November 18, 2011 UC Davis Police Response to Occupy UC Davis

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In mid-November, a group consisting primarily of students began to gather on the ["UC Davis"] campus to protest tuition hikes, express solidarity with the ["Occupy Davis" Occupy movement], and to protest the November 10 police response to Occupy Cal, where protesters had been beaten with batons. This group, tentatively referred to as ["Occupy UC Davis"], began with a November 15 rally. On November 17, tents were set up on ["the Quad"], following the model of Occupy protesters around the nation. The protesters were informed that they were not permitted to stay on the Quad overnight, but camped out anyway. The events that occurred the next day between the protesters and the police put UC Davis under international scrutiny and provoked an immense reaction, both within the University community and in discussions around the world.  One of the officers involved became a momentarily famous pop icon representing the abuse of authority, and the ramifications locally put campus law enforcement and the administration into a position of having to account for their decisions and actions, with a large outcry for the Chancellor to resign. In mid-November, a group consisting primarily of students began to gather on the ["UC Davis"] campus (to protest tuition hikes, in some people's opinion), express solidarity with the ["Occupy Davis" Occupy movement] (some say), and to protest the November 10 police response to Occupy Cal (according to some), where protesters had been beaten with batons (according to those protesters). This group, tentatively referred to as ["Occupy UC Davis"], began with a November 15 rally. On November 17, tents were set up on ["the Quad"], following, in some people's opinion, the model of Occupy protesters around the nation. Some say that the protesters were informed that they were not permitted to stay on the Quad overnight, but camped out anyway. Events occurred the next day. In some people's opinion, the events put UC Davis under intense scrutiny. Some people think the events provoked an immense reaction. According to some, whatever reaction occurred occurred within the University community and around the world. One of the officers involved became a momentarily famous pop icon, some people think, representing what was in some people's opinion the abuse of authority, and some people are of the opinion that the ramifications locally put campus law enforcement and the administration into a position of having to account for their decisions and actions, with what some people think was a large outcry for the Chancellor to resign.
 
  Currently: There will be a General Assembly at 6pm in Dutton Hall on Tuesday, December 6. [WWW]Teach-ins and the occupation of Dutton Hall continue this week and next week (finals week).
 

spraying.jpgA police officer casually pepper-sprays peaceful, seated protesters, 18 November 2011. Photo by Louise Macabitas, used with permission.

  1. UCD Police Pepper Spray Seated Protesters
    1. Explanations and Immediate Aftermath
    2. Man in a Gray Suit?
    3. The Silence Heard Round the World
    4. Rolling Heads or Paid Vacations?
  2. November 21 Rally
  3. Continued Community Response
  4. General Strike of November 28, 2011
  5. "Independent Investigation" of the events of 18 November 2011
    1. Appointment of William Bratton to lead fact-finding effort
    2. Appointment of Cruz Reynoso to Lead Task Force
  6. Photos
    1. Second officer?
    2. Poster
  7. Personal accounts
  8. Reaction and Petitions
    1. General Reactions
    2. Concerning Chancellor Katehi's resignation
    3. Full Text Letters
  9. Media Coverage
    1. Other websites
  10. Video
  11. Make a Comment

In mid-November, a group consisting primarily of students began to gather on the UC Davis campus (to protest tuition hikes, in some people's opinion), express solidarity with the Occupy movement (some say), and to protest the November 10 police response to Occupy Cal (according to some), where protesters had been beaten with batons (according to those protesters). This group, tentatively referred to as Occupy UC Davis, began with a November 15 rally. On November 17, tents were set up on the Quad, following, in some people's opinion, the model of Occupy protesters around the nation. Some say that the protesters were informed that they were not permitted to stay on the Quad overnight, but camped out anyway. Events occurred the next day. In some people's opinion, the events put UC Davis under intense scrutiny. Some people think the events provoked an immense reaction. According to some, whatever reaction occurred occurred within the University community and around the world. One of the officers involved became a momentarily famous pop icon, some people think, representing what was in some people's opinion the abuse of authority, and some people are of the opinion that the ramifications locally put campus law enforcement and the administration into a position of having to account for their decisions and actions, with what some people think was a large outcry for the Chancellor to resign.

UCD Police Pepper Spray Seated Protesters

On November 18, 2011, UC Davis Police were dispatched to the Quad to break up the Occupy UC Davis protest because some people were camping out in violation of university policy. Some protesters sat in a circle around some tents and linked their arms and legs. The police tried to break the circle, without success, by hitting them with batons. They then stepped over them into the circle (entrapping themselves) and damaged the tents by hitting them with their batons. People removed all the remaining tents. Then shortly after 3 pm the UC Davis Police sprayed the seated non-violent protesters with chemical riot control agents. Photos (click here) and video (click here), now published by major media outlets around the world, clearly depict UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike [WWW]pepper spraying protesters who are seated with their arms linked. Pike sprayed at close range, in the protesters' faces, using several spraying passes that ended up coating the protesters' faces with pepper spray. A second officer who has not been publicly identified, seen in [WWW]this video, joined in spraying the protesters. Under [WWW]federal legal precedent, the use of pepper spray on nonviolent trespassing protesters violates their civil rights and constitutes excessive force.

The pepper spraying of peaceful students provoked intense emotional reactions around the world. Within 24 hours, there were public calls for the resignation of the UC Davis police chief and chancellor. Students, faculty, staff, and the public at large expressed their outrage, and thousands came out to support the protesters at subsequent events. Within a few days two separate inquiries began into what had actually occurred, and the university [WWW]announced it would pay for the immediate medical bills of injured protesters.

Explanations and Immediate Aftermath

Initially, officials essentially claimed that the officers were defending themselves. UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza [WWW]stated that the officers' safety was a concern. She [WWW]told the Sacramento Bee that "There was no way out of that circle . . . They were cutting the officers off from their support. It's a very volatile situation." Video evidence proving otherwise quickly went viral. At approximately 2:10 in [WWW]this video, for example, you see that Lt. Pike calmly and without any opposition stepped over the ring of protesters, exiting the circle. He then began spraying them in the faces a few seconds later.

The day after the pepper spraying, Chancellor Katehi [WWW]interview told the L.A. Times, Katehi that she authorized police to remove the tents, but not to use the pepper spray in the manner shown on the video — "Absolutely not." At a news conference Saturday, UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said the decision to use pepper spray was made at the scene. In [WWW]this video, an unidentified officer can be seen talking on a cell phone and then apparently relaying a message to Officer Pike (3 minutes and 40 seconds into the video). A moment later, Pike walks up to a student named Case, to warn him that he will soon be pepper-sprayed. This turn of events raises the strong possibility that the officers at the scene may have very well been following direct orders as opposed to coming up with the decision on their own. A portion of the conversation between Pike and Case is discernible in some of the videos of the incident and has been transcribed:

On November 23 Katehi [WWW]stated that she only told the campus police "to remove the tents or the equipment." She stresses that she told them "very specifically to do it peacefully, and if there were too many of them, not to do it, if the students were aggressive, not to do it. And then we told them we also do not want to have another Berkeley" (referring to the UC Berkeley protesters who were jabbed with nightsticks the week before, spurring the Occupy UC Davis movement).

Additional details emerged ten days after the initial incident when Linda Bisson, Chair of the Academic Senate, e-mailed UC Davis faculty. According to Bisson, Chancellor Katehi was meeting with the Executive Council of the Academic Senate at the time pepper spray was deployed against protesters. Katehi told the Executive Committee that she had asked for the tents to be removed and that this was happening as they were being told of her decision; there was no consultation with the Senate regarding this decision. Katehi assured the Executive Committee at that time that although the police had been told to remove the tents, she had clearly instructed them to do it peacefully and without force unless physically threatened or attacked (thus substantiating the claim that Katehi made on 11/23). Bisson stated that the Chancellor was seated next to her and that she did not receive any communication from the field. At some point during the meeting the chancellor was called to the hallway. She soon returned, and her report of what had happened was identical to the statement she subsequently made to the press. When Bisson asked the Chancellor the next day (Saturday) about that statement, the Chancellor said that she had repeated what she had been told by her staff concerning the events of the quad, and it was not until later that she saw video of the event herself.

Man in a Gray Suit?

Bisson's email to faculty also noted that many people had asked her about a man in a gray suit standing with the police and filming the crowd. Bisson said she asked the Chancellor about this man, but that the Chancellor told her that she does not know who that individual is nor why he was filming the crowd. One speculation is that he was monitoring the protest in order to have a record of who was there, as [WWW]had been alleged with earlier protests. Anyone with information about the man in the gray suit might wish to contact Linda Bisson at <lfbisson AT ucdavis DOT edu>.
mystery man 2.jpgDo you know who this person is or why he was there? mystery man.jpg

The Silence Heard Round the World

One of the most powerful, memorable moments to spring from this incident evolved from a press conference scheduled by Chancellor Katehi and the campus Police Board for the afternoon of November 19. By 4:00 pm, the scheduled time for the press conference, some six hundred protesters had gathered at the campus television studio. The conference began as planned, but ended within about 15 minutes. Davis Patch [WWW]reports that Ms. Katehi remained inside the building for two hours with police representatives, while members of the public were escorted out. Apparently, Ms. Katehi feared for her safety if she left the building. As detailed in [WWW]this account, mediators spoke with Ms. Katehi and the protesters, and those gathered outside agreed to remain silent during Katehi's departure.

As seen in [WWW]this video, at approximately 6:50 pm, almost three hours after the conference began, Katehi walked from Surge II to her waiting car through a stunning and remarkably moving silence. Following what has been called her walk of shame, Katehi responded to a reporter's question, saying that she would address students at the General Assembly planned for Monday. Police remained two blocks away during her departure.

Rolling Heads or Paid Vacations?

On 20 November 2011 two of the officers involved in the incident were [WWW]placed on paid administrative leave. The next day, campus police chief Annette Spicuzza [WWW]joined the list of officers on a university-funded vacation. Katehi also said that she would have a task force of faculty, students, and staff convene immediately and give a recommendation in 30 days, rather than the 90 days she had specified the previous day.

November 21 Rally

rally_from_air.jpgThe rally from a helium balloon. Thanks to Stewart Long, Liz Barry, MicheleTobias, and Alex. Photo CC-By-SA [WWW]Public Laboratory.

On November 21, the Monday after the incident, an estimated 6,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members showed up for a rally on the Quad. Many speakers took the stage, including Ms. Katehi, who spoke for about two minutes. Choking up a bit, she pointed to a sign that said "November 17, 1973," telling the crowd that she remembered that day. It turns out that Katehi was present at a Greek university on that day when a revolt was violently put down. The event brought attention to her [WWW]recent role in having the police return to Greek campuses.

Following the rally, the university issued a [WWW]press release announcing chief Spicuzza's placement on administrative leave. In the release Katehi also took "full responsibility for the events on Friday." It also stated that Katehi had called on the Yolo County District Attorney to investigate the use of force on protesters. The District Attorney agreed to conduct an investigation in conjunction with the county sheriff's department, but after a brief review of the issues they [WWW]wrote a letter asking Attorney General Kamala Harris to take over the investigation; see this [WWW]Vanguard article for more details.

Continued Community Response

On 22 November 2011 there was a General Assembly on the Quad at 11 AM. There was also a Town Hall in Freeborn Hall from 5 PM until around 7:40 PM, open to all students, faculty and staff; a recording of part of the meeting is [WWW]here. The Chancellor made opening remarks, followed by questions and comments from the community. [WWW]UC Davis announced that the Chancellor has asked Acting UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael to work with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to drop all criminal charges against the 10 individuals — nine of them students — who were arrested on November 18. Also, UC Davis has decided to pay immediate medical and emergency bills of students who were pepper-sprayed by police. A second Town Hall meeting for faculty and staff was held on November 29.

General Strike of November 28, 2011

strike.jpg 1_page_flyer_11_28_UCD.jpg At the November 21, 2011 General Assembly there was a vote of 1729 for and about 30 against the motion for a General Strike for Monday, November 28. At least [WWW]56 other universities honored the strike. The San Jose Mercury News [WWW]liveblogged the event; it is very detailed and covers events at the other participating UCs. Occupy California [WWW]gives a briefer timeline.

The Occupy UC Davis movement used cell phones to help coordinate actions; anyone could text Text "UCDACTION" to 23559 for updates on major strike actions.

The poster at the right identifies the ARC as the location of the Regents Meeting, and calls for students, faculty, and staff to begin assembling in front of the building by 7:30 AM. However, the [WWW]Davis Enterprise reports: "Whether any appointed regents actually will be on campus remains up in the air... because their presence likely would prompt additional security... it’s up to each regent to choose which venue to attend." Indeed, the only Regents to attend were the student regents. The Enterprise article also notes: "People entering the ARC facility should expect metal-detecting security wands and possible pat-downs." If so, there's a question of why they would work to prevent violence when none has occurred — or even been threatened — by any students or Occupy supporters. It's a bit like patting down all attendees of a survivors of violence meeting.

Here is a rough timeline of the day's events: Public comment was taken in the ARC from 9-10 AM; video is [WWW]here. The UC Office of the President [WWW]insisted that a tuition increase was not on the agenda for the meeting, and indeed, it was not. Students began the day by unfurling a banner that read "Solidarity against the 81 percent fee increase" outside the ARC. By 8:50 AM, about 50 students were waiting to get into meeting. By noon, protesters had shut down the meetings at UCLA, UCSF, and UCD by making enough noise so that the meetings could not continue. Most protesters then proceeded to the Quad for a General Assembly, and then to the financial aid building, Dutton Hall. About 500 students occupied the building. A big banner over the front door read, "General strike, no more fee hikes." Nathan Brown conducted a teach-in inside. It should be noted that the Regents meeting reconvened, and despite claiming to be on the side of the students, they [WWW]voted to raise several administrator salaries as much as 22%. Yudof and the Regents also continued to blame state disinvestment, rather than acknowledging legitimate concerns voiced during public comment about bloated administrative salaries, mismanagement of funds, investment of student fees in capital projects unrelated to academic instruction, fee hikes in excess of those necessary to compensate for state cuts, etc.

Teach-ins were held all day and continuing throughout the week — see schedule of teach-ins [WWW]on this Google doc and flyer below. Please note that the flyer below does not include all scheduled workshops and the Google doc is much more comprehensive. Also, times and dates may be updated/changed, topics may be added, etc., so check back from time to time if you are interested.
dutton.jpg

"Independent Investigation" of the events of 18 November 2011

Appointment of William Bratton to lead fact-finding effort

William Bratton, former Los Angeles Chief of Police, [WWW]was appointed as an Independent Investigator by UC President Mark Yudof. However, many faculty have written letters objecting to Bratton's appointment, saying that his background shows that he endorses, implements, and promotes the very same militarized security policies responsible for the initial violent suppression of peaceful protesters last week. They are also concerned that this was a person picked by Yudof. In other words, they are concerned that this will not be a truly "independent" investigation. Instead, the investigator should be picked with input from members of the community (students, staff, and faculty) and should report to members of the community.

Here are some calls for a truly independent investigation:

Appointment of Cruz Reynoso to Lead Task Force

On November 28, 2011 [WWW]President Mark Yudof announced that he was appointing former Justice of the California Supreme Court and UC Davis School of Law Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso to lead the task force investigating the events of November 18, 2011. Chief Bratton will still be doing a fact-finding investigation that will report to this task force.

The other members of the task force appointed by President Yudof are:

[WWW]http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/ucd/yudof-names-members-of-task-force-headed-by-reynoso

Photos


Pig pepper spraying students sitting on the ground.JPG Civility.jpgUC Davis' web page shortly after the incident. If this is civility, I'd hate to see what happens when this community loses its cool. Upload new image "Cell updates.jpg" rally.jpgJust a portion of the crowd at the noon rally on the quad, 21 November 2011. In the center of the rally, November 21.JPG

Second officer?

pig2.jpgThe second police officer who pepper sprayed non-violent protesters. He was supposedly suspended for his actions, along with John Pike. Can you identify this man?

secondofficer.jpgThis photo clearly shows the second officer as being an "A. Lee." There is an Alexander P. Lee who works for the UCDPD as a "security guard" but that might not be a sworn position so it might not be the same person.

Poster

poster.jpg posterpic.jpg

This image was distributed as a poster prior to the November 21 rally. It is freely available to replicate and modify, and you can contact its creator for a blank version. An 18" x 24" color print is $23 at Kinko's; black and white is much cheaper. UCD Reprographics might also be cheaper.

Personal accounts

Reaction and Petitions

General Reactions

flowers_on_quad_2011_11_20.jpgFlowers on the Quad on 2011-11-20. Photo by Suzanne Phan, used with permission.

Concerning Chancellor Katehi's resignation

english.ucdavis.edu-2011-11-21.png[WWW]http://english.ucdavis.edu on the day of the rally, 2011-11-21.

Full Text Letters

The full text of a number of letters on this issue, including Chancellor Katehi's letters, letters from the Academic Senate, and letters from the Graduate Student Association can be found here.

The Chancellor's office also produced a [WWW]"Fact Sheet on Recent Demonstrations at UC Davis", giving answers to the following questions: What happened? What investigations are being conducted? Who oversees the UC Davis Police Department? What is UC Davis' policy with regard to protecting Free Speech? There are five investigations listed: a. Comprehensive investigation By UC Davis, b. Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and Yolo County Sheriff’s Department Review, c. UC Office of the President-Led Task Force, d. UC Office of the President Systemwide Review of all Campus Police Policies, e. UC Davis Academic Senate Review

Media Coverage

CNNScreenShot.pngCNN.com Front Page, 19 November 2011

GoogleNewsScreenShot.pngThe pepper-spraying of peaceful protesters was the top story on Google News, 19 November 2011 hufpo_screencap.pngHuffington Post Front Page, 19 November 2011

November 18

November 19

November 20

November 21

November 22

November 23

Other websites

Video


Make a Comment

Details, experiences, videos, images, etc:

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2011-11-19 15:13:17   Where is Surge II?


2011-11-19 17:51:56   In addition to tents I would suggest they add [WWW]chem goggles to their wish list, or just put out a bin in the MU to collect donations of barely used goggles. —AlexMandel


2011-11-19 19:20:25   Just left the protest, dead phone and the need to prepare for work before my shift required it. It was peaceful for the most part, however aside from Katehi receiving making the announcement that she will appear at the general assembly on Monday to make an announcement (after receiving a call from the regents), not much occurred. I will write in further detail later on... For those interested, 5 major news corporataions are at Surge II at present and there is a live streaming video of the action on Ustream under the name ChrisGomezone (or ChrisGomez1) —Wes-P


2011-11-19 19:38:16   Katehi claims she was not afraid, but at one point her representatives came out of the building and stated she refused to leave for fear of her safety due to the large number of people present (nearly 800 by the time I left, just minutes before it ended, apparently). Sh would only speak to representatives from the International Graduate Student Ministry claiming all others to be too unruly to deal with... At one point, when she initially prepared to leave the site an hour and a half before actually leaving.. she approached the door, looked at the gathering crowd and stated "this is absurd". Signatures to the petition for her resignation increased by nearly 7000 votes between 4 pm and 7 pm, ending at just over 12,000 by the time it was over. —Wes-P


2011-11-19 22:21:11   This whole thing is ridiculous and self-entitling. Plenty of students struggle to pay fees but they get by. I wonder how much of their fees are being paid by their parents?

That said, if you don't like a business stop giving them your money. I don't like Apple products so I don't buy them. I don't like McDonald's "food" or business policies so I don't go there.
I don't like my college's financial actions so I stopped being their customer.

You are NOT entitled to higher education. You are NOT entitled to set your own price in any business.
You ARE in control of whose services you make use of.

If you don't like what's happening in the UC system, go to a private college or, -gasp-, don't go to college at all. There are tons of jobs around for non-skilled laborers if you know where to look and are willing to work with your hands. There's nothing wrong with manual labor. Millions of migrant workers come here in every season because of that, and there is absolutely nothing stopping anyone else from taking up some of those jobs aside from a stupid social stigma, most likely created and encouraged by the very businesses that have been sucking the economy dry.

If you don't want to pay student fees, stop being a student. :) —KBathory


2011-11-19 23:37:09   I was at the Occupy Davis meeting at Central Park today. I heard Jerika Heinze who was one of the protesters who was pepper sprayed give more information. The details she gave will be coming out I believe. There was further brutalization of at least one who was blinded and trying to leave. Also she said that she was improperly dealt with later at the UCD Police Station. She said that the police were menacing and made her feel unsafe. She feels that she and others will be unsafe on the campus. —BruceHansen


2011-11-20 13:56:27   Congratulations, UCD. You have replaced Penn State as the current University with which no one wants to be associated. In both cases, the benefits that you provide to the community will be overshadowed by bad decisions at the top. Great job! —JerseyCity


2011-11-20 17:36:07   Thought about this a lot and I feel like Katehi ultimately was screwed either way. The truth behind why the protesters couldn't stay on campus has nothing to do with actual concerns for safety...only concern about liability. I can only assume, but it makes sense to me, that she'd need to get the students off the quad during the weekend because the school does not want to be held liable for anything that might happen to them. UCD isn't going to pay for the increased security that an event like this would need because 1) they aren't going to and 2) I'd imagine doing so would imply taking liability for it. 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. Obviously they are choosing to partake in this activity, and a simple warning of "we aren't going to be responsible for your actions" should suffice, but we have a lawsuit happy society. So Katehi couldn't take the risk of letting them stay on campus. She called in the police, whose job it is to enforce that she wants them gone, and maybe she didn't care if kids got maced, maybe she did. The problem is that this really was a no-win situation for her. I don't blame her for the actions the cops took. Now if you want to get super technical, there's a lot of other crap worth blaming her for (the obscene pay/benefits she gets for example) and you can argue that this is the end result of her behavior. Piss off enough people, get put in a no win situation. THAT is definitely fair. I just think that from a perspective specific just to the scenario at hand, too much blame is put on her when it was the police that made the initial move. I also think it's ridiculous for the protesters to think that they weren't going to face this eventually for one reason: you've been told you have to move. At this point one of two things are going to happen: you're going to leave on your own OR they are going to forcibly remove you. Combine police with authority to force anyone to do anything, assume something bad is gonna happen. It doesn't always and there are cops who will take the hard road (harder for them I mean) to remove you but there are plenty of other cops who'll use whatever force is easiest for them. I'm not saying this to condone their actions, I think it's horrible. I just realistically know that this is how it goes down from every situation where people are engaging in civil disobedience. After all isn't that kind of the point? Protest something by doing a non-violent act, refuse to cease until the other side does engage in force, get hurt but also get press. Batons, firehoses, tazers, mace...it's nothing new and the organizers usually know what this tactic results in. Injuries and press. Every cause needs a martyr to get media attention that lasts. (In other words my stance can be summed up as: all major associated parties to this event are assholes and the students are getting used by everyone involved.) —OliviaY


2011-11-20 18:02:00   The 30 day task force investigation will not provide for any student participation as the students will go through thanksgiving break, and finals during this period with the report coming out during winter break. Not that I think much will come out of it in the first place. —ChrisDietrich


2011-11-20 18:48:49   An independent investigation would be good. The Chancellor's task force is questionable, the faculty has taken a stance against Katehi, so their investigation could have a question of bias. Nevertheless they have credibility, so an investigation initiated by them would be, creditable. I see that they have begun action on that. —BruceHansen


2011-11-20 18:58:31   I love the inaccurate reporting... "students flooded the building" "Students rushed in" "No police presence" I was there and these reports are not entirely accurate by any means. —Wes-P


2011-11-21 01:09:03   Having now watched the entirety of what happened from the time the police entered the Quad to the time the police left the Quad, I will say this:

The protesters made one mistake: standing up and walking towards the police. Not a good idea. It APPEARS to be aggressive, even if that was not the intention (and I presume it wasn't). Always leave a potential enemy an escape route if you don't want a fight. Forming a horseshoe shape and asking the police to leave might have been better. On the other hand, the police had just tackled and zip-cuffed a bunch of protesters (apparently at random), and I understand the anger of the crowd.

The police made lots of mistakes: everything they did. What exactly was their goal here? Make random arrests? Goad (unsuccessfully) the protesters into fighting back? Take a leisurely walk across the Quad and hurt people on the way out? Huge errors were made at every step of the way, and I'm having serious doubts about the judgment and competence of every uniformed person at the scene. —BarnabasTruman


2011-11-21 01:12:47   Here is my humble suggestion for a better alternative. (Yeah, yeah, hindsight... but today's hindsight is tomorrow's foresight.)

Mic check!

Attention police!
We understand
that you are somewhat confused
and excited
and maybe think
that we are a threat
even though
we mean you no harm.
We are willing
to give you a gift
of ten minutes
of complete silence
so that you can
calm down,
collect your thoughts,
discuss amongst yourselves,
and decide what to do next.
And now,
silence. —BarnabasTruman


2011-11-21 02:35:10   A student named Willee appeared to be the only protester to have an extended dialogue with Pike immediately before the pepper-spraying. Pike came over to talk to him in a fairly low voice at least a couple times over the duration of the protest. Only the last snippet is clear enough to be at least partially transcribed. It has been reconstructed by combining the coherent parts of several different YouTube videos.

Willee: You're going to shoot me? You're going to shoot me for sitting here? Hey officer, is that what you said?

Pike: Yes

Willee: Officer, is that ... [garbled audio]

Unidentified Male Protester: He just said yes.

Unidentified Female Protester: Shoot You. He's going to shoot you.

Willee: Alright.  Just making sure. Just making sure.

Pike:[pats Willee on the back] I'm telling you right now.

Willee: You're shooting us for sitting here?

Pike: [garbled ]... That pepper spray gun... [garbled] [pats Willee on the back again and starts walking back to the rest of the police]

Willee: No, that's fine. That's fine. You're shooting us for sitting here.


2011-11-21 10:08:19   can anybody say Martial Law coming to a town near you? Globally these Police are getting rowdy! How is it that police brutality and civil disobedience comes hand in hand?
And i thought we were safe in Davisville..
I wonder if some of these police were also present during the 2009 use of teargas and pellet guns on students.
My, my, who do these piggies and Katehi think they are? —alcatraz


2011-11-21 11:48:46   I'm ashamed that this happened at Davis. However, I'm really proud of the community response, in particular the outstanding efforts by those who contributed to DavisWiki to have such an exhaustive collection of media regarding this event. This wouldn't have been possible 10-15 years ago. —DannyMilks


2011-11-21 15:18:16   Here's SacBee.com's posting. It contains a (frustratingly) short video excerpt: [WWW]http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/21/4071197/uc-davis-rally-each-speaker-gets.htmlOldDavis73


2011-11-21 15:44:21   Some quick reflections on today's rally, which I attended about 2 hours of: It was a huge crowd, and it was amazingly calm, peaceful, and well-behaved. I say this as someone who hates crowds and normally avoids them at all costs. It was mostly students, of course, but there were also a fair number of grey hairs in the audience. It was nice to hear many of the speakers talk about solidarity between students, faculty, staff, and community members — as it should be. We are all united in this common cause. Katehi seemed to speak from the heart, and I was glad to hear her give a direct and untempered apology; however, all the things that she left unsaid left a ringing silence, and the crowd was clearly unhappy. As I left, a proposal for a campus-wide strike on Nov 28 was being discussed — the day the Regents vote on the 81% "fee" increase, if I understood correctly. —CovertProfessor


2011-11-21 17:06:19   Wow—those pictures say a lot. Words not needed. They're upsetting enough. I signed the petition to oust Kalehi and will encourage others to do so —Users/PeterBoulay


2011-11-23 09:36:17   "Another Berkeley"? —BruceHansen


2011-11-24 07:27:18   Been relatively silent online about all of this but, since discovering the Macing when I returned home from work that evening, I have been actively participating and interacting with the protestors. I am proud to see that so many are active in a peaceful and democratic fashion and have been thoroughly impressed with the student and public response thus far. Speaking to many of my fellow vets, we stand in solidarity with the students. —Wes-P


2011-11-24 08:01:11   Where should I ask questions about the resignation petition? I want to know these: One of the key points supporting the resignation is the authorization to use excessive force. This means that she should resign IF she authorized it. Then, is this a common understanding among the supporters of the resignation that if it is a fact that the chancellor did not order it, the supporters are READY to drop this point? If so, why are people ready to sign the petition when the investigation is not over and we don't know the fact about whether she order it?

To those who signed it, did you sign it because:
a) She ordered the use of excessive force, and here is the evidence that she did it.
b) I already know someone who would have done a better job, not only on how to handle the event, but as a chancellor in general, and that person is ready to take over her duties, and that person is ——.
c) In theory, if Person A does a bad job and Person B does a good job, the best outcome is to let Person B teach Person A how to do a good job, so that we end up with two people capable of doing a good job. However, in this situation, it is better to evict Person A and let Person B take over. And here is the reason ——.
d) I have another reason for her resignation, but since we all want the same result, I signed it. My reason is ——.
e) Everyone is signing the petition, if I don't sign it my friends won't talk to me.
f) If people don't sign it now while people are angry, people's view may change or they may forget, then I would lose this opportunity to oust her for a legitimate reason. My reason is this —-. I have discussed it over and over at —-, but there was never enough attention to act. Now is the opportunity to act. Even though I do not know for certain what happened this time, I need to seize the opportunity to get the effect.
g) Something bad happened so someone needs to step down, the higher the better. We shouldn't need to petition for this, people should automatically offer to resign when something like this happens. If there are other urgent businesses that the chancellor is taking care of, which makes it a bad idea to offer to resign right now, the chancellor should identify those unfinished business, work on hand them over to someone, and offer a schedule to resign once that businesses are completed or transferred. This is what we expect from responsible leaders. It is already a step late if we need to petition for the resignation. It should have been automatic. The protocol should be that they automatically resign, and we write the petition to save them. Not the other way around, which is what we are doing. But since that didn't happen, we do this.
h) Because someone I knew signed it and I trust their judgement.
i) Because of her actions, or lack of actions, since the event itself. She has been slow to take responsibility, slow to condemn the actions, dribbled out bits of information (some of it conflicting), and not shown any indication that she is capable of bringing about real change. She reacts to events and to negative publicity, rather than being proactive.
j) ——.

To those who have not signed the petition, is it because:
a) I don't know enough about what happened to endorse an action that may cause great disruption. I would sign it if I get the information I need. I am particularly cautious because you can sign a petition, but you can't easily un-sign it. If a petition was created based on false information, I could be helping some special interest on an unjust cause. Therefore I need to know before I sign it.
b) I don't care about what happens as it does not affect me.
c) I like the chancellor, because —-.
d) The logic in the petition is unsound. For example, there is no logical connection between —- and —-.
e) The petition has false information, such as —-.
f) By now, the UC President has already expressed support for the chancellor, and the chancellor supports her own decision not to resign. The petition had gotten the attention, and the decision has been made. The petition phase is over.
g) The chancellor is doing a reasonably good job, and there is no other person who could have done significantly better during this time. Here is the evidence that she did a good job: ——. And here is the evidence that there is no obvious replacement for her that would do a better job: ——.
h) The petition shows a signed list of people who are acting out of either their emotion, hidden agenda, and quick to judge in the absence of important facts. The petition shows exactly the type of people we don't want to serve as a chancellor.
i) —-.

Where should I ask questions like this to systematically explore the viewpoints people have, rule out the bad responses, and do it in a way so that people with similar questions wouldn't need to ask it again? —EdgarWai
[Edit: 11/27] Sorry, I posted the above without knowing that a town hall meeting took place on 11/22. —EdgarWai


2011-11-25 11:37:40   Have the protesters apologized for encircling the police? If not I think they should do it first, because apologies are not bargaining chips. It doesn't matter if you perceive that what you need to apologize for is much smaller than what the other needs to apologize for. If you do something wrong, you apologize. That is your integrity. The truly peaceful person is not only defending their own rights. They are also always trying to see the others in their best light, because they know that if the other is actually evil, it would be extremely difficult for them to act. Believing that someone is evil is a last resort. The protesters should also condemn the personal attacks at Lt. Pike and people who are trying to humiliate. Those behaviors are not peaceful people should stand for. Bullying is bad, regardless whether you do through violence or through social pressure. I apologize for not knowing enough to say anything more productive. Right now I am going through peace-related articles and videos to tell which movements are legitimate and which ones are just special interest fighting another special interest under the name of peace. —EdgarWai

Thank you, could you point me to the resource that said the protesters did not encircle the police? My understand was based on [WWW]this, it said, "There was still one walkway open that the police were going to use to walk the arrestees out. I saw some friends of mine sit down there, and they were my friends, so I joined them. We linked arms, legs crossed." To me that meant there was a gap initially, but then someone sat there to close the only opening. —EdgarWai

I wasn't a witness. I am only asking questions based on what I read. According to point #3 [WWW]here, they completed a circle. According to [WWW]this, the circle was closed intentionally: "A collective decision was made on the fly to just sit in a circle arms linked legs crossed, with police officers and "prisoners" in the middle because we didn't want them arresting only 3 of us. It wasn't fair that 50 of us were there, and only a few arrested who hadn't volunteered to be arrested. There was still one walkway open that the police were going to use to walk the arrestees out. I saw some friends of mine sit down there, and they were my friends, so I joined them. We linked arms, legs crossed." How do you want to define "trapped"? If you are driving on the road and the siren is sound, and you intentionally don't move away, are you blocking or trapping the police? If you spray water in front of the path that the police (or any reasonable person) would use so that if they walk into it, they will get wet, are you trapping the police? This has nothing to do whether the police could navigate around or over the obstacle, but whether the obstacle is placed. My comment wasn't about whether the protesters formed an effective barrier, but the need to fairly emphasize that the subsequent rallies are less "volatile" than Nov18. We should be careful about this and note the facts. No matter how peaceful the subsequent rallies, we cannot use that as a mean to hide the actual situation on Nov18. The police at this point can no longer point this out or say anything that would not make the matter worse. We have created a situation where the police can only swallow the blame. It is only noble that the protesters keep this reminder and keeps the facts straight, and protect the ones they accuse from false information. The legal system was designed to do this. If we believe that we are morally equal (or greater) than the police, then we should follow the same principle. —EdgarWai

I didn't bring up the term "trapped", that was BruceHansen's term, I was asking how he would define it. After that I will probably ask how that would relate to the situation, since according to some comments, the police was not supposed to use pepperspray unless there is physical violence going on. According to this, even if the protestors lock up the police in a room, the police can't use pepperspray. I am not trying to say that laws are stupid, but I would believe that laws are inherently vague because the law can't easily account for all possible situations. I used the word "encircle" because that word was less subjective.

On Nov18, the protestors encircled the police who were trying to leave after making the arrest. The pepperspray that followed was bad. I could only say that it was bad and unlawful according to some comments, but I am not sure, because it would seem inconceivable that the police did not know it, so I would still need to read it for myself. I was asking if the protestors had apologized for surrounding the police and impeding the arrest process. You could argue that they didn't stop Pike when he stepped over, but note that the intention was not to stop the officers, but to stop the transfer of the arrested protestors (see [WWW]this at 9min). The demand of the protestors was that IF the police let the arrested go, the protestors would continue peacefully. (So, what happens if the police don't let the arrested go?) Therefore, logically, seeing that the students did nothing when Pike stepped over did not disprove the possibility that the protestors could do something if the police were trying to bring the arrested outside the circle. (I am just pointing out the logical fallacy, I believe that the protestors wouldn't because they were nonviolent-trained because I recognize some of them.) We don't have the luxury to know exactly what would happen if the police brought the arrested one by one across the circle.

The police arrested some, and then they were encircled. It was a leaderless situation and the actions of the protestors were quite unpredictable. From the long videos, it seemed that they kept shouting things that exaggerated or misrepresented what the police was doing. For example, in [WWW]here, they were shouting "stop beating the students", but the police was not beating anyone. I want to know that the protestors are actively correcting any misunderstanding about the event, even when the details are might be inconvenient for gathering a bigger crowd. Sorry my post is long. I want to know if there is a forum for this type of comments. I don't think it is appropriate for this type of discussion to be a comment. What medium should I use? I am asking this because this isn't the main point I want to discuss. The main point I want to ask about is whether the tuition increase is legitimate, whether it was done in good faith by the administration. I want to know the proof of whether it was justifiable or not. Compared to that, the Nov18 event should be a secondary issue. I want to catch up to tuition data to see if there is any wrong doing. I would appreciate if someone knows where that data is to help me catch up on the issue. —EdgarWai

Now working on it by collecting and listing references on a timeline, then I want to check if the wiki is missing any information worthwhile to highlight. —EdgarWai

Sorry about the wording, I meant simply adding any missing information. About the table or tuition over the years, there is already a chart at UC Davis Budget Cuts. But that chart itself does not shed any light on whether there is any wrong-doing. If it is true that the increase is used to close the gap caused by decreased funding from the state, then the main question that determines whether there is wrong-doing is not whether the tuition is increasing, but whether it is a justifiable decision that the gap should be paid by the students, or whether the state budget was allocated in good faith. —EdgarWai

I agree that keeping higher education accessible is a serious concern. I want to know whether a protest or a strike is justified, because there is no immediate connection between a concern and a strike. Usually a protest takes place because fruitful communication is absent. A protest is a mean to initiate such lost channel. At this point, is it justified that the communication channel is lost? Secondly, a protest implies that someone has the margin to do something to fix the issue. Do we know that someone has that margin? It is our goal to make education accessible (According to the Master Plan, 1/8 of top high school students, tuition-free for in-state students). But if it is a fact that we don't have the resource to do it (while balancing it on other legitimate priorities), then we have to understand that the goal cannot be met, and a protest at such a time would be counter productive. I can't take a stand because I am too slow in catching up to the situation, but when I do catch up I want to take a stand. (I meant I have no ground to oppose nor to support the protest. I am paralyzed by ignorance.) (currently reading the Master Plan to learn the logic behind it.)—EdgarWai


2011-11-28 05:09:59   The police response is indicative of why a protest is necessary. The occupy encampment could have been dealt with without violence. If Larry Vanderhoef were still in charge he would have walked down and talked to the people himself but Katehi instead stayed in her ivory tower and sent the police out to do the impossible job of telling protesters (who, given that Davis is a collegetown, can all be argued to belong in the UCD community) to move off from the most popular gathering place on this public campus during a school day but she also told them to not be forceful. How on earth could she think the protesters, believing they have a constitutional right to peacefully assemble, would simply pack up and go -no questions asked. Facebook posts, letters to the editor, and signing on-line petitions will never elicit as much call for change as human bodies taking a public stand together. What Katehi and the-powers-that-be always forget is that every time they use excessive force is just another chance for the media to elevate a martyr for the protesters' cause. That is what the pepper-spray incident has served to do. I am very much against the police response to this incident but I feel sorry for John Pike. Given the attention to this event, the people that he did the greatest favor for and the same that hate him the most. And now, because Katehi lacked either foresight or forbearance, the occupy movement will stay galvanized on campus into 2012. —RobRoy


2011-11-28 08:03:35   It's amazing to me that about twenty-fonur hours after the pepper-spraying Chancellor Katehi wasn't that aware of it. She viewed videos of it shown to her by mediators for eight minutes at the location of the press conference. —BruceHansen


2011-11-28 11:25:44   Anyone have a sense of how widespread the strike is among students, faculty, and/or staff? The turnout at the ARC 7:30am today didn't look that impressive. Is it picking up steam? —TomGarberson


2011-11-29 02:26:48   Why Dutton? —BarnabasTruman


2011-12-02 16:35:42   Occupy Dutton is getting ridiculous. Tents obstructing the hallways, gatherings of people obstructing the stairways, graffiti in the bathrooms. I've been strongly in favor of Occupy UCD so far but the behavior of Occupy Dutton is making me rethink my position. Go occupy the Mondavi Center instead; that's where tuition money is being wasted on the 1%! —BarnabasTruman


2011-12-05 21:52:33   I saw the video. I can't say the protesters were innocent, I just can't. I hope the group mob has learned to behave better or no one will feel inclined to listen to them after this spin game has been revealed ... from davis to greece indeed. :( The police inquiry continues, and I hope the group has had a serious sit-down and scream-at for themselves too. —JeffWood

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ this, but the biggest part imho is the precedent set by the Humboldt case 10 years ago regarding pepper spray on trespassing unarmed protestors Daubert


2011-12-06 18:53:01   After watching the video I think the protestors handled themselves pretty poorly. Seemed like an angry mob taunting and threatening the police. Certainly would not call it a non-violent protest. Fortunately for the protestors, the police handled themselves exponentially worse. I tried hard to come up with a reason for pepper spraying the people sitting down but I just can't come up with anything. It was like the police had no plan whatsoever. It was courageous to sit there and take pepper spray to the face for what you believe in, but I think everyone else, police included, acted pretty cowardly. —MikeyCrews


2011-12-06 19:07:23   Protest first, ask questions later! —NickSchmalenberger


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