Monday, 21 November 2011

Solidarity: UC Davis Students and Staff

I occasionally have to exchange heated words with management in my role as union activist and freelance git, but we have it easy compared with our colleagues across the water. As the Occupy movement takes in university campuses throughout the US, the response from academic managers has been brutal: call in the cops and let them do what they want
Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.
A particular irony in this case is the cause: the University of California at Davis protest was against… police brutality. The quotation above comes from an angry, impassioned and admirable letter from a Professor of English at UC Davis to his Chancellor. I hope this isn't what we're heading for here.

PS: the pepper-spraying cop is now appearing in a number of famous paintings:

PPS: For a much more reasoned discussion of the pepper-spraying, head over, as usual, to Music for Deckchair's piece.

1 comment:

The Red Witch said...

The irony is the same newscasters who report on brutal crackdowns in Libya, Syria and Egypt with commentary will report on these same instances of brutality in Canada and the US without comment.
Why is it okay to beat protesters here and not there? Because we are nicer? Hardly.
An 84 year old woman was pepper sprayed in the face in Seattle. I guess the poor wittle policeman was frightened of her.