As appalling as the first few seconds of this video are - UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike casually walking along a line of seated students and pepper-spraying them point blank in the face - it's worth watching to the end to see how brilliantly the students handle it.
Human microphone :
"Mike check ... mike check .... We are willing ... to give you a brief moment ... of peace ... so that you may take your weapons ... and our friends ... and go. ... Please do not return ... We are giving you a moment of peace ... We are giving you a moment of peace ... You can go ... and we will not follow you ... You can go you can go you can go you can go you can go you can go ....."And after a brief show of waving their paintguns about and shaking up their pepper spray cans ... the police retreat. Score one for #Occupy.
Later, UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza explained the pepper-spraying of the row of seated students was necessary because the police were afraid for their own personal safety :
"There was no way out of that circle," Spicuzza said. "They were cutting officers off from their support. It's a very volatile situation."Sure it was :
Another angle showing the open expanse of lawn behind Lt. John Pike that so alarmed the "encircled" police officers.
Up here in BC, that's known locally as the 'stapler defence'.
Monday Update : Police Chief Spicuzza, Lt. Pike and one other pepperspraying police officer placed on administrative leave.
Statements from the university chancellor and this from the president of the University of the California system :
"The time has come to take strong action to recommit to the ideal of peaceful protest."
More : Dr. Dawg . Let Freedom Rain