Social Question

whitetigress's avatar

What is your overall view of the UC Davis students who were peacefully protesting but ultimately were pepper sprayed.

Asked by whitetigress (3129points) November 21st, 2011

I personally like how the policeman showed the crowd the pepper spray and looked to his left and to his right to dramatize the whole thing upon firing his can of pepper spray. As if it were justified. What are your overall thoughts?

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48 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I hate it. I know that law enforcement are human and make mistakes, but it is very painful when it happens.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m in full support of the protesting students.

filmfann's avatar

That officer deserves jail time.
Pepper spray should be used to help in restraining a violent suspect. That certainly didn’t apply here. He did it out of cruelty. It was an abuse of power. He should lose his badge and have to go see the judge.

WestRiverrat's avatar

How many warnings did the protesters get to clear the right of way? The pepper spray was the least violent way of getting the protesters to relax their grips and pull them apart. I suppose they could have turned fire hoses and dogs on them instead.

They have the right to peacefully protest. Peaceful protest does not include blocking access, if it did the prolife protests at abortion clinics would have the right to stand in front of the doors and across the driveway.

filmfann's avatar

If they are breaking a law regarding access, I have no problem with the police arresting them.
To torture them with pepper spray is not a necessary response.

Aethelflaed's avatar

The officer should loose his badge and be thrown in jail, Chancellor Katehi should resign already (is anyone behind her at this point??), and the UCDPD Chief Annette Spicuzza should resign.

@WestRiverrat They were not blocking access, it was pretty easy to walk around them.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I think a non-violent movement is working when those people are abused. The goal is to provoke a strong reaction that will show the true nature of your adversaries to those who stand on the sidelines doing nothing.

We know now that those who had firehoses and dogs turned on them won out. The people who are now being pepper sprayed will win out.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Just in case anyone hasn’t see the video(s), here’s the one that went viral, then another view in case you missed it, and then Chancellor Katehi’s walk of shame.

Judi's avatar

I just watched the video for the first time. They don’t look like stinky protesters to me. Didn’t Newt say they needed a bath?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Judi Without knowing what Newt said, I’m guessing he was talking about the Occupy protesters who camp, every day, downtown, and thus have limited resources to baths. These are students who are protesting as part of the Occupy movement (including camping), but can also go right up to their on-campus dorm (or a friend’s) and use the showers. They also haven’t been protesting as long (only a few days), so they aren’t quite at the same level of stinkyness.

bkcunningham's avatar

Why the anger at Chancellor Katehi? And how in the name of God could those kids get a face full of pepper spray that close and just sit there like that?

Judi's avatar

Here’s Newt’s speech.

nikipedia's avatar

@bkcunningham, an open letter by a UC Davis faculty member indicates that the chancellor ordered police in riot gear to disband the protests.

whitetigress's avatar

@Aethelflaed Yes that’s a good video, just to clear the video information up though they were actually protesting UC tuition hike.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@whitetigress Yes, they were protesting UC fee hikes as part of the larger Occupy movement and especially in solidarity with UC Berkeley after the previous brutality the week before.

reijinni's avatar

I received a picture with his email address and I sent him a short message.

YARNLADY's avatar

The whole protest movement is wrongheaded from the start to the end and everywhere in between. None of these people lived through the protests of the 1960’s and have no memory of how useless it all was in the end.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Just watched the video. One of the cops was trying to suppress a photojournalist in the background, standing in her way every time she moved. These guys should learn that everyone has a camera these days.

Sorry @YARNLADY… I couldn’t disagree with you more. In fact, as I understand it, the Chancellor came out in support of the students right to protest. That alone is an accomplishment. Awareness is never wasted. Apathy is never recognized.

ETpro's avatar

When I saw that I remembered the 60s protests and the students gunned down while peacefully protesting at Kent State University. I remembered the shock and horror we felt as Americans, seeing peaceful protesters being mowed down with live ammunition, killed, for exercising their constitutional rights to assemble and to protest,

There may be a law saying you must obey a policeman’s lawful order. But when police decide they are going to enter into the political arena and shut down our constitutional rights to assembly and to protest, they aren’t issuing lawful orders, they are moving us toward a police state. The US Constitution trumps any laws that conflict with it..

whitetigress's avatar

@YARNLADY I really respect your opinion. But I just think 1960s and 2011 are two very different decades. Were not just fighting a war against another nation. Were fighting against our own nation in hopes of changing the system of how corporations are run. The system is set up to benefit the rich. They hike up the schools, to weed out the poor people in society to prevent them from earning a degree. The pepper spray incident is our generations “Rosa Parks.” It’s the American version of the Buddhist Monks setting themselves on fire, I could go on and on. It really does mean a lot, I here people talking about this all through out my campus. Even in the laundry mat, I’ve seen people shaking their heads. Individually, we are tired. As a whole, we are stronger and energized.

YARNLADY's avatar

@whitetigress I accept that there is a lot of noise going on right now. Come back in 5 years and tell me what has changed. I predict the status quo.

Edit to add: Maybe they’ll just call out the National Guard, like they did last time

Aethelflaed's avatar

@YARNLADY I was under the impression that civil resistance did a lot of good back in the 50s-70s, with achievements like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. I mean, that’s not to say that we don’t still have lots of racism and other problems, but I also don’t see anyone who would be totally ok with the repeal of those acts.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Aethelflaed To me, there is ample evidence that working within the system brings about more change than civil disobedience. Sure, the news plays up the protests, but the real work is done quietly, through the hard work of elected officials, their staff, and people who do the boring part. I also believe the list of non-protest change for the better is much longer than that brought about by protest.

I sincerely doubt a few thousand people acting up is really the way to achieve a better government or economy. They create problems all out of proportion to what they achieve.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@YARNLADY See, I think it’s not so much that the work through the system isn’t important and valid, so much as that it seems to not happen just of it’s own accord. And seeing as how many times protesters are protesting in favor of a specific through-the-system measure, it seems like they’re more two sides of the same coin than opposing forces.

tedd's avatar

If I were in charge of the planet, a lot worse things than pepper spray to the face would happen to those officers.

Mat74UK's avatar

I find it a little hypocritical that a country that goes around the world promoting democracy (to the extent of war) subjects its own people to this at a peaceful protest!

GladysMensch's avatar

@YARNLADY Do you really think that the protests in the 1960’s accomplished nothing? The non-violent movement for racial justice informed the entire nation to the injustices of the Jim Crow laws and the blatant racism inflicted daily upon tens of millions of Americans. We have a national holiday for one of the leaders of the movement. Is racism gone? No. Have we achieved equality for all races in this country? No. But there is no way that the freedoms and rights that the African American community now possess would have happened without those protests.

Let’s not forget the war protests either. Those protests most certainly swayed public opinion on the Vietnam war. We no longer have a military draft because of those protests.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Mat74UK So do a ton of its citizens…

YARNLADY's avatar

@Aethelflaed @GladysMensch there is really no way to know if those social changes would have taken place without the civil disobedience, but I have seen little or no such goings on to get rid of cigarette smoking in public places, or stronger penalties for drunk drivers, and the list goes on and on.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@YARNLADY But isn’t that at least a little bit because smoking in public places is a less serious issue than having Jim Crow laws?

whitetigress's avatar

@YARNLADY I’m trying to see where you’re coming from. I was born 1987. Growing up learning about the civil rights, honestly sounded like ancient times to me. I’m 23 at the moment, and honestly, for the most part, I think the 1960’s played a huge role in the civil rights movement, and I don’t honestly feel hate towards any certain race. It’s because I grew up in a society of open minded, non racists kind of peoples. Probably because of the 60s. My point is if I’m oblivious to racism, imagine how my kids will feel when they study it. It’ll sound even more ancient, because times have changed, because the people got together, talked about what was right and wrong, and marched on and spoke out, shouted, and protested from the heart.

YARNLADY's avatar

@whitetigress I’m trying to say there is no way to know if the social changes would have occurred without the civil disobedience, as so many changes have.

Maybe they didn’t really need to go out into the streets with their message. Maybe it could have been accomplished some other way. Nobody will ever know.

YARNLADY's avatar

You might be interested in this lively debate Is Civil Disobedience Still Necessary In A Democracy? I see both points of view here.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m curious, @whitetigress, what is it specifically that happened in the 1960s you think contributed to helping eliminate racism in your world? I mean, who got together , “talked about what was right and wrong, and marched on and spoke out, shouted, and protested from the heart.” I’d love to hear the perspective of someone your age about what you’ve been taught.

whitetigress's avatar

@bkcunningham Well the obvious off the top of my head are Martin Luther King Jr. But for me personally, it wasn’t until the death of the Freedom Riders in Mississippi that really got white America to start thinking about social reform. I think any of the crazy violence that went on in the colleges got everyone to start thinking about it. The Kent State massacre, the National Guard coming out, those who took the photographs of the white girls yelling at the black girl, those types of things in my opinion made a difference later on.

bkcunningham's avatar

I wonder, @whitetigress, how people in your age group would react to a Christian pastor leading the charge today? Is there a chance that a man of God like Martin Lurther King, Jr., would be as influencial with his Christian message?

bkcunningham's avatar

Kent State was about the US invasion of Cambodia, not racism in America. Not being a smart alec, just pointing out that it was two different deals.

ETpro's avatar

@YARNLADY The “system” has been deconstruction the middle class that it took use 50 years to build. It’s been doing that for over 30 years now, and so long as Republicans hold the power to filibuster a bill in the Senate, the system will not change. We have gone from 65% of Americans being solidly middle class in 1980 to just 46% in the middle class today. The poor and working poor have absorbed the middle class’ losses. That status quo takes us to being a banana republic in another 30 or 40 years. Is that the America you want to leave your children?

YARNLADY's avatar

I prefer to look at history back a lot farther than you have. Doomsdayers don’t make much sense when the full picture is taken into account.

ETpro's avatar

@YARNLADY OK. Let’s ignore current reality. Let’s set everything that has happened after the Great Depression aside as obviously meaningless to what’s going on now. What time period do you draw your enlightenment from, and can you explain what that tells you?

Oh, and while we are on the subject, perhaps you could explain how the Doomsdayers of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden were so wrong. And those that predicted the fall of every great empire From the Egyptians to the British. And those that warned Haitians that their revolution was being hijacked and a banana republic was being set up. Were they full of it too? Are the Fran├žois ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier regeime and the Tonton Macoute just fantasies, or are they too modern to bother thinking about?

Are you suggesting that policy makes no difference? You can steer the ship of state any way you wish and it will never come out differently?

YARNLADY's avatar

@ETpro _Doomsdayers of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden _ What? Are you saying people predicted these disasters before they happened? I never heard that before.

You make my point with your other comments – civilizations rise and fall all the time and yet the common people, manage to survive. Remember, I am a descendant of the people who were here before the European, and in spite of it all, we are still here.

Edit: P. S. Have you been to Hiroshima or Nagasaki lately?

ETpro's avatar

@YARNLADY If they started a war with the US, and they didn’t think it would ever come to their doorsteps they were incredibly blind or ill informed. It is quite true that civilizations rise and fall, and life goes on. Not always so well. Haiti has yet to recover from the violence and deprivation Baby Doc Duvalier wreaked on the Haitian people. I have had three children and now 11 grandchildren. To the best of my ability, I want to leave them a better America than the one I inherited from my forebears. And when I see a road that takes us over a cliff, I am not going to vote to put someone behind the wheel who insists there is no cliff there, and we have to drive even faster.

YARNLADY's avatar

@ETpro Vote for the candidate that best supports your views – Don’t camp out in the park and make a mess for the taxpayers to clean up.

ETpro's avatar

@YARNLADY I am a taxpayer. I pay for the park. I have no plans on camping out, but if I felt the need was great enough, that would change. I remember stories of the Bonus Army camping on the Washington Mall, asking for the WWI Veteran’s bonus they’d been promised but never gotten. Just marching would never have worked. Only after they camped out and were routed by our brave General MacArthur sending in a horseback battalion followed by tanks were they able to cut through the clutter. When Americans went to theaters and saw the newsreels of war veterans being treated like that, even in the depths of the depression, they were moved to do the right thing. Mario Savio summed up what these people are doing perfectly in his Throw Your Bodies on the Gears speech at UC Berkeley in 1964, during the campus revolt against unconstitutional suppression of free speech.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@YARNLADY But many did vote for the candidate that best supported their views, and then somehow, things still turned out horribly. Seems like a lot of politicians get voted in and then don’t pay much attention to the people that voted for them, so clearly just voting doesn’t do enough.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Aethelflaed As I mentioned before, the voters of this country are nearly equally divided between two mutually exclusive views, and the government is in a pushmi-pullyu

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