"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Then and Now

Eerily similar or different?
What do you think?

For the record, the UCDavis police clearly broke the law as per:

California Penal Code Section 12403.7 (a) (8)

(g) Any person who uses tear gas or tear gas weapons except in self-defense is guilty of a public offense and is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years or in a county jail not to exceed one year or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, except that, if the use is against a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, engaged in the performance of his or her official duties and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months or two or three years or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

It is crazy to shrug at this even if you don't care about the students it's happening to or because you don't believe in the occupy movement. This is a crime. If anyone other than the police was doing this they would be thrown in jail.It's sad to see comments all over the internet that are modern day echos of the past: "Oh look, they're using hoses on black people and stupid yankee college kids who disobey clear police orders to move out of the street. It's so funny! And it's just water, anyway. Not like they're using machine guns on these idiots."

And just for the record, I have in my life been both hosed down with a fire hose (shellback hazing as I crossed the equator for my first time on a US Naval Ship) as well as pepper sprayed (Marine Corps training for riot control). They are both painful in very different ways but I still feel they are comparable to one another. As a disclaimer, I do feel there is a big difference between the Civil Rights Movement and Occupy but the general principle of Non Violence in the face of blatant police brutality remains the same.


Arturo Rodriguez said...

It is a shame to see police brutality like this on a college campus. Not only is this a crime, but it is traumatizing to watch over a dozen kids get pepper sprayed, listening to the cowers of the students being pepper sprayed and the yelling of the crowd. These officers need to be accounted for their action legally. it is embarrassing to see our justice system look the other way.

Laarni said...

It's really shocking and sad that authority figures who are supposed to look out for our safety are treating people like animals. Have you seen the video of Occupy Cal? It's on youtube. The campus police were using their batons to "nudge" or push the students back. It was a clearly a reaction of unnecessary force.

However, like the activity we did in class, there are always two sides of the story.

"The police repeatedly beat students, especially women students, in the ribs, stomach, arms, legs and face,"


In previous student Occupy protests, protesters hit police officers with chairs, bricks, spitting, and using homemade plywood shields as weapons - with documented injuries to officers,” the letter read.

While both sides can claim self defense, I think there is wrong doing on both sides. Any violence committed by the students is harmful to their cause. As for the police, a lot of respect is lost for them and their actions are unjustifiable.