies that the criminal brutal force used by the UC Davis police is acceptable or even necessary to remove students from campus.

      The Chancellor ordered the riot police in when there was no riot. The Chancellor must be fired. 

      Police Chief Annette Spicuzza gave false statements saying in effect that the police were surrounded and therefore felt they were in harms way. Look at the video.  It was a peaceful protest.  The police were never surrounded to the point that they could not just walk away in any direction of their choosing.  The Police Chief needs to be fired for such a politically motivated lie.

    • Cleotis


  • LeftBanker


    Please stop repeating the lie that it was not mandated to remove the students. This is revisionist history. Chancellor Katehi wrote to the faculty on Friday evening:

    “However a number of protestors refused our warning, offering us no
    option but to ask the police to assist in their removal.”

    She signed this and one must assume that her “we” must include her or, at a minimum, her consent.

    Her comments to the contrary are simply lies and yet another reason why she should leave and if she doesn’t, Yudoff must fire her.

  • 60’s student protester

    I agree that the police should not have used pepper spray in this instance. However, if you do look at the complete video, following the pepper spray, one of the protesters shouts orders to the protest group to step to one side to allow the police to depart. Following that, the police form a small group and depart very cautiously, as if they feel threatened. I don’t think we have the complete story of how the events unfolded.

  • Michaelpatch

    I don’t know of any police officer belonging to the 1%. Hyper focusing on issues like this only benefit the 1%.

    • Outraged UC Alum

      lt. john pike earns in exc ess of 100K per annum. 

      • Leo

        that’ far from 1%.

        It doesn’t do good to randomly categorize people like this. It seriously reminds me of the cultural revolution. 

  • Cheryl

    If UC Davis police are NOT trained for crowd control etc…why do they own riot gear?  And, in wearing said riot gear, did they not potentially (even subconsciously) plan to use force.  How do we find out what orders they received from UC Davis administration?

    • Dave

      I don’t think we know what they are trained in; one speaker suggested they hadn’t had crowd control training.  Trying to look at this with an open mind, it strikes me the gear is also protective.  Given their job is to follow orders, they put on the gear that seems appropriate to the task assigned.  If that task is going into a potentially hostile crowd, you wear protective gear.

  • UCD_Alumnus

    I’m concerned that videos have to be used to identify officers, ‘ “We really wanted to be diligent in our research, and during our viewing of multiple videos we discovered the second officer,” Spicuzza said. “This is the right thing to do.” ‘ Shouldn’t they officers be including this in their reports or identify themselves to the Chief and Chancellor?


  • Steve von Maas

    To: Annette M. Spicuzza,Chief of Police,University of California, Davis,Police Department Dear Chief Spicuzza and the U.C. Davis Police Department: I have reviewed as much of the youtube video of your officers’ recent conduct as I can stand to watch, particularly that which appears to depict the nauseating Lt. John Pike hosing down seated, unresisting students with a chemical tearing agent on November 18, 2011. I am reasonably articulate, but I lack decent words with which to convey the full depth of my disgust and outrage at what your department has become. It deeply pains and appalls me to see that you appear to have no concept whatsoever of the difference between lawful orders and unconstitutionally unlawful orders, between reasonable seizure and inherently unreasonable seizure, between what you can get away with and what you should actually do, between decent behavior and indecent, between conducting yourselves as Americans and being filthy fascists. You have all become repulsive and disgusting, and the nauseating stench of your wickedness reaches to the skies and wafts across the world, befouling us all. You have disgraced America and utterly lost your way.  A man who can hose down kids like they were some sort of bugs is a man who would do the same thing with a submachinegun, so be careful what you tell him to do. Our Republic is simply not safe with the likes of him armed and badged, especially not with the likes of you supervising him.  I hope you will have the decency to resign while we can still lay our hands on the Bill of Rights, which I’m sure is still lying around here somewhere under this enormous pile of excrement you have dumped on it. Very truly yours,

  • Leo

    I do not understand why so many people have problems understanding the underlying safety and health concerns for overnight encampments. “OWS and related movements are getting a lot of press for things like rapes happening, any large group of people (i.e. mob) is inherently dangerous to individuals taking part in it. ” I do not understand why people would not think of situations like this. Do they not care about the health and safety of the student in the encampment?

    • Sam

      (1) Students can take care of their own health and safety, pepper spray is far more harmful to health and safety than anything else

      (2) The police are fine with homeless people living in tents and camping in all sorts of god-forsaken places, that is far more risky to their health and safety.

    • wda

      Yes, please pepper spray us in order to protect us from ourselves.

      • Leo

        Your comments seem to be witty but I really don’t see how this adds to the conversation. 

    • Jastrasen

      Please visit an Occupy camp and spend some time there. The media is making them seem like horrible slovenly hovels. They are not. Most are strictly organized communities of dedicated citizens. Only 12% of Occupy protestors are unemployed, let alone homeless. And for that matter, homeless people are still people, still citizens, and have lost the most from our current social structure. Don’t believe what you see on TV – go down and check it out for yourself.

      • Leo

        I have been to these camps and I generally like the people there, even though I do not support what they are doing. But I can not make the conclusion that every encampment will be good and safe just based on a few examples. I do not think it is a legit generalization. 

    • outraged UC Alum

      please add you cites for allegations of rape and other dangers occurring.  and please cite images of occupy sites that are health issues. 

      • Leo

        Simple, do a google search for “ows + rape”

  • Frank

    The overuse of pepperspray is typical of new weapons that the police have accumulated as they become available. Tasers are another example of a weapon that was originally meant for only the most violent and uncooperative  criminals but now I see on shows like Cops where the first threat is comply or I will taze you.

  • Davis Alumni

    UC Davis once again succeeded as being a premier place of learning.
    The students, who are not children they are LEGAL ADULTS, have learned that the system is corrupt, that their first amendment rights are violated, and that if they protest the social injustice they will be dealt with immediately and with violent force. The people who say that University is not the real world is wrong.  These young adult people have experienced the taste of the real world.

  • ben

    Lt. Pike is paid over 100k a year, hardly clinging on to middle class…

  • Sam

    The cops might be a part of the “99%” but they are employees of those in our society who do not care for public expression. “Just following orders” is not a reasonable pretext for abuse against unarmed and nonviolent protesters. If the protesters even raised their fist in defense, they would have been charged with assaulting a police officer but a copper is allowed to assault students like this? Don’t complain about demonizing the cops, they demonize themselves by acting like this.

  • Zak

    Response to these situations needs to be filtered through the reality that first person video WILL end up widely available. Whatever the technical protocol, imagery is visceral and powerful and the chancellor and the police department should understand that going in. As a UCD alumnus, I’m disappointed and disgusted by the actions taken on behalf of the chancellor and look forward to her resignation.

  • Nicole

    Both Birgenau and Katehi should be placed on administrative leave by the Board of Regents and President Yudof until a decision regarding their role of culpability in these actions this past month. In addition, “taking responsibility” is not the same as an apology–Katehi continues to fail to offer a sincere apology for her role in these events. She is more interested in blaming than saying “I made a mistake, I am truly sorry”. She is showing a profound lack of leadership in being unable to move us past these events. A direct apology would serve much in healing these mistakes.

    • JimG, UCD Professor

      I add my voice to those calling for a direct, sincere, unqualified apology from Chancellor Katehi, which I hope we hear today on the Quad in about 30 minutes. If not, her credibility goes to zero.

  • CO

    The idea that the students were deliberately provoking police is an absurdity: the Occupy Wall Street protests are the first time I’ve heard protesters calling for police to put down their batons and join them. They often tell police that they protest on their behalf, as members of the 99%.

    • Jastrasen

      I totally agree!! I’ve witnessed the same thing.

  • I agree that the police should not be vilified for doing their job, after all they are part of the 99%.  However, as part of the 99% they should be compassionate to the protesters and avoid heightening the tension already present.

  • 99to1

    Who is in charge: The chancellor, or the campus police chief?

     Who has operational command, and defines acceptable tactics?

    If the chancellor defers to the police chief — as was the case at UCD, regardless of what the chancellor says after the fact — then the question becomes:

    Does the UC Davis Campus police department have a formal policy for crowd control tactics?If so, what does it say?There are statewide police guidelines* pertinent to police crowd control tactics, but they are purely advisory.The bottom line to these guidelines is that each police agency makes up their own rules of engagement. Regarding pepper spray (“chemical agents”)  these guidelines state:  
    “Use of nonlethal chemical agents during civil disobedience may be reasonable depending on the totality of the circumstances.”

    “Each agency should consider when, where, and how nonlethal chemical agents may be deployed.”

    So, unless and until society decides that police violence needs to be reined in by clear standards set in law,  civil leaders will continue to pass the buck to police chiefs, who will pass it to Incident Commanders, and in the end, a few individual officers may be punished, but police violence (excessive force out of proportion to the situation) will continue
    Penal Code Section 13514.5 requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to establish guidelines and training for law enforcement’s response to crowd management and civil disobedience. The most recently issued set of these guidelines I can find, is:CROWD MANAGEMENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE GUIDELINES (March 2003)

  • andybrwn

    Clearly the UCD Quad is the quintessential “forum” for free speech.  Clearing them out from their on-site demonstration because the weekend was coming (the Chancellor’s rationalization) was not thought through.  As someone who watched the students and community (including alumni like myself) on Saturday, to me the message of the protestors and connection to OWS is clear: economic inequity is robbing the future of the state and nation as education investments are undermined.  This would be consistent with a race to the bottom for our human capitol.  The over-reaction by the UCD police (with apparently City of Davis assistance?) on Friday was more than disproportionate.  Its hard to believe the lack of wisdom from within the University, although its consistent with history.

    I hope that the same spirit and organization of peaceful and civil disobedience will continue today and that there is no escalation at the general assembly when the Chancellor speaks. 

  • Kevin

    The guest’s assertion that police officers are “clinging for dear life” to the 99% is a stretch, in my opinion. The median expected salary for a typical Police Patrol in the US is $50,089, with many officers in San Francisco making between $80-$120K…
    Those numbers don’t reflect the 99%, in my opinion…

    • Jastrasen

      The 99% is anyone making under approximately $400k a year, although a central tenant of the original Occupy movement is to target the top 500+ earners in the country, who hold about 30% of the nation’s wealth. Occupy represents literally everyone except a handful of people at the tippy top, which is exactly why it’s gained so much traction. If you’re making $80k a year and want to send your two kids to a public college, which will soon cost $20k a year….you’re still in big trouble.

  • Daniel

    Doesn’t everybody see what is going on? One bureaucrat – Chancellor – delegated her responsibilities to another. Another – Police Chief – obviously screwed up. They may shift the blame onto one psychopath cop and get away  with it. The cop is a psychopath and has to be evaluated and fired for being inadequate.

    The Police Chief does not get it what her duties are and the specifics of her workplace. Has to be fired.

    It sound like the Chancellor did it before and is insisting on doing the same again. She is protecting the establishment, not her campus. Has to be fired, 

    The major question here is if we the people are allowed to peacefully protest at public places. It does not look like we are, any more. And all that with the utter and profound silence from our elected representatives.

    • barbara henninger

      I would add to the list of who has to be fired: all our elected representatives, every last one of them.  Start with a fresh slate when money is taken out of politics.

  • TomJ

    UC Davis must lead as an institution of higher eduction to show the public how to balance freedom of expression with public health, safety, & property rights concerns.  So far, it has not.  Instead its actions point to a wobbly structure of checks & balances at UC, where the questionable vetting and selection of Regents and no-term limit Chancellors undermine its mission by allowing allowing tuition increases and overcompensated executive pay to creep-in under the aegis of an errant business model and with disregard to public outcry. 

  • MBeth

    The most amazing thing to me was the look of almost perverse glee on the face of the officer spraying the students.  It evidences a contempt and distain for the students.  I don’t like to think that this as being motivated by class warfare…the officers seeing students as laze- about dilettantes with nothing better to do that protest, a social group who are dragging society down,  while cops  (military, etc etc)  work to maintain order and civility. Both sides here  need to see their commonalities…that politicians and bankers are destroying the middle class and the American dream.  To the police — the students are not your enemy.  To the students – the cops are not your enemy.  As long as the power elites provoke us to fight with each other,  they will be the only winners. 

  • Moderately_Disgusted

    The best comment I have heard on this – though it might at first seem like a red herring, given the unfolding mess – was from the on-air caller who said that the UC administration need to demonstrate their commitment to the welfare and safety of their students, NOW, by demanding that the super-rich pay their taxes to support the UC.

    It’s clear to me, anyway, as a UC Berkeley grad and 10-year systemwide employee, that the priorities of the people atop the UC administration ladder are NOT for the individual students, they are for the prestige and clout of the institution – and themselves and their powerful cronies. They seriously need to reconnect with us 99%ers, and consider what all those fee hikes have wrought on the UC community, or we can kiss all the beautiful ideals of UC’s Master Plan goodbye.

  • Jastrasen

    Anybody who has a great idea about what protestors should do differently should attend a general assembly meeting at their local Occupy. This movement is all about re-establishing democratic frameworks in our communities. If you have a good idea, bring it to the GA and it can be put into action. It’s that easy. Also, Occupy movements all over the country have spent a lot of time discussing that police are the 99% and should be respected. Protestors in NY have shared that police officers have spoken words of solidarity with their causes. However, it’s extremely hard to respect the police when they pepper spray kids! We need to know why the police felt pressured to engage in these acts of violence, so that we can prevent them from happening in the future.

  • Daniel

    Also, do not dismiss how unflattering is the video for the US image in the world … if it could be lousier, it just became.
    Asad is perhaps feeling better now.

  • Unless and until society decides that acceptable police tactics for the management of mass protest need to be codified as a matter of state law*,  excessive police violence will continue predictably and routinely. 

    Civil officials (chancellors, mayors) who claim to be in charge will continue to evade meaningful responsibility by deferring to the police, and criminal behavior by the police will continue unabated.

    Here’s why:

    *The closest thing that exists to a code of police conduct in the handling of mass protest, is a purely advisory set of  “CROWD MANAGEMENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE GUIDELINES.” The most recent version discoverable on the web is dated March, 2003.

    The final word in these guidelines on the use of chemical agents in this:

    “Use of nonlethal chemical agents during civil disobedience may be reasonable depending on the totality of the circumstances.”

    “Each agency should consider when, where, and how nonlethal chemical agents may be deployed.”

    Police are allowed to decide if, when, and how to employ violent tactics.

  • guest

    I wonder how much of that money was made from overtime?  And then I wonder if he was paid overtime to do that to those people?  Is he getting paid during this leave because that would just add to my outrage.

    • Chrisco

      Yes, KQED reported that the 2 officers are on paid leave.

  • I
    disagree with caller Bert that police brutality is a distraction. Focus on police brutality
    may have been a distraction perpetrated by masked
    Black Bloc provocateurs on city Occupy demonstrations . But suppression of  university protests – which have specifically
    been tied to skyrocketing tuition hikes – are a clear demonstration of university
    leadership’s ties to Wall Street. Katehi and her ilk are intimidating free speech resistance to the
    corporatization of higher education. Their own huge corporate-style  compensation
    packages in the face of students’ massive debt indicates which side of the 99 to 1
    ratio they are on, both materially and philosophically.

  • Jellowthighs

    Why hasn’t this incident brought as much attention?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_f06VQOkI4&feature=relmfu

  • Guest

    Linda Katehi needs to resign. My daughter is attending UC and I am afraid for her safety at the hands of the Chancellor.

    There is no need to have called in the riot police with automatic weapons to break up such a small group of students.

    By following the police policy of the Chancellor all the students are at risk for their lives. It is too easy for the UC Davis police to go on a police riot as we saw at Kent State so many years ago.

  • Chrisco

    I was thinking about that one officer and did he act alone? Was he the designated guy? Wouldn’t it be funny if other cops ran up to the sprayer and arrested him for assault on the spot? I think it’s funny because it is an impossible scenario so makes me think of Monty Python or something.

  • Bruce Matthews

    Civil disobedience is obedience to God – Thomas Jefferson

  • barbara henninger

    Oh, she doesn’t go to those “volatile gatherings”.  She sits in her ivory tower while attack dogs assault peaceful protestors.

  • Adamwho

    I listened to the interview and was surprised how unprepared and disingenuous Chancellor Katehi sounded.  She seemed to just be prattling on with some prepared taking points and didn’t help her care or prove her points at all. 

    She sounds like she is running scared… scared for her job.

  • BadCopNoDoughnut

    They’re applying the Shock Doctrine to the USA.
    Obama is playing the role of Pinochet.

  • It’s completely absurd that she’s still holding her power. After such a scandal, shouldn’t she take liability?


    •  She wants the police chief to take the blame when she was the one that sent the cops in. Her head should roll for this one.

  • Van Lawrence

    And these children that you spit on,are immune to your consultations,there quite aware of what there going through,turn and face the strain”

  • Chancellor Katehi fails to understand that a significant part of what the 99% are upset about is lack of accountability. She made a decision and gave direction. Others suffered from her decisions. Now Chancellor Katehi doesn’t want to take responsibility for the consequences that resulted from the directions she gave.
    The parallel is too disturbing to the big banks who have not been held accountable for their decisions. CEOs have driven their companies into the ground yet continue to get sweetheart termination packages paid for by the investors and customers.

  • Van Lawrence

    The actions taken on these students for conducting a non violent non cooperative peaceful demonstration on the grounds of there own campus are an outrage to our constitutional amendment to have the right to assemble.
      Forget about putting these people on leave of absence,all involved from the top down should be prosecuted for violation of Federal civil rights laws.This kind of behavior by the police departments and other governing officials is endemic of what not only is happening on this campus,but in a broader sense is what’s going on through out this nation.I saw what this police state mentality  on campuses developed into during the late 60’s and early 70’s during the anti war movement.If this is the official response to the actions of the police for there reckless disregard for human rights then mark my words I can only see history repeating itself with more civil unrest.Kent state didn’t just happen yesterday and this country doesn’t operate in a fish bowl.As a concerned citizen and a parent of five.I am watching theses developments and I implore you educators of higher learning to take a close look at how you are treating are children and put a stop to this violent combative approach to the issues confronting these young adults that will inherit the mess that you are making.

  • I go along with the right to assemble. There should also be the right to protest. I question if it is ok to block pathways of others. Is it ok to keep people from going to work in order to provide for their families?

    Most of the occupy-ers can’t tell you what they’re protesting. They just want to go hang out, be part of something and poop in the street.

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