Yesterday, police temporarily blinded a row of peaceful students seated on the UC Davis campus to force the students from an encampment on the quad. The students sat in a row on the grass trying to protect another row of students in back of them from being arrested. See the uTube video, “Police Pepper Spray Peaceful UC Davis Students.” Pepper spray, fizz! Right in the kisser. Shame on you. How aggressive did the police need to be with students?
The police responded by pepper spraying the first row of students directly in the face, in their eyes, nose, and mouth, until they scrambled or stood their grounds. The pepper spray attack by the police on the students was shown on TV last night in Sacramento and Davis.
Finally, police arrested 10 students. Police used the pepper spray to scatter the students and arrest those who would not leave the encampment and take down their tents which had been put up on November 17, 2011 on the UC Davis campus.
According to UC Davis students, the police sprayed the pepper right in the faces of the row of students sitting on the ground linking arms. Police accused those students of blocking other officers from arresting the students behind them or around them.
According to the Sacramento Bee article, one student reported a student lifted into the air and thrown down. Check out the November 19, 2011 Sacramento Bee article, “10 Occupy protesters arrested in UC Davis quad.” for further details on what the students described.
You can view a video on uTube that shows the details of the tense standoff between the students and the police as the students were sprayed right in their eyes and face.
An Occupy Davis encampment has been in place in downtown Davis for more than a month. At the UC Davis campus, a rally took place on November 15th.
Several dozen students slept overnight in the university administration building. But on Wednesday, November 16th, officials told the students to leave the building. At that point the students camped in the quad the next morning.
The quad is an area of buildings on the UC Davis campus where students can buy food and other items or get information. The UAW Local 2865, representing graduate students who work on campus is supporting the Occupy protesters, according to a graduate student mentioned in the Sacramento Bee article.
Students were told by the University to remove their tents or the police would be called. Many of the students did remove their tents, but a few did not. The police came in and pepper-sprayed some of the students who, according to the Sacramento Bee article, “10 Occupy protesters arrested in UC Davis quad, “reported were protecting the students from the police who were moving to arrest some of those students who didn’t remove their tents.
As you can see on TV or in the uTube video, police wore protective gear, and some carried batons. When the students grew from about 50 to 200, out came the pepper spray as students surrounded the police, with some students cutting off the police from their support. The TV video actually showed the students sitting in a row linking arms as if to protect the students in back of them from being arrested.
Police told students move or be sprayed. Ironically, after being sprayed in the eyes and face, numerous students held their ground and did not move. They circled police, sitting on the ground. After being sprayed and sprayed, the students did not move. What happened? The police left.
Only 10 students out of 200 were arrested and charged just with two misdemeanors, “failure to move” and “lodging without permission.”
UC students and the Local 2865 union accused police of too aggressive a stance. Students didn’t have to be sprayed in their eyes, nose, and mouth with pepper spray. Most of the students were protesting the high cost of tuition and possible increases that may come, which has not been yet decided. A meeting on tuition increase possibilities, as no decisions have been made yet, will be on November 28th and will be on a teleconference in four cities, open to the public.