By John Ballard
By now the whole world has seen the footage of how non-violent demonstrators at UC Davis were treated by police in full riot regalia. This event thus becomes yet another powerful symbol of how a power elite uses force and the threat of further violence to keep large numbers of less powerful subjects under control. Here are the relevant images and links.
?The Moral Power of an Image: UC Davis Reactions by James Fallows
Fallows sketches a brief summary of what happened with additional links and comments.
?Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi by Nathan Brown, Assistant Professor, Department of English, UC Davis. This letter is not long but very clear and to the point, replete with links and details, leaving nothing out. Check out the link.
You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.
Those of us who were in demonstrations of the Sixties were prepared for harsh responses. Lacking more modern resources like pepper spray and sound-blasting equipment, local police used cattle prods and fire hoses against demonstrators. But my memory is that most of the dirty work was at the hands of civilians with police looking the other way.
We learned that the presence of a camera was a powerful non-violent defensive tool. It surprises me that now, with cameras everywhere, these police make so few signs of civility. There is clearly a deficit in their training of how best to handle non-violent demonstrations.
In this case, it seems, there is more sympathy and even some support from bystanders.
The discipline and restraint of those present present a compelling image of which side of this conflict stands on the higher moral ground.
The silence of this video speaks louder than any words or music as Chancellor Katehi walks to her car.
These kids have their stuff together in a powerful way.
One of hundreds of comments at You Tube...
I am so honored to be an alum of UC Davis. These students are amazing. This is proof that the world is not going to hell in a handbasket as many believe. Thank God these young people make up our next generation of? leaders. These students exemplfy the power and purpose of free speech and peaceful assembly. In watchng the other video of the students being pepper-sprayed, I did not see one rock, bottle or object thrown.
This is how it should be done.
You Aggies are AWESOME!!! Thank you :-)