Video UC Davis:
"The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble."
Crew of 42
November 19, 2011
Posted by Lauren Victoria Burke
1st Amendment anyone? Funny that we hear so much about
"the right to keep an bear arms." Just this week the
House passed a bill to make it easier for people to
carry a concealed firearm from state to state. Why do
so many conservatives and Tea Party supporters suddenly
have amnesia regarding peaceable assembly? wiki: "The
United States constitution explicitly provides for `the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'"
in the First Amendment. Freedom of assembly, sometimes
used interchangeably with the freedom of association,
is the individual right to come together and
collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common
interests.The right to freedom of association is
recognized as a human right, a political freedom and a
civil liberty." Image as you watch this what would be
said by Ann Coulter, Jeff Beck and the gang if these
were Tea Party demonstrators. Why should it make a
UC Davis Police Pepper-Spray Seated Students In Occupy
By Jason Cherkis
November 19, 2011
On Friday, a group of University of California, Davis
students, part of the Occupy Wall Street movement on
campus, became the latest victims of alleged police
brutality to be captured on video. The videos show the
students seated on the ground as a UC Davis police
officer brandishes a red canister of pepper spray,
showing it off for the crowd before dousing the seated
students in a heavy, thick mist.
This incident recalls the earlier infamous pepper
spraying by a New York Police Department official of
several women who were seated and penned in. The UC
Davis images are further proof that police continue to
resort to brutal tactics when confronting Occupy
activists. One woman was transported to a hospital to
be treated for chemical burns.
"The UC Davis students were peacefully protesting on
the quad," wrote the student who took the videos in an
email to The Huffington Post. The filmmaker, a senior,
asked that his name not be used for fear of retribution
by campus authorities. "The cop gave them 3 minutes to
disperse before he said they would come and disturb the
protest. The main objective for them was removing the
tents. ... The students did have a right to be on
campus, they were assembling peacefully and the campus
was open at the time."
In a longer version of the video, the students are
shown seated across a stretch of walkway surrounded by
more than a dozen UC Davis cops, dressed in riot gear
and clutching batons. Many other students are standing
along the sides of the scene, watching and protesting
as the standoff unfolded. Some students shouted "Thugs
on campus!" and "From Davis to Greece, fuck the
police!" Those chants were tamped down quickly by
others, who warned all to "Keep it peaceful" and "Keep
The students held up that promise.
They started up a new chant that would prove prophetic:
"You use weapons! We use our voice!"
At one point, one of the riot cops ambles over to the
seated line and asks one of the students a question.
The student replies, "We're sitting here."
The police officer then returns to his position with
the other officers. He also turns his back on the
seated students, as does at least one other officer.
They show no fear that the students might turn violent
or threatening. The first cop talks on his radio for a
After a few "mic checks" and few more chants, a cop
goes back to the seated students. The student asks,
"You're gonna shoot me for sitting here? You're
shooting us for sitting here?"
Roughly a minute later, the officer can be seen shaking
the pepper spray canister as the gathered students
start shouting, "Don't shoot your children!"
As the officer began spraying the group of students,
onlookers screamed, "Don't do it! Don't you do it!"
A news account captured the officer on camera spraying
the students. The account names the officer as UC Davis
Police Lt. John Pike. He did not return a voice mail
message nor an email left Friday night. His voice-mail
box eventually filled up to capacity as his name and
phone number were posted on Twitter.
The UC Davis Police Department did not return calls
from The Huffington Post seeking comment.
The UC Davis chancellor, Linda P.B. Katehi, released a
statement Friday. It states, "We deeply regret that
many of the protestors today chose not to work with our
campus staff and police to remove the encampment as
requested. We are even more saddened by the events that
subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal."
Nathan Brown, an assistant English professor at the
university, released an open letter to the chancellor,
calling for her resignation. He wrote, "You are
responsible for it because this is what happens when UC
Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse
peaceful protesters through the use of force: students
The student filmmaker, who says he is not part of
Occupy Davis, told HuffPost, "I couldn't believe it. I
didn't think such a thing would ever happen on campus
over a tent being on campus. It's embarrassing on the
part of the police to take such actions."
Another video shows officers body-slamming a student in
what appears to be a confrontation earlier in the day.
Ten students were arrested Friday on campus.
After the pepper spraying, the crowd of students began
marching down the quad. The UC Davis cops? They're
pushed back down the walkway and finally leave. The
students start an old cheer that rang true again,
"Whose quad? Our quad!"
UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza defended her
officers' actions to KCRA. She argued that it just
wasn't safe for students to camp on the quad. "It's not
safe for multiple reasons," Spicuzza said.
In a report by the CBS Sacramento station Friday night,
Spicuzza said the officers' own safety was also a
concern. "If you look at the video, you are going to
see that there were 200 people in that quad," she said.
"Hindsight is 20-20, and based on the situation we were
sitting in, ultimately that was the decision that was
made." Spicuzza also said authorities were reviewing
UPDATE: Nov. 19, 11:55 a.m. -- Claudia Morain, a UC
Davis spokesperson, told The Huffington Post that there
were 35 police officers on the scene, 50 occupiers and
She said that UC Davis officials had warned the
occupiers that they could not set up a tent city. They
were given notice that they had to clear out their
tents by 3 p.m. on Friday. Some complied. Others did
"I can't speak for the thought process for the
officer," Morain noted about the use of pepper spray.
She said that the officers were essentially trapped
(the videos suggest otherwise) and had to transport
several of the arrested students. "The pepper spray was
used because they needed to get out of there," she
said, emphasizing that the students were repeatedly
warned before the spray was deployed.
Morain admitted that she had not thoroughly studied the
videos of the incident.
But she said, "We are just not going to allow a tent
city. Just period. In these budget times, we shouldn't
use resources that should be going to our core academic
mission going to a tent city."
Nine students and one nonstudent were arrested. "The
police tried to use the least force that they could,"
Morain explained. _______________________
Riot Police Brutality on UC Davis Quad
My e-mail to Lt. Pike
By J.A. Myerson
Novemer 18, 2011
He's the one spraying horrible chemicals on UC Davis
students in this video:
Do yourself a favor and watch until the triumphant end.
Here's the e-mail I just sent dude. (Subject line:
Dear Lt. Pike,
Watching you casually deploy chemical weaponry
against non-violent students who posed no threat to
anyone at all, brandishing it at first as though
this were some demonstration in an infomercial
rather than a particularly nasty violation of the
4th Amendment to the Constitution, which case law
shows prohibits excessive force, is an absolutely
sick-making exercise. You and the other officers
were justly surrounded and forced out by the young,
unarmed civilians, merely exercising their First
Amendment right to peaceable assembly, but you
ought to go one step further and resign. Your
actions shock the conscience, and you should be in
prison, not empowered.
November 19, 2011
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