*Minor update at the bottom
UC Davis English professor Nathan Brown called for the resignation of Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi in an open letter which can be read here.
The demands for her resignation come after she called the police on a group of students who were protesting peacefully on the campus, a public school. While doing nothing but sitting on the ground with arms linked, they were pepper sprayed directly in the face and separated from each other with batons.
According to the letter:
“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.”
It doesn’t matter if you agree with what they are protesting for. These students were exercising their right to peacefully assemble and speak on public property. The cops were the only ones being violent that day. An action which is becoming more and more typical for them.
Cops are not your friends.
A pretty remarkable thing just happened. A press conference, scheduled for *4:00pm* between the UC Davis Chancellor and police with local press on campus, did not end in an hour, as planned. Instead, a mass of Occupy Davis students and sympathizers mobilized outside, demanding to have their voice heard. After some initial confusion, UC Chancellor Linda Katehi refused to leave the building, attempting to give the media the impression that the students were somehow holding her hostage.
A group of highly organized students formed a large gap for the chancellor to leave. They chanted “we are peaceful” and “just walk home,” but nothing changed for several hours. Eventually student representatives convinced the chancellor to leave after telling their fellow students to sit down and lock arms (around 7:00pm).
The video of the students just sitting in silence as she walks to her car was a brilliant move, I think. It shows that they are not violent or threatening, and that she could have left at any time. Also, put yourself in her shoes. How tense, and awkward would that walk to your car feel? This is a great way of ostracizing her without being violent.