Sunday, November 20, 2011

Look at This America, One You Don't Want to See

From Laura Moriarty's Facebook page. 
The Artist's Depiction
The image above is what Joanne Mattera called "Sunday in the Park With the Aftermath of George (Bush)."

Lt. John Pike pepper spraying non-resisting students at UC Davis.
The Real Thing
You have probably already seen this real image of a man in power treating non-resisting students like roaches by spraying them with pepper spray. This strolling Keystone-Kop-looking guy is Lt. John Pike of the UC Davis police force. He has a lot in common with Lt. Anthony (Tony Baloney) Bogogna of the NYPD (see below).

And here's the video the precedes the UC Davis action and shows that afterwards the police, in full, ridiculous, SWAT, riot gear, backed away from those vicious students (armed only with iPads, iPhones and their voices). By the way, a UC Davis spokesperson said later that there were 35 police officers, 50 protesters and 200 bystanders present during this action.

A note on what pepper spray is:

"Pepper spray, which in many countries is defined as a weapon and is often illegal for civilians to possess, can cause tissue damage, respiratory attacks and, in rare cases, death. It is considered far superior during crowd control to more violent forms of self-defense. But, like Tasers, which can also cause severe injury and death, there is increasing concern than it is being used by law enforcement without discretion or proper understanding of its dangers. The UC-Davis video will only amplify those concerns."(from the Washington Post)

These officers are employed by UC Davis and were called in by the Chancellor of UC Davis, Linda P.B. Katehi. This is her statement as reported by Huffington Post:

"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."

The UC Davis Police Chief, Annette Spicuzza" claimed that it wasn't "safe for students to camp on the quad. It's not safe for multiple reasons."

And, in what is probably the most ludicrous claim of all, Spicuzza claimed that it also wasn't safe for her officers on the quad because they were outnumbered by students. The amount of riot gear the police were wearing plus the stun guns, pepper spray, enormous "batons", handcuffs, and all manner of other equipment strapped to their bodies makes this statement totally asinine. But if you watch the video to the end, you will see the police slowly shuffle backwards away from the students who are yelling "Shame on you." Apparently they were just fearful for their lives, those poor over-equipped guardians of the law!

Now calls are being made for the chancellor to resign after displaying her total lack of understanding of what the hell was happening on her campus and not showing horrified dismay over the actions of "her" police force. She has called for a 90-day investigation of the incident when 90 minutes would probably suffice.

As a final comment on her behavior, get a look at this perp walk the chancellor makes in front of seated and totally silent students. She had said that she was afraid of walking to her car because of the students. The only voices you hear in the video are those of reporters asking questions of the chancellor. Otherwise, there are just ominous-sounding footfalls.

This is not an America I want to see. It is a place where those in power think they can treat the rest of us with disrespect and abuse. This is the kind of treatment that people in black and immigrant neighborhoods are subject to much of the time. It's a Bush/Cheney-attitude where force is used to keep down the Little People and show them who's in charge, without regard for moral or legal right.

The sad part of it is that this is just one little, now viral incident. This cruel and abusive behavior goes on all the time with no one noticing or caring. We are subject to our corporate masters more and more and the police are simply their minions, just as much serfs as the rest of us, but able to take out some of their aggressive and hateful actions on those they are supposedly protecting. I find the whole thing sickening and depressing. I remember Kent State, where protesting students were actually shot and killed, and all the student strikes that followed. I hope that we are not entering a period like that again but our corporate masters will not relinquish their power voluntarily.

Here is a great article about the Militarization of Campus Police by Bob Ostertag, a journalist and professor at UC Davis. He makes some wonderful points, right on the money!

And furthermore, as posted by Mira Schor via Joni Spigler:

Even Bambi's pals get the spray!

And another one:

This one is even more meaningful - Lt. John Pike pepper sprays the Constitution
even as it's being written. Oh, yes! He has sprayed on the rights of us all to peacefully
protest and express our constitutional rights to free speech. Thanks to Kiril Devyatov on Facebook.

And still more of these  This guy is the laughingstock of the WORLD!


Patricia said...

Thank you for your post. What happened at UC Davis was an outrage.
Now the banking lobby wishes to give out a million dollars to combat the Occupy activists. This is nothing to be thankful for.

painting with fire said...

Well said. I've shared this via G+ because I think what you have to say is important and true. It's going to be a long hard fight for the future.

johonson said...

This blog sounds quite interesting. I was searching this kind of information

Anonymous said...

Hats off Nancy. This is such a great post.

PoorGrad said...

Agree with Slowmuse an excellent post.

Sue said...

what a horrible behaviour to combat the peaceful activists. Your post is a sharp and upset response to it. Great!