Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pepper sprayed UC Davis student leads peaceful shaming of Chancellor

Pepper sprayed UC Davis student leads peaceful shaming of Chancellor

‎"A pretty remarkable thing just happened. A press conference, scheduled for *4:00pm* between the UC Davis Chancellor and police with local press on campus, did not end in an hour, as planned. Instead, a mass of Occupy Davis students and sympathizers mobilized outside, demanding to have their voice heard. After some initial confusion, UC Chancellor Linda Katehi refused to leave the building, attempting to give the media the impression that the students were somehow holding her hostage.

A group of highly organized students formed a large gap for the chancellor to leave. They chanted “we are peaceful” and “just walk home,” but nothing changed for several hours. Eventually student representatives convinced the chancellor to leave after telling their fellow students to sit down and lock arms (around 7:00pm).

One of the students pepper sprayed yesterday by chemicals that blew into his mouth (he was standing near the students huddled on the ground), a young man wearing a brown down coat over a tie-dye shirt, said he met with Kotehi and personally showed her a video of the pepper spraying attack. Speaking to about a thousand students with the “human mic,” the young man said he personally asked for her resignation..

A few commenters and people on Twitter have asked why the chancellor is at the center of this firestorm over the police pepper spraying. Chancellor Katehi approved of the police action (though specifics of what she ordered exactly are still a mystery), and ordered the UC Davis cops to evict the protesters, resulting in the heinous pepper spraying video now plastered everywhere on the web. She has not apologized to the students or worked to remedy the situation — for instance, one student who was pepper sprayed told me she still has health problems after the incident, and no one from the administration contacted her to see if she’s okay. Katehi’s refusal to condemn the police action has only made a bad situation worse."

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